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via LinkedIn

Gautam Gupta, Uber's outgoing finance chief, is headed to home-buying startup Opendoor as its chief operating officer, the company tells Axios. Gupta has spent four years at Uber, becoming its highest ranking finance executive after CFO Brent Callinicos left in 2015. He will formally leave the ride-hail giant next month.

From cars to real estate: Gupta's jump to Opendoor is the byproduct of his longtime friendship with CEO Eric Wu and great timing, according to Wu. Gupta will be Opendoor's first COO as the startup plans its next phase of growth, which will include building out an expansion playbook. By the end of the year, it hopes to be in eight to 10 markets, up from the three it currently operates in.

Along with Gupta, Opendoor is also bringing on two longtime Amazon executives: Jason Child who will be the startup's CFO, and Bali Raghavan as VP of engineering. Both spent 12 years at the online retail giant.

Background: Opendoor was founded in 2014 to streamline residential real estate transactions. Thanks to credit lines from undisclosed financial institutions, it purchases homes directly and then sells them ― making money via fees, just like traditional real estate brokers. It has raised $320 million from firms like Khosla Ventures (where Opendoor co-founder Keith Rabois is a partner), Norwest Venture Partners, NEA and GGV Capital.

Go deeper

Democrat Mark Kelly sworn in to U.S. Senate

Photo: Courtney Pedroza/Getty Images

Astronaut Mark Kelly (D) was sworn in to the U.S. Senate on Wednesday after defeating incumbent Sen. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) last month for the seat once held by the late Sen. John McCain.

Why it matters: Kelly's swearing-in by Vice President Mike Pence narrows the Republican majority and moves the Senate balance to 52-48.

Senate Armed Services chair dismisses Trump threat to veto defense bill

Sen. Jim Inhofe. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, told reporters Wednesday that he plans to move ahead with a crucial defense-spending bill without provisions that would eliminate tech industry protections, defying a veto threat from President Trump.

Why it matters: Inhofe's public rebuke signals that the Senate could have enough Republican backing to override a potential veto from Trump, who has demanded that the $740 billion National Defense Authorization Act repeal Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

Scoop: Uber in talks to sell air taxi business to Joby

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Uber is in advanced talks to sell its Uber Elevate unit to Joby Aviation, Axios has learned from multiple sources. A deal could be announced later this month.

Between the lines: Uber Elevate was formed to develop a network of self-driving air taxis, but to date has been most notable for its annual conference devoted to the nascent industry.