Grocery delivery giant Instacart has filed with a confidential notice with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the first legal step toward an initial public offering.
The statement from the company was terse:
Instacart today announced that it has confidentially submitted a draft registration statement on Form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The registration statement is expected to become effective after the SEC completes its review process, subject to market and other conditions.
At this stage, there’s not a lot of information, and without a public S-1 document (the initial filing document that investors and the SEC use to examine a private company looking to go public) there aren’t a lot of numbers to pour over either. The important thing to note is that the company is on track to go public. When, how, how much and what kind of business is Instacart doing all remains largely hidden.
Instacart recently slashed its valuation from $39 billion to $24 billion, a move the company said was focused on rewarding employees first and foremost. Lowering the valuation would mean employees who get equity in the company as part of their compensation package will get more shares at this more realistic price.
“Our teams will benefit from these changes because they will now receive significantly more restricted stock units (RSUs) for the same dollar-value equity grant than they would have under the previous valuation,” said a company spokesperson.
If an Instacart employee gets get a hypothetical 10 shares at the $40 billion price, it has little room to grow and plenty of potential downside. With the lower valuation, they’ll get a hypothetical 20 shares at the $24 billion price and ample room to grow. That works well in an IPO, when ideally the share price would go up, rewarding equity-holding employees.
There will certainly be more news about an Instacart IPO when the S-1 is made public. For now, however, the only thing that’s clear is CEO Fidji Simo, who joined the company one year and five months ago, is on a mission to take the company public.