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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Toast, a Boston-based restaurant management platform, raised $870 million in an IPO that values the company at nearly $20 billion. It priced at $40 per share, which was above its original and upwardly-revised ranges, and will list on the NYSE (TOST).

Why it matters: This is whiplash success story. Toast was valued by VCs at $5 billion heading into the pandemic, but in April 2020 laid off nearly half of its employees and furloughed another 12%.

Details: Toast reports a $235 million net loss on $704 million of revenue for the first half of 2021. It had raised around $900 million from firms like Tiger Global (12.8% pre-IPO stake), Bessemer Venture Partners (12.5%), T. Rowe Price (6%) and TCV (5.5%).

The bottom line: "Toast says it's serving more than 48,000 restaurant locations as of the end of June, up from 27,000 in 2019. Annual recurring revenue surged 118% in the second quarter from a year earlier to $494 million. The bulk of Toast's revenue comes from what the company calls financial technology solutions, consisting primarily of fees paid by customers for payment transactions. Less than 10% comes from subscriptions." — Ari Levy, CNBC

Go deeper

USPS reports 2021 net loss of $4.9 billion

A United States Postal Service package support annex in La Vergne, Tennessee. Photo: Brett Carlsen via Getty Images

The United States Postal Service (USPS) reported Wednesday a net loss of $4.9 billion for the 2021 budget year, which ended on Sept. 30.

Why it matters: Though the agency has faced backlash for delayed deliveries and backlogs this past year, 2021's net loss is nearly half the agency's net loss in 2020, which was recorded at $9.2 billion.

Nov 10, 2021 - Economy & Business

Minute Media acquires Israeli tech company Wazimo

Minute Media

Minute Media, a holding group that owns digital sports and entertainment websites like Players' Tribune and The Big Lead, said Wednesday that it has acquired Wazimo, an Israeli publishing tech firm that helps media companies develop and monetize their audiences.

Why it matters: It's Minute Media's first tech-focused acquisition. It is also its first acquisition since raising at least $40 million dollars earlier this year.

Perfect storm brewing for extreme politicians

Data: Axios research; Table: Jacque Schrag/Axios

Redistricting and a flood of departing incumbents are paving the way for more extreme candidates in this year's midterm elections.

Driving the news: At least 19 House districts in 12 states are primed to attract such candidates — hard partisans running in strongly partisan districts — according to an Axios analysis of districts as measured by the Cook Political Report's Partisan Voter Index (PVI).