Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Grocery delivery company Instacart announced Thursday that it raised $225 million in new venture capital funding at a $13.7 billion valuation.

Why it matters: Instacart was often an afterthought for those following the gig economy, until the coronavirus pandemic made it a lifeline for many Americans who were unable or unwilling to shop for groceries. It's now valued higher than competitors like Postmates, Grubhub, Lyft and DoorDash.

Go deeper: Instacart claims strike had "no impact" on operations

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Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Sep 1, 2020 - Economy & Business

DoorDash CEO Tony Xu on the employee vs. independent contractor debate

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Restaurant delivery company DoorDash is expected to be part of the post-Labor Day IPO rush, having filed confidential registration documents back in February. But it's also facing an existential threat to its business model and needs to quickly come up with some better rhetorical defenses.

Driving the news: My interview with DoorDash co-founder and CEO Tony Xu was shown Monday night on "Axios on HBO," with a heavy focus on the employee vs. independent contractor debate. At best, he held his cards close to his chest. At worst, he whistled past the graveyard.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Sep 1, 2020 - Economy & Business

DoorDash CEO doesn't slam door on "Dasher" unionization

DoorDash, like most other gig economy companies, is reliant on a business model whereby workers are categorized as independent contractors instead of as employees. But, unlike traditional independent contractors, "Dashers" don't have the ability to directly negotiate with the company.

"Axios on HBO" dug into this seeming discrepancy with DoorDash CEO Tony Xu, and also asked if he'd be open to Dasher unionization.

Amy Harder, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Climate change goes mainstream in presidential debate

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty

The most notable part of Thursday’s presidential debate on climate change was the fact it was included as a topic and assumed as a fact.

The big picture: This is the first time in U.S. presidential history that climate change was a featured issue at a debate. It signals how the problem has become part of the fabric of our society. More extreme weather, like the wildfires ravaging Colorado, is pushing the topic to the front-burner.