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Gupta spent four years at the company before leaving to become a partner at Sequoia Capital in 2019. Image Credit: AP

New York: Instacart named former chief financial and operating officer Ravi Gupta to its board of directors Friday, formalizing a move after the grocery technology company went public earlier this week.

“There are new growth areas - Connected Stores, Instacart Health, AI - entire plethora of ways that the company’s going to innovate,” Gupta said in an interview ahead of the announcement. “Just being able to be around for that and provide opinions and weigh in on that is such a gift.”

Gupta spent four years at the company before leaving to become a partner at Sequoia Capital in 2019. Sequoia is the largest institutional shareholder of Instacart, with 18.5 per cent of the company, based on the company’s filings.

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Instacart, which is incorporated as Maplebear, rose as much as 43 per cent in its trading debut Tuesday before falling throughout the week in a sign of possible investor wariness about the company’s business model and a broader market selloff. It ended trading Thursday at $30.65, 2.2 per cent above its listing price of $30.

Gupta was listed as a director nominee in the firm’s prospectus. He served as CFO between 2015 and 2019, and additionally served as COO from 2016 until his departure. During his time at Instacart, the company struck delivery partnerships with grocery retailers including Albertsons, Kroger, ALDI and Publix.

The partnerships positioned Instacart to compete against rivals like DoorDash and, which acquired Whole Foods Market in 2017 and added a new powerful player to grocery delivery. The supermarket deals also helped position the company for rocketed growth during the pandemic, when locked-down consumers relied on it to get essential food items.

At Sequoia, Gupta focuses on consumer, mobile, internet and fintech investments, and is a director at restaurant tech firm Acelerate and weight-loss app Noom, according to the firm’s website. Before joining Instacart, he spent a decade at KKR & Co. as a senior leader building its infrastructure investing platform.