Instacart taps Goldman Sachs banker as CFO ahead of expected 2021 IPO

Ahead of its anticipated 2021 IPO, Instacart said Thursday it has named Goldman Sachs’ lead internet banker as its next chief financial officer. 

Nick Giovanni, currently head of Goldman Sachs’ technology, media and telecom group, will join Instacart on Jan. 27, succeeding Sagar Sanghvi, who has been the start-up’s CFO for the last five years. 

Instacart has become one of the most valuable private companies in the U.S over the last year. A fundraising round in 2020 more than doubled its valuation from the beginning of the year to $17.7 billion. It’s now one of the most anticipated initial public offerings of 2021, following high-profile tech unicorn IPOs for Airbnb and DoorDash in 2020. Goldman Sachs is reported to lead the IPO and could value the grocery delivery app at around $30 billion.

Giovanni served as a lead advisor on some of the hottest tech deals over the last few years including IPOs for Airbnb and Doordash, Slack’s direct listing and Dragoneer’s SPAC. 

Giovanni has served as an advisor to Instacart since 2015 in his role at Goldman, leading several funding rounds and key transactions.

He’s the latest Goldman Sachs executive to depart the bank for a senior position at a client. Anthony Noto was a co-head of TMT investment banking at Goldman before he joined Twitter as CFO in 2014. Twitter promoted Noto to COO and hired his former Goldman colleague Ned Segal as the new CFO in 2017. Noto left Twitter early 2018 to become CEO of fintech start-up SoFi.

Other tech companies have tapped Wall Street veterans as CFOs. Alphabet hired Ruth Porat in 2015, a former Morgan Stanley CFO. Jack Dorsey tapped Sarah Friar, a Goldman Sachs managing director, for CFO at Square before she left to become CEO at social media startup Nextdoor. And ahead of its recent IPO, Doordash hired Prabir Adarkar as CFO, a former vice president in Goldman’s TMT investment banking group.

Goldman Sachs partners Sam Britton and Matt Gibson will succeed Giovanni as co-heads of the bank’s global TMT group.

In an interview with CNBC, Instacart CEO Apoorva Mehta said he’s excited to welcome Giovanni to the team. 

“The size and scale we are reaching requires us to have an excellent group of people around the table,” he said.

Instacart has seen demand for grocery delivery surge amid the coronavirus pandemic. “We saw five years of growth in five weeks,” Mehta added. “Our business is still growing with transaction volume up 300% year over year in December.”

Instacart has been building a deep bench over the last few years, largely focused on the company’s expansion into enterprise and advertising.

Instacart’s chief revenue officer, Seth Dallaire, joined in 2019 from Amazon, where he led the global ad sales business. Likewise, Instacart’s chief technical officer, Mark Schaaf led mobile display ads engineering at Google and was CTO at Thumbtack before joining the company.

Mehta said that the hiring spree will continue into 2021, as they expect to grow head count by 50% across the company over the next six months.

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