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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

Movie theaters go out of style

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Vaccination rates are going up, people are going out to restaurants again — although the new COVID variant may get in the way — but they still aren't rushing back to the movies.

By the numbers: Some 49% of pre-pandemic moviegoers are no longer hitting theaters, according to a study from the film research company The Quorum, as reported by the New York Times.

4 hours ago - Health

Vaccine mandates lose steam in the U.S. while Europe doubles down

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

European countries are doubling down on pressure campaigns to get people vaccinated just as Republicans continue to wage war — often successfully — against vaccine mandates in the U.S.

Why it matters: The starkly different approaches create a sharp contrast between the regions' approaches to vaccination, even as the Omicron variant rapidly spreads around the world.

5 hours ago - World

Two years of COVID-19

Expand chart
Data: Our World in Data; Chart: Axios Visuals

Two years ago Wednesday, the first case of a mysterious new respiratory disease was discovered in Wuhan, China. Now, the Omicron variant has deepened concerns about just how much longer the coronavirus pandemic will last.

The big picture: More than 5 million people have died since that first case. Most people on earth have lived through some form of lockdown. 54% of the global population has had at least one vaccination, though the shots have been distributed unevenly.