Instacart Acquires Coupon & Voice-Shopping Startup Unata
by Olivia Zaleski, Bloomberg
Posted: 2018-01-16 16:00:11 EST

Instacart Inc. said it agreed to acquire Toronto-based startup Unata Inc., giving the grocery-delivery company new kinds of e-commerce tools and a path to expand in Canada.

The deal totals about $65 million, according to two people familiar with the matter, and signals where Instacart is headed in its battle with Amazon.com Inc. Unata specializes in making and tracking digital coupons and circulars. The company is also developing a voice-activated tool to allow customers to purchase goods online from midsize retailers using devices like Google Home.
 
Amazon has been encouraging customers to order groceries through Alexa, the assistant that powers its popular Echo speakers and a growing list of electronics from other manufacturers. Last year, Amazon made a massive bet on the grocery business with the $13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods. That deal created an awkward dynamic for Instacart, which had considered Whole Foods a premier partner and investor. Following the announcement, Instacart Chief Executive Officer Apoorva Mehta said in a statement that Amazon had “just declared war on every supermarket and corner store in America.”

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