How Instacart Reinvented the Grocery Business and Reached a $4B Valuation

Before Instacart became a household name, Max Mullen had to convince investors and grocery stores, traditionally some of the least innovative retailers, to support his dream of creating an on-demand economy for grocery sales.

It was an idea that others had spectacularly failed at (see: Webvan, which filed for bankruptcy protection in 2001, after 3 years in business). But Mullen managed to put a new spin on a failed concept, convincing hundreds of retailers to partner with his fledgling company and elevating it to a $4.2B valuation.

Sam Parr spoke to him about his company’s rise at Hustle Con 2018. Below is a lightly edited transcript of their conversation.