September 19, 2023
As Instacart IPOs today, founder Apoorva Mehta is about to become a billionaire. But, perhaps in keeping with other tight-lipped Indian-origin CEOs Sundar Pichai and Satya Nadella, Mehta has revealed very little about himself to the public.
Though most in Silicon Valley know who Mehta is, he is less of a household name than the company he created — most couldn’t tell you Instacart has an Indian founder. That might change soon enough. Instacart will start trading on Nasdaq today with shares priced at $30, at about a $10 billion valuation. Mehta will walk away with a 10% stake in the company.
Mehta isn’t the only South Asian running the company, which has many South Asian executives — such as the COO and former CFO — and shoppers, who perform the labor of picking up groceries for customers. Yes, Mehta will be rich and make his early investors rich. But his journey is also curious: he refused to go public in 2021, when the IPO market was hotter, forgoing perhaps billions more. He stepped down as CEO before the IPO. And he’s about to step down as chair of the board. Who is Mehta, and why don’t we know more about him?