Instacart doubles its worth in five months, thanks to demand for grocery shopping services

 Grocery delivery app Instacart has more than doubled in value since last October, jumping to $39 billion from a previous estimate of $17.7 billion, CNN reported. Our plague year has clearly been a boon to the company, which is adding hundreds of thousands of contract workers to its ranks, thanks to the surging demand for grocery shopping services. That growth “reflects the strength of Instacart’s business,” a company executive told CNN. It might also reflect Instacart’s successful attempts to suppress labor costs at the expense of worker well-being. Last fall, the company threw its muscle behind a California campaign to keep workers categorized as independent contractors, rather than employees eligible for minimum wage and benefits like paid sick leave. In January, it fired all 10 of its unionized employees (yes, only 10, the ones who started its first union). That’s on top of emerging research that has called the company’s algorithm particularly “despotic” for the amount of control it exercises over workers. But yay, money!

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