The IPO Buzz: Instacart Joins the Unicorns’ IPO Parade

Instacart finally gave the Street what it wanted. The San Francisco-based online grocery app’s parent, Maplebear Inc., filed Instacart’s long-awaited S-1 on Friday (Aug. 25, 2023) for an IPO that some IPO pros say could raise up to $1 billion. Instacart’s IPO filing had been on Wall Street’s watch list for at least the past two years.

Friday’s filing puts Instacart (CART proposed) among a trio of unicorns – led by Softbank’s Arm Holdings Ltd. (ARM proposed) filing on Monday (Aug. 21, 2023) and Klaviyo, Inc.’s (KVYO proposed) filing on Friday – whose IPOs are expected to give the IPO market a robustly healthy September and fall 2023. (A unicorn is a privately held company whose valuation or market cap is at least $1 billion.)

The Wall Street pros estimate that Arm, Klaviyo and Instacart will raise at least $8 billion – and possibly more – in their IPOs. Arm is expected to start its road show after Labor Day with pricing likely in the second week of September, according to Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal. Klaviyo and Instacart are also expected to price their IPOs in September.

Instacart’s IPO is a NASDAQ listing.

Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan are leading the joint book-runners’ team for Instacart’s IPO. The joint book-runners’ lineup includes BofA Securities, Barclays and Citigroup. Another seven investment banks are in the managers’ group: Baird, JMP Securities, LionTree, Oppenheimer & Co., Piper Sandler, SoFi and Stifel.

The co-managers’ team for Instacart’s IPO consists of seven banks: Blaylock Van, Drexel Hamilton, Loop Capital Markets, R.Seelaus & Co., Ramirez & Co., Stern and Tigress Financial Partners.

Cornerstone investors, including Norges Bank Investment Management and VC giant Sequoia Capital, are in for an aggregate amount of up to $400 million of stock in Instacart’s IPO, according to the prospectus. That’s about 40 percent of the IPO, according to Wall Street’s estimates that Instacart is likely to raise about $1 billion. Instacart did not disclose terms for its IPO in its S-1 filing dated Aug. 25, 2023.

Big Brand

Instacart is likely to have strong appeal for IPO investors due to its name brand and its profitability.

For the 12 months that ended June 30, 2023, Instacart reported net income of $596.0 million on revenue of $2.9 billion, according to the prospectus.

The company, founded in 2012, has 3,486 employees. Instacart serves more than 1,400 national, regional and local retail partners that represent more than 85 percent of the U.S. grocery business, the prospectus says.

Look Both Ways

It’s a good time to look ahead and look back.

The IPO pipeline attracted four more sizable deals last week: Mission Control Acquisition (MISNU proposed), $100 million, a SPAC focused on aviation and defense services with EarlyBirdCapital and Exos Securities as joint book-runners; Neumora Therapeutics (NMRA proposed), $250 million, a clinical biotech focused on brain disease, with J.P. Morgan running the books; RayzeBio (RYZB proposed), $100 million, a clinical biotech developing radiopharmaceutical therapies for cancer, with J.P. Morgan leading the joint book-runners, and VNG Ltd. (VNG proposed), $100 million, a Vietnamese gaming and media platform, with Citi running the books.

Only one deal – the NASDAQ uplisting of Foremost Lithium Resource & Technology Ltd. (FMST and FMSTW) –  was priced last week. This was a $4 million unit offering of stock and warrants. ThinkEquity was the sole book-runner.

This week’s IPO Calendar shows six deals, including many carry-overs, with estimated proceeds of $120.4 million.

Stay tuned.

(For more information about these companies, please check the IPO Calendar and the individual IPO Profiles found on’s website.)

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Disclosure: Nobody on the staff has a position in any stocks mentioned above, nor do they trade or invest in IPOs. The staff does not issue advice, recommendations or opinions.

Disclaimer: A SCOOP Rating (Wall Street Consensus of Opening-day Premiums) is a general consensus taken, at press time, from Wall Street and investment professionals concerning how well an IPO might perform when it starts trading. The SCOOP Rating does not reflect the opinions of anyone associated with The SCOOP ratings should not be taken as investment advice. The rating merely reflects the opinion of the professionals at the time of publication and is subject to last-minute changes due to market conditions, changes in a specific offering and other factors, such as changes in the proposed offering terms and the shifting of investor interest in the IPO. The information offered is taken from sources we believe to be reliable, but we cannot guarantee the accuracy.