With Caper Acquistion, YOU Are Now Instacart's Unpaid Gig Worker

As always, it all comes back to data and ads (especially since Instacart's new CEO is former Facebook).

Grocery delivery service Instacart announced today that it has acquired cashierless checkout startup Caper for $350 million in cash and stock. Not a bad return for a company that only raised $13 million.

Caper’s mainly known for making smart shopping carts that enable cashierless checkout. Caper’s smart carts have cameras, weight sensors and a big touchscreen that automatically keep track of what shoppers put in. Customers can then skip the checkout line, paying via the cart as they exit the store.

Caper also makes a countertop cashierless checkout system for convenience stores, but when it comes to the Instacart acquisition, we’re more interested in the carts. Why? Because now when you use a Caper smart cart — you become an unpaid gig worker for Instacart. (Congratulations!)

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