Few supermarket chains in New England get the sort of devotion enjoyed by Market Basket. And while the low-price grocer has never been big on tech — it doesn’t even maintain a website of its own — a startup called Instacart is now giving Market Basket groupies an Internet-age way to shop there.
Consumers in Boston, Cambridge, Somerville, and surrounding communities can now get groceries delivered to their home from the Somerville Market Basket within an hour or two, after picking out items online. The service adds a delivery fee, which might be less of an issue when you’re paying Market Basket prices.
Instacart now delivers from four grocers in the Boston area, the others being Shaw’s, Whole Foods, and Costco (Stop & Shop “could be one down the road,” an Instacart exec told me).
Instacart also said Wednesday that it’s expanded its service to Watertown. Other areas covered include Brookline, Medford, and Chestnut Hill (most of the city of Boston is in the service area).
Groceries are delivered by Instacart’s part-time “personal shoppers,” of which there are more than 40 in the Boston area.
Based in San Francisco, Instacart has a two-person office in Cambridge’s Central Square. The company is backed by $8.5 million in funding led by Sequoia Capital, a Silicon Valley firm made famous most recently for being the sole VC backer of WhatsApp.
Kyle Alspach has worked in journalism in Massachusetts since 2005 and was one of the original staff writers at BetaBoston.
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