Not to mention the shady fees. The last time I used instacart, there was a box checked called “service fee”, I clicked on it to see what it was and it said “this $10 charge is optional and helps us keep running instacart”. Meanwhile the tip for your driver box is not checked. I bet a large number of people assume the service fee is the tip, and leave tip blank. Blatant tip stealing.
Plus they mark up everything you buy, and obfuscate this so it’s impossible to really know how much extra instacart is skimming off the top.
Amazing prime now on the other hand has never messed up an order. They always deliver on time. The prices are actually cheaper in some cases than in store.
I can’t wait for instacart to go out of business.
1. The time slot changes as soon as you click checkout, what I mean is while browsing I'll always see "Available Within 1 hour" then when it actually is time to checkout that option is gone. It happens virtually every time and I've never seen it happen the other way around or happen while shopping and refreshing or going back and forth between shopping and checking out. This leads me to believe it's an intended trick they are using to get people to shop even if the time they want isn't available.
2. They don't provide drivers with any sort of cart to actually deliver the groceries with. One delivery driver had to lug water bottles and other heavy items from down the street where he could find parking into my building and up to my apartment. Amazon Fresh gives their drivers a handcart to help with deliveries.
3. After several orders of mine were never delivered and Instacart offering a $5 credit (after wasting hours of my time waiting for their large delivery window) I had a driver tell me that drivers get to keep orders that are not delivered and sometimes they pick really good orders and say they couldn't be delivered.
I still use them because it's convenient but wish they would treat their users with more integrity and also manage their delivery drivers better by providing supporting tools like a cart or keeping tabs on drivers that may be taking orders for themselves.
While I was pregnant and stuck at home, I received a bunch of my roommate's 1-2x weekly Instacart deliveries. Without fail the majority of Instacart drivers tried to refuse to go up our one flight of stairs with 1-2 grocery bags. One cursed me out while bringing the bags upstairs. Some left the bags next to the gate. Mostly only women would bring it up without complaining, "you're sooo biiig giiirl go put your feet up!" And then fuck me, we misunderstood the $$$ Instacart fee as a tip so the people doing their jobs didn't get tipped :(
This is omitting the stupid shopping mistakes like 1 leek instead of 1 pound of leeks, and the amazing chat session I had with one shopper that asked me where to find something I'm buying for the first time, at a store I've never been to.
I have never had this problem with Good Eggs, never had this problem with Prime Now, only had it once or twice with Postmates and Caviar. Something's not being incentivized correctly over at Instacart.
The whole model of the shopper walking the isles to pick the products is wrong. It's inefficient and a recipe for disappointment, because what you see on their web page is just a guess at what the store has and the shopper can find.
I too have used Instacart probably 10 times, but never will again. It is also all but guaranteed that Whole Foods will drop Instancart like a hot potato for their own in-house service, so the valuation is completely wrong in my opinion.
Since Instacart remembers these choices across orders, I've found this useful for making sure I get what I need.
They really really need real to have real time inventory for users like me. The shopper model worked when they were just starting off because it allowed them to launch in tons of cities without even the groceries approving but now they need to move to a model where they get the grocery store's inventory; the current method is just plain inefficient.
Amazon WF same day delivery would be picked from WF stores by the people who work in those stores and are trained in those stores, not Joe Random Gig Worker who does not know how swiss chard is different from the rainbow chard, and AMF would do it for no markup to WF price.
Vertical integration in the last mile grocery business would crush anyone who is not vertically integrated. The only way for non vertically-intergrated Instacart to complete is to pivot into SaaS business selling its platform to the independent store operators for something like $1 per order but there's just no way $1 per order software platform would command that valuation.
even if we did not provide value to you (which i apologize for -- it is a priority of ours to improve the replacement experience in particular as it is very frustrating to customers), i am not sure why that implies that we do not provide a valuable service for others and why you would wish ill on us.
perhaps it is because you think of us as an overall unscrupulous company ("shady fees", "mark up everything you buy"), which i would contest -- we strive for transparency when possible (see  for screenshots around how we describe the pricing of our service). but the larger point remains -- why do you think that there can only be one victor here, and that is has to be amazon? (or "amazing" as you put it).
right now, amazon is very explicitly coming for the grocery industry -- an $800+ billion industry that is almost 100% offline -- and we are attempting to be one of the (hopefully many) independent companies that enables it online. grocery companies have built amazing fulfillment pipelines and relationships with both farms & customers that we are building a front-end and logistics system for.
anyways, i do not speak for instacart as a company, just for myself as an employee who usually enjoys HN.
I do think the service creates value. But I still hope that, at the very least, it soon faces enough competition that it’s at least forced to be fully transparent about the cost of its service. I want to see one number - the difference between what an order of groceries costs me on Instacart all-in, and what it would cost me to go to the grocery store and purchase the same items myself. As long as I can’t trivially find or calculate that number, I won’t use Instacart again.
and again, we aren't the ones doing the markup -- those are coming from the retailer directly, who may (or may not) mark up prices, which is their prerogative. we put all of our costs in the checkout screen transparently.
So you claim, but since you refuse to list what the IC markup is then it's impossible for us to tell. You're essentially using the retailer markup as an excuse to hide instances of when you do it yourself.
Thus the lack of transparency.
In any given transaction, I have NO idea what the actual % that was added by IC. I do not have this problem with Amazon Prime.
and, in the one case where we do not have a signed relationship with the retailer, we do explicitly note the percentage.
we aren't hiding anything. and, you have that precise problem with amazon prime -- what markup are they charging?
I find that hard to believe. That's the retailer markup? So you're just relying on the 0.01% (I know, arbitrary) where you do, and the opt-out $10 Service Charge to make money?
> "A mark-up is added to item prices at this retailer to cover the cost of the Instacart service. Prices are based on data collected in store and are subject to delays and errors."
There is no good, ethical reason why a delivery service should show me an item price that's different from what's in the store. It's completely ethical if the company wants to say, "The service fee for this store is X% (as a percent of item prices)", or "This store has an additional $X service fee". That is honest and reasonable. I expect a delivery service to quote me the same item price as the retailer quotes in its store.
The reason I have this preference is because of a delivery service's value proposition: shopping in my store, on my behalf. I have access to the same products and can buy them directly. So I want to directly consider the service's value proposition, by considering the service fee I'll need to pay versus buying things myself. (EDIT: Simplify)
instacart is not marking anything up.
edit: it seems clear that we can do better in terms of communicating this, so i've passed that feedback on to the team.
consider changing the messaging there? until now, i was under the impression that the markups were just another way for y'all to make some money off of me.
Intuitively it seems like the store should be more incentivized to offer lower prices to Instacart since they provide a steady stream of business, reliable payment, etc.
The paragraph reads like IC is responsible for the increase, not the retailer itself.
As for the source of the markups, that really doesn’t matter to me. I care about the total difference in cost between using Instacart and going to the grocery store myself, irrespective of who that additional money goes to.
i was mainly noting the source for markups as we cannot tell you that delta -- it's up to the stores to tell us what they want to charge online. we do want to be as transparent as possible! ("possible" being the operative word here)
Transparency to me, would mean I place order and know how much it will cost, instacart mark up, service fees and if a tip is included.
additionally, for virtually all stores on instacart.com now, we are simply passing on the pricing that the retailer has given us (which may or not be marked up from their internal prices -- but we do not control)
edit: to be crystal clear, that means that you are getting exactly what you are asking for -- the prices are simply what the retailer sets (which may be marked up from in-store -- that's their prerogative), and then we show our fees on top of that on checkout. we aren't "hiding" anything, and it's your decision whether the fees are worth your time.
IC is responsible for signing the contracts they have with retailers, IC is also the most visible partner for the end-user. As you can see from this thread, attempts to kick the blame down(up?) the supply chain will only fall on deaf ears.
I know Uber Eats bans restaurants from marking up orders placed through them. You can look at your phone and decide exactly how much extra the delivery costs and then decide if it's worth it to not have to go pick up the food yourself. I've never used instacart but if you're telling me that the price of the service is a secret from me I have a problem would that and would not use it. I don't want to pay $50 to have someone pick up my groceries. But I'd gladly pay $10 on certain days. But I have to know beforehand. I'm not going to sit around and hope Instacart doesn't screw me over today.
If you can get a discount directly from the store, great! You are providing value to them.
1) Receiving the exact items I ordered.
2) The time it takes to show up at my door.
3) The total price beyond what it would cost me in the store.
I know what I pay at the store, I know the value of my time, and I know the cost of driving my car. All I need from Instacart is the total cost for the service presented as simply as possible.
Congrats on the raise and good luck with everything.
I understand some of the frustrations about replacements. Originally the shoppers were pretty good about calling. Recently the app was updated for 1-1 chat and interactive replacement choices. However, it seems the shoppers are to busy to use the feature... I've had a few notifications for replacements, only to click on it and find the shopper has already checked out.
Personally, I accept that limitation of the platform and make sure I choice "no replacement" if there's any chance I'll be disappointed.
Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the whole concept of online ordering but the IC UI forces users into choices that benefit IC by default.
I’m a “full-service shopper” in a zone without any in-store teams, meaning that I do the shopping and the delivering. Since I’ve started, I have only seen the order commissions steadily deteriorate to the point that they are now about half of what they used to be a year ago.
I can assure you and anyone else reading that the so-called service fee is not going to any of us in the field. And many customers have stopped tipping assuming that the service fee is a tip.
If "service fee" was renamed "instacart fee", people would no longer assume it is the driver's tip. But instacart would never do that, would they?
There's no reason why grocery store employees cannot fill orders - in fact grocery stores that do their own deliveries do exactly that. What those grocery stores lack is a platform to synchronize active inventory in a store and what is displayed which is exactly what Amazon brings to Whole Foods in addition to "intelligent" order routing:
There are three whole foods in Manhattan that are convenient to downtown - however, during the rush our one needs to be an idiot to send an order to the one on 7th Ave rather than the one in Tribeca, which is definitely not the case during the late afternoon.
What really amazes me is that both executives and people who work for companies like Instacart simply stomp their feet and say "But we are different! Why do you hate us?!" rather than address deficiency of the business model. Want to have a shot at competing with AmazonWF? Become a sub of Ahold, Kroger, Albertsons or SuperValu. Otherwise you die.
P.S. I dislike Amazon. I do, however, have to admit that buying WF was a brilliant move.
I guess a more accurate statement would be “now that I’ve discovered amazon prime now is available in my area, I’m excited for the competition between these services to offer me a better quality product at a better price”.
Sorry if I offended. Cheers.
Historically, online businesses have 1/2 winners that "take all". That's assuming the winners could build a warehouse near each city. seems possible.
So the question who will be the one besides Amazon?
From one point of view. Walmart will likely win in the low-cost grocery pickup business. And on top of that they will do deliveries. The way Walmart will choose that delivery is: is it cheaper than delivery costs for Walmart(for chilled deliveries)? and can it scale ? . Does instacart fit ? it seems not.
So it's hard to see how instacart wins.
i am not entirely clear how you arrived at "Does instacart fit ? it seems not.", so it would be good to understand that. we have spent 5 years with hundreds of engineers building a fulfillment/logistics network just for groceries that any grocer can just leverage off the shelf.
Walmart already has grocery warehouses with their stores, so bolting on pickup/delivery to those makes sense. I don't know how much pickup/delivery could potentially negate the need for the store, but I'd assume the pickup/delivery load of a store has huge room for growth before you start questioning why the store needs to be open to the public.
I haven't used their grocery delivery service but their pickup service is well-executed and convenient, in my experience, so I'm assuming they can figure out how to be competent in delivery as well.
For someone in the position of Walmart, and with the many startups that doing delivery, it seems realistic.
As for why do i think Amazon will win the high end? really, the biggest reason is that it's Amazon. But yes, that's not a good enough reason, but still, they win an awful lot.
But maybe there's a chance for instacart to win the higher end, especially by offering the largest variety any merchant can offer.
I'm OK with missing items, I'll just get a refund and deal with it. It's still far far better than dealing with a physical grocery store.
I'm sure there are millions of others like me.
I prefer protecting my time whenever I can (read: I'm lazy) and I've personally found instacart to be an invaluable service. Whether it's a late night wine delivery from BevMo, bulk shopping from Costco (I don't have a membership and almost never remember to bring bags with me to their store), or just the weekly stuff from Safeway/Wholefoods, it's really been a godsend from the POV of saving time that I can repurpose for anything else.
I don't know about the millions comment, but if you're willing to pay a premium for the convenience then it's certainly worth it. I certainly feel that way.
Especially given that wholefoods is now going to deliver direct which was one of the primary uses of instacart (delivery from premium stores), demonstrates that their utility is fading.
Curious. Why do you say that? I use Instacart as a timesaver, or as a way to accomplish what I can't due to other obligations.
I have never used Instacart but it boggles my mind that such an option would exist. It's the sort of thing I might expect to be asked entering a museum or a non-profit community health clinic but why on earth would anyone feel inclined to pay extra to fund a for profit private company beyond any required charges?
I do agree about the fees, which I always unchecked and I always tipped the driver in cash despite Instacart urging me not to. In my case the driver was also the shopper on every delivery, but I understand that's not how it always works and tipping cash is a bad idea when they're different people.
Not sure if it’s possible in prime now (could not find it) but I like the option in Instacart to describe an item you need which is not present in their directory, it saved me lots of times when something is not listed on prime now and I can just request it using Instacart, worked perfectly for me every time
To be fair, Amazon Prime also does this.
I occasionally use Instacart just to see if its improved. But I hardly trust them to get everything I want, and I'm surprised when an order goes without a hitch. Probably not the surprise they are looking for when trying to "surprise and delight".
The fee structure is weird, agreed.
i used it a few months ago, and there was no checkbox (it was mandatory)
>Blatant tip stealing.
>Plus they mark up everything you buy, and obfuscate this
Do you ask Whole Foods what they pay for bananas? Do you care what the markup is at Walmart? Who cares how much InstaCart is charging.
If you're pinching pennies, InstaCart isn't a service for you.
But I just don't see any opportunity for Instacart to get out of the middleman role. Maybe they can make a lot of money helping grocery conglomerates try to spend their way out of a technology deficit vis-a-vis Amazon. But if that were true they would they need hundreds of millions of VC dollars?
My two main concerns:
1) Amazon and Whole Foods: Are they not a concern?
2) Economic downturn: Will people still order groceries at a premium?
So its not a bet, its a holdover cash infusion until the IPO, and is not exactly risky given how mature and well-capitalized the company is at this point.
The only real bet is that they'll be able to IPO before a market downturn, which seems pretty safe, I have yet to see anyone put forth and truly plausible triggers for another large global recession - there are no debt and enforcement chains I can see that would drag the system under again. But I'm not a financial expert, just an armchair economist, and if I knew what would trigger the next recession I wouldn't be posting here ;)
that's not an indication of anything. has there been anyone who were able to predict the last few recessions with reasonable accuracy?
there are tons of gloom and doom traders and economists (usually trying to sell "safe" or alternative assets) but i have yet to read any clear, compelling cases laying out what and when to buy when the first domino falls that will set off the next recession. i'd be interested to read anything you've found noteworthy
During a recession/large market correction, you're looking to hold all cash and just buy stocks cheap after they drop all the way to their lowest point (think Ford or AIG in 2008).
The problem with these strategies is that market events usually occur over sufficiently long time frames to obscure their size and direction. Looking back at 2007/2008, Lehman was the obvious "moment" but the market and economy didn't nose-dive instantly to their nadir on the collapse of Lehman Bros. It feels like there was a "moment", but it was only obvious in hindsight.
For example leading up to the 2007 crash the pros that saw weakness in the mortgage market created and bought "credit default swaps" allowing them to bet against mortgage-based securities
We would observe a productivity increase through wage growth, as would be expected in a high employment environment (high demand for labor, low supply sets price of labor [wages] high) but I don't see anything from my viewpoint within the embedded and IoT industry that will meaningfully increase productivity in the near future. So more of the same we are experiencing now
Unless you see some new tech that will improve productivity, in which case please do share!
Keeping an eye on the US inflation report coming out this Wednesday should provide more guidance on what the Fed may do - if it's higher than expected I think the Fed will probably raise rates by another .25%.
Here's one of my favorite practicing economists giving a bit more insight into the Fed and its interest rate strategy:
I think they are a concern, not necessarily to Instacart but to all of the grocery chains that need to compete with Amazon/WF. Since Instacart already has the tech/infra/domain knowledge to build this service out, Instacart's value goes shooting up.
My wife and I have found that online ordering saves us money. Delivery from one of the local stores (Save-on-foods) costs $8-15. Instead of grabbing random items off the shelves because we're hungry or the store put up an enticing display of sugary cereal, we plan out our meals for the week and only buy what we need. That easily offsets the cost of delivery, while also giving us extra leisure time and saving on gas/vehicle wear & tear.
I'm guessing this raised happened because of Amazon/Whole Foods 
from an investment point of view, its a bit similar to Lyft vs Uber ... pretty much the exact same business, but there is always room to eat market share.
I'm not sure about the data and large trends for this, but here's my anecdote: Right now Instacart is the cheapest way for me to get groceries. Someone with a gun took my driver's license from me a few months ago, my bike was dismantled by thiefs, and I don't live within walking distance of a grocery store.
Lyft/Uber there and back is $20. Bus there and back is $6 (but with added time and stress). Instacart is $5-6.
Yes, eventually, it will be easier for me to bike there or to drive there, but not right now. Right now the cheapest way for me to get a large grocery trip done is Instacart.
So maybe they could survive. Not everyone is in my position, but someone who works two jobs, doesn't have a car and lives far from the store...that could describe a lot of people in the near future.
Unless this person was a police officer, and you're glossing over a lot of the story, you can obtain a new one at your local DMV and resume operation of motor vehicles...
No, my driver's license was from another country. It would have required either thousands of dollars to replace or re-taking the test in the US. Neither options has been something I can do just yet. I'll take the US test soon.
If you're going to victim-shame and tell me, <<oh you just nearly got shot, what's the big deal, just hop on down to the DMV! It's your fault you can't drive a car right now>> that's not exactly such as simple thing to do and would be seriously rude.
I'm currently 25 minutes walking distance from a grocery store (not counting the small convenience stores), I got used to just walking to it and buying a limited amount, enough for about a week. Driving is faster, but then I buy more, eat more and the rest goes bad...
But I am not so sure this will work out. Instacart builds some of their fees into item prices. If you're shopping at Whole Foods you're already signaling some price insensitivity, and you likely won't notice a few nickels added to these already premium items.
However if you shop at somewhere like Safeway, this may not work. The price competition is way more intense and consumers are much more sensitive to the price of essentials.
Maybe the idea is that anyone who orders groceries from a hip mobile app like Instacart is someone who can afford the convenience premium? I am just not convinced that they can really ever recover from Amazon here. Plus these other chains may want to do business with Instacart today, but in the long term they'll probably invest in their own delivery services and cut out the middle man.
Instacart is a pretty legit business, but $4.2B is a lot for a middleman in an industry that is synonymous with low margins.
It doesn't have the convenience of delivery, plus you typically have to order a day in advance, but it seems like the benefits would be that a) the people doing the picking are employees of the store, b) you're unlikely to not have a deliverable order, and c) you're probably out anyways and can schedule around your pickup.
Maybe this is more valuable outside of bigger cities, but I see people using it all the time around here. I haven't used it myself quite yet.
The theory goes a little something like this -- people actually spend more money on themselves to cheer themselves up when life gets shittier. So folks, too depressed to cook, would go out and at least try to eat, drink, and be merry.
Now how this correlates to these dining services has yet to be determined.
And just as a somewhat tangential but related story to the phenomenon, British soldiers distributed lipstick tp the liberated but gravely ill women of the Bergen-Belsen concetration camp in WWII, it lifted their moral just enough in some cases to help save their lives.
Often times, going to McDonalds is your best option. The Government also subsidizes Big Food, so that factors. Getting 4 McDoubles for 4 dollars in 5 minutes driving through the drive thru next to your house so you can get back home to your kids and see them for the couple hours you have in between jobs versus spending 30 min to an hour buying a pound of ground beef, buns, cheese, lettuce, tomatos, the energy and utilities cost and the lost opportunity cost of the time spent cooking and cleaning when you could be working, it isn't hard to see why poor people choose the fast food.
So that barely registers compared to time and ingredients.
It's the standard option for those who fail to pay their bills on time here.
With a prepaid, you load up money and it turns off your gas/electrical once the prepaid amount is exhausted.
Water is exempt, no one can turn off the water at a residential address, no matter how long you haven't paid...
How much money can all these companies lose before finding themselves in a dead-end? (no positive cash-flow, no more investors willing to invest, no more local market first mover advantage).
People who deliver for these companies will do it for the ones that can give them more business and larger commissions.
People who order from these companies will do it from the ones with the largest selection and the lowest fees...
Only Uber can pull-off the economies of scale to arbitrate those two sides without running out of money.
VC is supposed to be risky.
The results is basically a hit and miss experience. My guess is they hope to get this inventory data direct from the stores one day, but who knows if they will.
If Uber could get more grocery delivery services and keep the onus of packing things on the stores vs delivery boys picking things, it will be more reliable.
- Their quality of workers have gone down. I don't know if they have just lowered the bar for who they hire, or if the workers are too focused on competing orders that they just don't care anymore. I'm not exactly sure.
For example, in the app there is a setting option you (as a user) can set to explicitly request a phone call me if there is any replacements to confirm them. In the past year, I don't think any workers have followed this setting. And I understand that is maybe because Instacart has added some of that functionality in app, but that doesn't really work all the time. I have also recently had more and more Instacart workers who will make the "replacement" requests in the last 2 seconds of shopping so you have no ability to actually "approve/deny" the things they pick. I believe they do this on purpose so they don't have to do as much work trying to communicate with their user they are shopping for. It probably shaves off time they have for completing other orders. So, by this "evil" tactic I've seen them start to use more and more, you can't actually control the replacements. You just get what they assumed you may want for the replacement. This is incredibly frustrating as a user to have happen to your order. Instacart has been good at refunding me for the bad replacements, but if they would have just called (like I marked in the app), we could have resolved the issue in store, and it would be all good. I don't understand why Instacart still has this setting if no workers are going to follow it anymore. They need to get this sorted out. Either informing their workers, or forcing app users to explicitly approve/deny in app before it closes that opportunity.
- Their up-sell fees have gotten outrageously greedy. It seems they are just rounding up to the highest potential possible and then charging that. They are transparent that some stores have higher prices, I understand that, but it's frustrating when certain items are way too up-priced. Meat being a perfect example. If you just want to get 1 ribeye steak, the app will say it will be $20, but then when you get the piece of meat it will still have the price label on it saying it was say $8. Instacart doesn't do any price adjustment to factor that and just charges $20, unless you contact their customer support and complain. On top of that, last time their customer support wouldn't even change it until I complained on Twitter. Then they finally took care of it.
- They used to give debit/credit card refunds for mistakes. Now they just give you a credit to your next order. I absolutely HATE this practice that companies sometimes do. It's so anti-consumer. You can't call it a refund if I'm forced to use your service again to actually be redeemed. That's a credit, not a refund. I don't get why they changed to this model, other than to speculate that their poor customer service has bit them in the butt so it's easier to give the user "monopoly" money to be forced to come back to use it, rather than just giving them a true refund. I'm not sure.
Those are just a few things that I've started to notice way more frequently. And I'll be 100% clear, this has all happened within the last year. I had 0 problems until the past year. I have no clue why it took such a dramatic fall. In the past year, there hasn't been a SINGLE order where I haven't had to contact customer support to fix something. And it's getting obvious that even their support is caring less and less about helping. Like making me have to go as far as get "social media justice" for them to fix their problems.
It's a bad trend I've seen. I'm optimistic that they can turn it around, and hopefully this money can help with that. I will not be renewing my Instacart Express this year, that's for sure. Will probably give them a few orders to redeem themselves after that and see. If it's still poor service, they will have lost a loyal customer all because of poor quality/scaling. But I'm also just 1 user. I get everyone may have different experiences.
Venture capital enables subsidies to speculative companies in hope of a small probability of profit, which destroys perfectly good small companies  , and acts as a libertarian version of socialism . This exposes the fabric of a normal economy to small stressors, a couple of which may hit it big and destroy entire industries. This has its brutal repercussions  which are not only economical, but also social, as the sum of jobs destroyed is bigger than the new ones created, at least in low innovation sectors, and which makes extremist movements grow out of the general frustration with the state of things (isn't Trump the result of "disruption" in politics too?).
However, in my opinion Universal Basic Income will fix all the major problems acting effectively as a universal VC - and paradoxically a healthy one as not guided by buzzwords or credentialism, which should be the only way any subsidy work, as it frees everyone from black swan risks which are fruit of unexpected outcomes of technological advances (and a good thing per se), and enables them to work on bettering the world in an amazing way (my speculation). Until the AI comes along... Well, that's for another story.
Edit: build an argument
I'll grab some data later on to construct a more compelling case against this type of funding.