Photo: Markus Schreiber / AP

Ikea has acquired TaskRabbit, a San Francisco-based on-demand platform for everyday chores. No financial terms were disclosed, although a source close to the deal puts the price tag south of $75 million. TaskRabbit had raised around $50 million in VC funding.

Why it matters: Well, it's obviously not the ROI for TaskRabbit's venture capitalists. Instead, it's partially because of the novelty of IKEA buying a well-known Silicon Valley startup, and partially because the Swedish retail giant is voluntarily wading into the legal morass of "gig economy" contractors.

Synergy: TaskRabbiters were regularly asked by users to assemble Ikea furniture.

TaskRabbit investors included 500 Startups, Baseline Ventures, Collaborative Fund, Floodgate, Founders Fund, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Shasta Ventures.

Go deeper: "In the US, Ikea delivery starts at $59 and assembly starts at $89, an anachronism in an era of cheap on-demand labor and free two-day delivery. Small wonder that people were turning to TaskRabbit instead." — Quartz's Alison Griswold, who argues that America's DIY spirit is dying.

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Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Updated 1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Winter coronavirus threat spurs new surge of startup activity

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

U.S. coronavirus cases and hospitalizations are surging, with cold weather arriving before even the best-case scenario for a widely distributed vaccine. Now we're also beginning to see an increase in coronavirus-related startup funding, focused on both testing and pharma.

Driving the news: Gauss, a Silicon Valley computer vision startup focused on health care, tells Axios that it's raised $10 million to accelerate development and commercialization of an at-home rapid antigen test for COVID-19.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Axios-Ipsos poll: Federal response has only gotten worse — The swing states where the pandemic is raging.
  2. Health: The coronavirus is starting to crush some hospitals — 13 states set single-day case records last week.
  3. Business: Winter coronavirus threat spurs new surge of startup activity.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes cable and satellite TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. States: Nearly two dozen Minnesota COVID cases traced to 3 Trump campaign events.
  6. World: Unrest in Italy as restrictions grow across Europe.

Ted Cruz defends GOP's expected return to prioritizing national debt

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) told "Axios on HBO" on Monday that he wishes reining in the national debt was a higher priority for President Trump.

Why it matters: Trump pledged during the 2016 campaign to reduce the national debt and eliminate it entirely within eight years, though he also deemed himself "the king of debt" and said there were some priorities that required spending. In the fiscal year that ended in September, the deficit reached a record $3.1 trillion.