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While Uber is having a challenging last two months, smaller rival Lyft is reportedly seizing the opportunity to raise some additional funding, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal citing anonymous sources.

The ride-hailing company is said to be in talks with investors to raise at least $500 million at a valuation between $6 billion and $7 billion. Lyft was valued at $5.5 billion when it last raised funds in early 2016.

Why more money? It's unclear why exactly Lyft would want to raise more funding right now. Though it did lose $600 million on $700 million in revenue last year, according to The Information, it still had $1.4 billion in cash in the bank as of August. If anything, the company is most likely fundraising now to further take advantage of Uber's recent troubles and backlash from consumers, which have significantly benefitted Lyft's business. As of Feb. 13, Lyft accounted for 20.8% of all U.S. spending on ride-hailing services, up from 16.5% two weeks earlier, according to data from Second Measure provided to the Journal.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
54 mins ago - Economy & Business

Trump blocks banks from limiting loans to gun and oil companies

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Big banks are no longer allowed to reject business loan applicants because of the industry in which they operate, according to a new rule finalized on Thursday by the Trump administration.

Why it matters: Wall Street has curtailed its exposure to industries like guns, oil and private prisons, driven by both public and shareholder pressures. This new rule could reverse that trend.

Former FDA commissioner: "Reliable drug supply is absolutely critical"

Axios' Caitlin Owens and former FDA commissioner Mark McClellan. Photo courtesy of Axios Events

Having a reliable supply of pharmaceutical drugs throughout America will be "absolutely critical" to boosting affordability in health care during the Biden administration, former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner Mark McClellan said at a virtual Axios Event on Friday.

The big picture: McClellan, who served under President George W. Bush, says drugs having limited supply and limited competition leads to elevated pricing. He considers drug supply to be a national security and public health issue.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
4 hours ago - Economy & Business

Americans are still spending money

Source: Census Bureau; Chart: Axios Visuals

Americans spent more money at stores and restaurants in 2020 than they did in 2019 — even in the face of a devastating global pandemic that shut down broad sectors of the economy.

Why it matters: The monthly retail sales report this morning came in well below expectations, and showed consumer spending falling on a seasonally-adjusted basis. Total expenditures were still higher in December 2020 than they were a year previously, however.