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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

General Motors joins the race to electrify package delivery

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

General Motors is launching a new business unit devoted to electrifying the goods delivery market and says package giant FedEx will be the first customer.

Why it matters: Big automakers and startups alike see a huge opportunity.

Updated 13 hours ago - Technology

From Malcolm X to "Free Britney," new media shapes the justice system

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

True crime documentaries, podcasts and social media campaigns are bringing new attention to real-world legal proceedings — and are often affecting the outcome.

Why it matters: New media platforms can instantly put a national spotlight on cases that have long been forgotten or buried under red tape.

Updated 15 hours ago - Health

The next big bottleneck in the global vaccination effort

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

The world still needs more coronavirus vaccines, but an additional bottleneck has emerged in many low-income countries: They need help getting shots in arms.

Why it matters: Increasing vaccination rates across the world is both a humanitarian necessity and the best way to prevent dangerous new variants from emerging, but it increasingly requires complex problem-solving.