Home » Technology » Winners and losers in Amazon’s $13.7B purchase of Whole Food…


Amazon is taking a huge bite out of the fresh food business with its bid for Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion. But even though this is a deal between two companies, it’s not just the two of them being touched by it.

The intersection between the food and tech industries has been playing out for years now, sprouting dozens of food startups; efforts from large tech companies to move into food; and strategies from large food players tapping tech to make sure they don’t miss out on the next wave of consumers and how they are choosing to shop. Here’s a look at how some of the biggest and most prominent of these, plus a few others, might be impacted by today’s news:

Instacart

This startup, founded at Y Combinator in 2012, blazed a trail in the US at a time when very few grocery stories offered delivery, by providing a way to shop through an app and get everything brought to your door. It’s positioned itself as an Amazon competitor, the business is making good returns in its biggest markets, and investors believe in Instacart: the startup has raised nearly $675 million and is now valued at $3.4 billion.

Now here is the key: one of its investors and grocery store partners is none other than Whole Foods.

In other words, the company that was Instacart’s prime competition will become a shareholder should the Whole Foods acquisition close. The question, then, will be how Amazon chooses to handle this: it could buy the company outright and knock it out as competition. Or it could hold on to its stake as a financial investment, while at the same time transferring all of Whole Foods’ delivery business to… Amazon Prime.

That may not happen so quickly. There are four years left on the Whole Foods distribution partnership, noting that a source said Amazon’s purchase would not affect that arrangement.

What this potentially does is put Instacart in the position of becoming an acquisition target itself. Possible buyers: those who are would-be Amazon…

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