Apoorva Mehta, 29
During a pitch meeting for Mehta’s Instacart, a venture capitalist left the room and returned with a floppy disk that contained the blueprint for food delivery business Webvan, a $4 billion, dot-com bust that sounded like Instacart. “Go home and study it,” the investor said (Mehta says he would have, if he knew how to open a floppy disk). What Mehta did know was that grocery shopping was ripe for a change. Instacart uses a mobile app that connects users with 4,000 personal shoppers who handpick and deliver your order in hours. It now operates in 18 metropolitan areas, partners with Whole Foods and Costco, and holds a $2 billion valuation. That fast expansion and big-name partnerships helped assuage those early investor worries; now, Mehta just needs to fend off Amazon, Walmart, Google and Uber, all of which want into the market.
Instacart CEO: The right way to expand an e-commerce startup
Apoorva Mehta explains why he’s waiting to add more verticals to his company.