Elliot Shmukler, who joined Instacart in 2016 to lead product, is leaving the company to pursue early-stage investments, TechCrunch has learned — and confirmed with the grocery delivery service.
Shmukler was brought on as the company’s VP of product, but he’d recently transitioned into a new role, chief growth officer, before announcing his departure to staff.
A spokesperson from Instacart told TechCrunch that Shmukler confirmed his plans a month ago and outlined his second act as a private investor. Instacart did not say whether Shmukler was joining an investment firm in an official capacity or if he planned to make angel investments.
Shmukler is still with the company today and will stick around to help with the transition. Instacart did not provide an official timeline of his departure. Moving forward, Shmukler’s employees will report to the company’s chief product officer David Hahn, who joined in May after serving as the VP of product at LinkedIn.
At Instacart, Shmukler led the product management, design, marketing and catalog management teams. According to his LinkedIn profile, he helped expand the company’s subscription delivery program, called Instagram Express. He helped transform Instacart’s geographic expansion strategy, which resulted in the company making its service available to 70 percent of U.S. families as of August. And he spearheaded several of the brand’s key grocery partnerships, including with Kroger, Albertsons and ALBI.
Shmukler joined Instacart after three and a half years at Wealthfront, a financial planning startup where he was VP of product and growth. Before that, he held senior product roles at LinkedIn and eBay.
Led by founder and CEO Apoorva Mehta, Instacart is backed by Sequoia, Kleiner Perkins, Andreessen Horowitz and others. Having raised $350 million at a $4.3 billion valuation this year alone, an initial public offering is probably not in the cards just yet. For now, the company has to prepare for the long and hard battle ahead with the seemingly unstoppable duo that is Amazon and Whole Foods.