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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Sweetgreen, one of the earliest "better for you" quick-serve restaurant chains, has filed confidentially for an IPO, Axios has learned from multiple sources.

Why it matters: The company has been a rumored IPO candidate for years, and now is coming out as a post-pandemic growth play.

Why it also matters: Axios runs on Sweetgreen. There's a store on the ground floor of our headquarters, and it's unclear if we would have launched on time had it not been for copious amounts of kale and quinoa bowls.

Behind the scenes: Sweetgreen never seriously pursued the SPAC route, and will seek to list in the fall. No word yet on how much it plans to raise, except that it will be more than the $100 million "list price."

The pitch: Expect Sweetgreen to hype how it correctly identified a coming consumer trend upon launch in 2007, and that its hundred-plus stores have only scratched the surface of what it believes could be a Chipotle-sized opportunity.

ROI: The company raised around $670 million in VC funding, including a round earlier this year at nearly a $1.8 billion post-money valuation.

  • Investors include: Revolution, T. Rowe Price, Red Sea Ventures, Collaborative Fund, Signatures Capital, Scott Belsky, Danny Meyer and Daniel Boulud.

Bottom line, per Axios editor-in-chief Nick Johnston: "I'll be spending another $15 on some kale today so makes sense they're worth billions."

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author ofย Future
57 mins ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. students fell 4 to 5 months behind during pandemic

An empty classroom in Pinole, Calif. Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Elementary school students in the U.S. ended the school year four to five months behind their expected level of academic achievement, according to a new report.

Why it matters: Months of school closures and often inferior remote education eroded what schoolchildren would have learned since the pandemic began, and caused some to go backwards.

Updated 1 hour ago - Sports

Olympics dashboard

๐Ÿšจ: Simone Biles pulls out of gymnastics team finals citing her mental health

๐Ÿ„โ€โ™€๏ธ: American Carissa Moore wins first-ever women's Olympic gold in surfing

๐ŸŽพ: Naomi Osaka eliminated from Olympic tennis tournament

โšฝ๏ธ: USA women's soccer ties Australia, propelling them to the quarterfinals

๐Ÿ‰: USA men's rugby knocked out after blowing 21-0 lead to Great Britain

๐ŸŠโ€โ™€๏ธ: Teen swimmer Lydia Jacoby wins first U.S. women's Tokyo Games gold

๐Ÿ‘Ÿ: World Athletics president supports reviewing marijuana rules in doping

Go deeper: Full Axios coverage - Medal tracker

CDC: Vaccinated people in COVID hotspots should resume wearing masks

CDC director Rochelle Walensky and top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci at a Senate HELP committee hearing. Photo: J. Scott Applewhite-Pool/Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued updated guidance on Tuesday recommending that vaccinated people wear masks in indoor, public settings if they are in parts of the U.S. with substantial to high transmission, among other circumstances.

Why it matters: The guidance, a reversal from recommendations made two months ago, comes as the Delta variant continues to drive up case rates across the country. Millions of people in the U.S. โ€” either by choice or who are ineligible โ€” remain unvaccinated and at risk of serious infection.