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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Uber shares have inched higher since their first two days of dismal trading, but not nearly to the point of making all of the company's private investors whole.

Why it matters: That has got to worry other money-losing "unicorns" that operate in similar sectors.

In descending order of fear factor:

  • Micro-mobility: Bird, Lime.
    • Judging by how the public markets have treated Lyft even worse than Uber, it suggests that they are most skeptical of the "ride" story.
  • Other ride-hail: Didi Chuxing, Grab, Ola.
    • Foreign markets change the math a bit, and some of these companies have significant diversification into other areas (such as Grab Finance).
  • On-demand delivery: DoorDash, Instacart, Postmates.
    • These companies insist their have better unit economics than ride-hail, because their marketplaces are three-sided instead of two-sided. Their big question is how much value the public markets are ascribing to Uber EATS.

Of the aforementioned, only Didi and Postmates are believed to be planning 2019 IPOs. But that means many of the others will seek out new rounds of growth capital, likely from the same investors who are currently taking baths on Uber and Lyft.

If these companies' most recent financings were benchmarked to Uber's valuation, at least in part, then we could be in for a series of high-profile down-rounds. Or orphaned unicorns. These things have a tendency to feed on themselves.

The bottom line: Uber's coat-tails may have frayed.

Go deeper

Trump's coronavirus adviser Scott Atlas resigns

Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty

Scott Atlas, a controversial member of the White House coronavirus task force, handed in his resignation on Monday, according to three administration officials who discussed Atlas' resignation with Axios.

Why it matters: President Trump brought in Atlas as a counterpoint to NIAID director Anthony Fauci, whose warnings about the pandemic were dismissed by the Trump administration. With Trump now fixated on election fraud conspiracy theories, Atlas' detail comes to a natural end.

Dave Lawler, author of World
1 hour ago - World

Assassination in Iran sets stage for tense final 50 days of Trump

The funeral ceremony in Tehran. Photo: Iranian Defense Ministry via Getty

Iranian leaders are weighing their response to the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, known as the father of Iran’s military nuclear program, who was given a state funeral Monday in Tehran.

The big picture: Iran has accused Israel of carrying out Friday’s attack, but senior leaders have suggested that they’ll choose patience over an immediate escalation that could play into the hands of the Israelis and the outgoing Trump administration.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Hospital crisis deepens as holiday season nears.
  2. Vaccine: Moderna to file for FDA emergency use authorizationVaccinating rural America won't be easy — Being last in the vaccine queue is young people's next big COVID test.
  3. Politics: Bipartisan group of senators seeks stimulus dealChuck Grassley returns to Senate after recovering from COVID-19.
  4. States: Cuomo orders emergency hospital protocols as COVID capacity dwindles.
  5. Economy: Wall Street wonders how bad economy has to get for Congress to act.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: The state of play of the top vaccines.