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Photo: Vivien Killilea/Getty Images

Target on Wednesday announced that it will acquire Shipt, an Alabama-based same-day delivery startup, for $550 million in cash.

Bottom line: This is about playing defense against Amazon.

Target says that it expects to offer same-day delivery services at around half of its stores by early 2018 and at a majority of its stores by the 2018 holiday season. Full deployment across all major product categories would come by the end of 2019.

Shipt had raised around $65 million in venture capital funding from firms like Greycroft Partners, e.ventures, and Harbert Venture Partners. The Birmingham, Ala.-based company currently has a network of more than 20,000 personal shoppers in 72 markets, and will continue to run independently.

Some additional color from Ian Sigalow, a Greycroft partner and Shipt director:

  • Target CEO Brian Cornell flew down to Birmingham and did a test drive with a Shipt delivery person.
  • Expect Target to particularly leverage Shipt when it comes to fresh food offerings, as Shipt currently focuses on grocery.
  • The original conversations between Target and Shipt were about a business partnership.

[Note: Greycroft Partners is an investor in Axios]

Go deeper

Scoop: DraftKings readies major media push

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

DraftKings is in the final stages of hiring a chief media officer who will manage a team responsible for evaluating potential media acquisitions and content efforts, sources tell Axios.

Details: The team will help vet future deals and content partnerships that the company will use to help drive customer referrals to its sportsbook.

Fallout over Daunte Wright shooting continues

A second night of protests over the police shooting of Daunte Wright unfolded in Brooklyn Center Tuesday, as a large crowd defied a curfew and pleas from city leaders to go home.

Driving the news: “We are going to get to the bottom of this. We are going to make sure that there’s justice, that this officer is held accountable," Brooklyn Center Mayor Mike Elliott told demonstrators in an effort to calm tensions after dark.

FDA recommends pausing J&J vaccine after 6 reported cases of blood clots

Photo: Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images

The U.S. FDA on Tuesday recommended an immediate halt of the use of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine, citing cases of a rare blood clot disorder that six women developed within two weeks of receiving the shot.

Why it matters: The recommendation was issued "out of an abundance of caution" as health officials review data and alternative treatments, but it could risk slowing down the U.S. vaccine rollout.