San Francisco-based grocery delivery service Instacart uses a crowdsourcing model to collect customers’ grocery orders and send them to personal shoppers. Unlike services such as Peapod, Instacart enables people to have groceries delivered from multiple stores, like Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Costco and Safeway.
The service sends customer orders to around 200 independent Bay Area personal shoppers, which are then delivered on the same day. The personal shoppers get a commission based on the number of items and orders they pick up and deliver in their own vehicle.
Customers can assemble their orders using the drop-down menus and view maps of the local stores. Their groceries could be delivered in as soon as one hour. Bloomberg Businessweek reports that Instacart is using $8 million of funding from Sequoia Capital to expand to ten U.S. cities by the end of next year.