This year, Instacart managed to more than triple its staff to around 300 employees, but it won’t be nearly as aggressive with its hiring next year. This isn’t necessarily an indication that the grocery delivery startup is doing poorly, but rather that it’s matured to the point where it no longer needs to focus on rapid expansion. Earlier this month, Instacart laid off a dozen of its in-house recruiters, and while there are still a few recruiters left to help fill roles in areas like engineering and sales, the company hasn’t announced how many of them are left. Though the news may have gone under everyone’s radar over the holidays, the company also announced that its fees are being increased by 50%.
Instacart’s crazy-growth days may be coming to an end. The grocery delivery startup, which investors valued at $2 billion last year, laid off 12 in-house recruiters earlier this month, according to multiple sources. A spokeswoman confirmed the layoffs, but did not disclose how many recruiters the company still employs. In a statement, CEO Apoorva Mehta attributed the job cuts to the company’s plans to be less aggressive in hiring in 2016 than it was in 2015, when its staff tripled, from just under 100 employees to a little more than 300. “We’re continuing to hire for key roles in areas like engineering, data science and sales, but as we no longer need to maintain such an aggressive hiring pace, we’ve decided to reduce the size of our recruiting team to better align with our future goals,” the statement said. A person familiar with the move, who was not authorized to speak publicly, said the company likely should have employed fewer full-time recruiters and more contractors since it was unlikely that last year’s pace of hiring would continue indefinitely. Those affected by the cuts will be paid through the end of January, this person said. Instacart delivers groceries in 18 American cities from big chains like Whole Foods, Costco and Target and smaller grocers like Fairway and Zabar’s in New York City. Customers place orders through Instacart’s website or app, and the goods are whisked from local stores to customer doors, usually within an hour.