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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Roadie, an Atlanta-based company that got its start using gig drivers to deliver lost baggage for Delta Air Lines, now figures to play a big role in delivering holiday purchases this year.

Why it matters: Demand for same-day shipping exploded during the pandemic, and is likely to increase even more during the holidays. Traditional parcel carriers have strained to keep up, often slapping surcharges on deliveries, leaving a lane for Roadie to help manage peak demand.

How it works: Roadie recruits drivers already on the road to transport goods en route to their destinations.

  • Using an app, Roadie drivers can check for available delivery gigs before they head home from work, for example.
  • A description of the item, the dimensions, address and delivery price are all presented ahead of time so the driver knows where they would need to go and how much they'd get paid.
  • The driver takes photographs of the item at both pickup and delivery to ensure there's no damage.
  • Retailers including Walmart, Tractor Supply and Home Depot (a Roadie investor) have tapped Roadie drivers to handle booming demand for fast deliveries.

By the numbers: Founded in 2014 by serial entrepreneur Marc Gorlin, Roadie has raised $62 million to date.

  • The company claims more than 50,000 customers and a network of more than 150,000 verified delivery drivers across the U.S.

Go deeper

Appeals court: Uber, Lyft have to make California drivers employees

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

A California appeals court Thursday said Uber and Lyft have to reclassify their drivers in the state as employees, affirming a lower court's ruling.

Why it matters: The companies are fighting a new state law, at the center of this lawsuit, that imposes stricter requirements in order to classify workers as independent contractors.

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: The good and bad news about antibody therapies — Fauci: Hotspots have materialized across "the entire country."
  2. World: Belgium imposes lockdown, citing "health emergency" due to influx of cases.
  3. Economy: Conference Board predicts economy won’t fully recover until late 2021.
  4. Education: Surge threatens to shut classrooms down again.
  5. Technology: The pandemic isn't slowing tech.
  6. Travel: CDC replaces COVID-19 cruise ban with less restrictive "conditional sailing order."
  7. Sports: High school football's pandemic struggles.
  8. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.
Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Updated 9 hours ago - Economy & Business

Dunkin' Brands agrees to $11B Inspire Brands sale

Photo: Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images

Dunkin' Brands, operator of both Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, agreed on Friday to be taken private for nearly $11.3 billion, including debt, by Inspire Brands, a restaurant platform sponsored by private equity firm Roark Capital.

Why it matters: Buying Dunkin’ will more than double Inspire’s footprint, making it one of the biggest restaurant deals in the past 10 years. This could ultimately set up an IPO for Inspire, which already owns Arby's, Jimmy John's and Buffalo Wild Wings.