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Courtesy of Shipt

On-demand delivery is a tough business with thin margins, but entrepreneurs and investors continue to pour resources into it. Shipt, an on-demand grocery delivery startup originally from Alabama, has raised $40 million in new funding from Greycroft Partners, e.ventures, and Harbert Venture Partners. It plans to be in a total of 100 U.S. markets within the next year.

Competition: Shipt founder and CEO Bill Smith says he's not worried about rival Instacart, even though it has raised hundreds of millions of dollars. For one, most of the 50 markets where Shipt operates are in the South and the Midwest—only partially overlapping with Instacart. It also requires that customers pay an annual membership fee ($99), something Instacart offers as an option for more frequent customers. Shipt's average customer is a 35-year-old mom with two kids who orders every 10 days—another reason it's currently staying away from markets like San Francisco where users are mostly single professionals.

CPG craze: One way Shipt hopes to make money is by charging fees to consumer packaged goods brands in exchange for promoting their products in its app. The approach also is used by other delivery services like Instacart, Postmates, and Rappi (in Latin America).

Go deeper

4 mins ago - World

European countries extend lockdowns

A medical worker takes a COVID-19 throat swab sample at the Berlin-Brandenburg Airport. Photo by Maja Hitij via Getty

Recent spikes in COVID-19 infections across Europe have led authorities to extend restrictions ahead of the holiday season.

Why it matters: "Relaxing too fast and too much is a risk for a third wave after Christmas," said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

49 mins ago - Health

Africa CDC: Vaccines likely won't be available until Q2 of 2021

Africa CDC director Dr. John Nkengasong. Photo: Mohammed Abdu Abdulbaqi/Anadolu Agency via Getty

Africa may have to wait until the second quarter of 2021 to roll out vaccines, Africa CDC director John Nkengasong said Thursday, according to the Associated Press.

Why it matters: “I have seen how Africa is neglected when drugs are available,” Nkengasong said.

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

The winners and losers of the pandemic holiday season

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The pandemic has upended Thanksgiving and the shopping season that the holiday kicks off, creating a new crop of economic winners and losers.

The big picture: Just as it has exacerbated inequality in every other facet of American life, the coronavirus pandemic is deepening inequities in the business world, with the biggest and most powerful companies rapidly outpacing the smaller players.