Instacart: A New Opportunity for Uber and Lyft Drivers?

Instacart has revolutionized the way we shop for groceries online. While Amazon Fresh provides a more simple way to buy tomatoes and spinach with a simple click on the World Wide Web and get it delivered same day, Instacart's founder, Apoorva Mehta, who was a former employee of the e-commerce giant, saw a wide gap.

How to Signup to be an Instacart In-Store Shopper

He realized that people no longer have sufficient time to shop—the complexities of the world and the time-consumed works in the digital world make it almost impossible for a young engineer or a veteran schoolteacher to work the stores and shop for grocery items. Mehta's Instacart was born out of this thinking.

In 2012, Mehta and his friends founded Instacart with one great mission:

"Connect users with the highest caliber of retailers, and get premier quality food into the hands of as many people as possible."

But unlike its competitor, Instacart wants to provide a better customer experience by letting shoppers pick a customer's order and deliver the goods to the customer at home or at their office. Let's dive deep into what Instacart is and how it will benefit freelance drivers, especially the Uber drivers.

What's Instacart?

Instacart is an on-demand grocery store that lets consumers to shop from their favorite stores directly from the app. You get your order delivered same day, you save a lot of your precious time, and you save money.

Founded in 2012 by Apoorva Mehta, Max Mullen, and Brandon Leonardo, the online company entered into a business partnership with many companies and has a presence in over 25 states in the U.S. As of 2017, Instacart is valued at 3.4 billion dollars, thanks to their business model and flexible operation.

How does Instacart work?

Let's say you're a startup founder working in a garage, somewhere in Silicon Valley. You're busy working, like all startups do, and you want to shop some groceries to take home for the family dinner (before sundown). But there's a problem:

You just don't have the time to do all that. Your entrepreneurial career takes your whole day: Your normal workday starts by 8 a.m. and ends at 6 p.m. How do you shop for groceries before the day runs out?

Enter Instacart.

  • Just download the Instacart app on your Smartphone ( Android, iOS),

  • Select the stores you want to shop from (you can choose any store of your choice from Whole Foods to Costco to Publix),

  • Add items to your shopping list, and

  • Finally, schedule a delivery time.

The company's most important feature is the pickup option. For example, after you've selected the items you want and add them to your shopping list, a freelance shopper will find the items. From there, they'll pack and bag them up for you.

This means that after you've closed for the day, you can drive to pick-up your order without wasting time in line, as the shopper has already done the hectic work on your behalf.

However, if you want to subscribe for the monthly purchase of your grocery items, you just have to tell the company what you want to be delivered to you every day, every week, or bi-weekly, and a freelance driver will deliver your goods to your doorstep.

If, on the other hand, you want to shop and get your goods delivered to you in the next hour or two, just like the way other retail stores do, like Amazon Fresh, for example, you will get it done as you so wish.

As an Uber driver, can you make money delivering for Instacart?


Just like your normal work with Uber, Instacart pays its In-Store Shopper drivers based on distance, making up to $25 an hour. And it is based on the state or area of operation. Again, like Uber, the other financial gain comes from tips and busy hours, where you will get paid on the app, which you can deposit directly to your bank or withdraw using your payment method.

So it's a great opportunity, especially for ride-hailing drivers as they can make extra income from the Instacart frontier.