Maple, a New York City-based startup that delivered healthy meals, has shut down its operations and sold its tech assets to Deliveroo, a big European food delivery startup. As part of the deal, Maple's C-suite executives (likely along with other company employees) will join Deliveroo's team in London.

Pedigree: Maple was initially backed by Momofuko chef David Chang, but Chang would later help launch a rival meal delivery service called Ando. After raising a $26 million Series A round in 2015, Maple was valued at around $115 million.

Tough job: Meal delivery startups have been cropping up in the last few years, but it's a challenging business that involves complex labor operations, perishable goods, and tricky forecasting. Many have struggled ― including Munchery and SpoonRocket ― while Postmates and DoorDash had to settle with modest valuations during their recent funding rounds. Leaked financial docs from December revealed a business with tough margins, making Monday's news not much of a surprise.

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Over 73 million people watched the first debate on TV

Data: Nielsen; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

More than 73.1 million people watched the first presidential debate on television on Tuesday night, according to Nielsen ratings.

Why it matters: While that's a sizable audience for any American TV program, it's down more than 13% from the record number of TV viewers who tuned in for the first debate of the 2016 election. The chaotic nature of the debate and the overall uncertainty around this year's election may have pushed some viewers away.

Senate passes bill funding government through December

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Senate on Tuesday passed legislation to fund the federal government through Dec. 11, by a vote of 84-10.

Where it stands: The legislation will avert a government shutdown before funding expires Wednesday night and before the Nov. 3 election. The House passed the same measure last week by a vote of 359-57 after House Democrats and the Trump administration agreed on the resolution.

  • Both sides agreed early in negotiations that the bill should be a "clean" continuing resolution — meaning each party would only make small changes to existing funding levels so the measure would pass through both chambers quickly, Axios' Alayna Treene reported last week. The bill now goes to President Trump for his signature.
Bryan Walsh, author of Future
1 hour ago - Technology

The age of engineering life begins

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Synthetic biology startups raised some $3 billion through the first half of 2020, up from $1.9 billion for all of 2019, as the field brings the science of engineering to the art of life.

The big picture: Synthetic biologists are gradually learning how to program the code of life the way that computer experts have learned to program machines. If they can succeed — and if the public accepts their work — synthetic biology stands to fundamentally transform how we live.