Instacart announces layoffs and executive departures, but outlook tops estimates

Maplebear Inc. — the company better known as the grocery-delivery platform Instacart — said Tuesday that it was laying off around 250 people, or around 7% of its staff, as it tries to streamline its ranks and turn toward bigger, tech-driven ambitions.

Along with the layoffs, Instacart

said Chief Operating Officer Asha Sharma notified the company of her plans to resign effective March 1. Chief Technology Officer Varouj Chitilian and Chief Architect JJ Zhuang are also departing. Management said they were are looking for a new chief technology officer, but they don’t expect to fill the other two roles.

Chief Executive Fidji Simo, in Instacart’s fourth-quarter letter to shareholders, said the company was positioning itself “to take on our most ambitious bets while streamlining how we operate.” During the call, she said the executive departures would help the company streamline its management.

That announcement came as the company, which partners with grocery stores and other retailers to arrange deliveries to customers, forecast better-than-expected demand for its first quarter, as it adds more grocers onto its platform and as shoppers hold their ground against inflation.

The company forecast first-quarter gross transaction value — a gauge of the total value of the products customers buy — of $8 billion to $8.2 billion, above FactSet forecasts for $7.91 billion.

For its fourth quarter, sales grew 6% to $803 million, below FactSet estimates for $805 million. The company earned 44 cents a share, compared with FactSet estimates for a 7 cent per-share loss. Gross transaction value rose 7% to $7.89 billion, just above estimates for $7.8 billion.

Shares fell 3.1% after hours.

The company has partnered with tech companies like Alphabet Inc.’s


Google, streaming TV platform Roku Inc.

and the ad-service company Trade Desk Inc.

to help advertisers target consumers across social media and TV. Instacart is also working on building an AI-powered “smart cart.”

During the company’s earnings call on Tuesday, management said they had seen inflation moderate, but order sizes had largely stayed the same.

Shares of Instacart are down 17.3% since its public debut in September.

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