I hope my colleagues will forget the squeal of delight I emitted when I read on Inside Scoop this morning that Bi-Rite Market is now delivering groceries. The popular, crowded market is using Instacart as its platform, a Bay Area grocery delivery startup that also delivers from Rainbow, Safeway, Costco, and Whole Foods.
For a $3.99-$9.99 fee, depending on how much you order and how quickly you want it, you can now have a pint of salted caramel ice cream, a good bottle of affordable rosé, a round of Mt. Tam cheese, a couple organic white peaches, a tub of artichoke hummus, and a whole-wheat baguette from Firebrand delivered to your door.
Bi-Rite is a coup for the fledgling company, which has raised $55 million from investors since it started, including a sizeable $44 million investment last month from Andreessen Horowitz. It works like Uber or Postmates, hiring fellow citizens as personal shoppers who go to the store and follow the instructions on your grocery list while you bask at home in your sweatpants.
Because it utilizes existing markets instead of trying to build its own, Instacart offers a different model than other local grocery delivery startups like Good Eggs or AgLocal. With clients like Bi-Rite and Rainbow, Instacart can offer busy Bay Area residents the kind of environmentally friendly, ethical, sustainably grown groceries they're looking for without having to setup much additional infrastructure. It remains to be seen which model will win out in the end.
For now, though, I'm mostly excited about the ice cream.