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Photo: Even

Salesforce chief Marc Benioff and PayPal Ventures are joining the latest funding round for Oakland-based start-up Even, which aims to provide a better alternative to payday loans.

Why it matters: Historically, those who need an advance on their pay often have few options and pay extremely high fees and interest rates.

Details: Even says it isn't disclosing how much it raised, saying it wants to focus not on the amount, but who is aligning themselves with the company.

  • The service now has more than 550,000 monthly active users, many from initial customer Walmart, though it has signed other unnamed large companies as well.

How it works: As we first wrote last year, Even is a subscription service that employers can offer to workers (either subsidized or not) to let them track their wages, begin saving and, when necessary, get some of their pay a bit early.

  • It charges the same amount per worker per month (roughly $6 to $8) whether they get a payday advance or not. CEO Jon Schlossberg told Axios the goal is to get people to start saving, noting 90% of people save virtually nothing each month. The advances on earned pay are meant so users without savings don’t dig themselves into a deeper hole.
  • "We don't trap you in a cycle of relying on it as can happen with many of the other products in that space," Schlossberg said. "People think it's too good to be true. That really is a scathing review of the financial services industry."

Go deeper

13 hours ago - Health

Food banks feel the strain without holiday volunteers

People wait in line at Food Bank Community Kitchen on Nov. 25 in New York City. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Food Bank For New York City

America's food banks are sounding the alarm during this unprecedented holiday season.

The big picture: Soup kitchens and charities, usually brimming with holiday volunteers, are getting far less help.

15 hours ago - Health

AstraZeneca CEO: "We need to do an additional study" on COVID vaccine

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said on Thursday the company is likely to start a new global trial to measure how effective its coronavirus vaccine is, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Following Phase 3 trials, Oxford and AstraZeneca said their vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses.

Updated 17 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving.
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions.
  3. World: Expert says COVID vaccine likely won't be available in Africa until Q2 of 2021 — Europeans extend lockdowns.
  4. Economy: The winners and losers of the COVID holiday season.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.