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UberEats delivery bike box in London, U.K. Photo: Mike Kemp/In Pictures via Getty Images

Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs — both pitching IPO proposals to Uber — have valued UberEats, its food delivery business, at as much as $20 billion, and it's expected to become profitable before the company's ride-hailing arm, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Why it matters: On-demand delivery is a tough business in countries like the U.S., as many companies have learned in the last several years. That's largely because labor is expensive while customers don't want to pay high fees.

It's notable that Uber has reportedly been able to build UberEats, which in May had a $6 billion annual run rate, into such a massively valued unit.

  • One reason could be that it has global operations, including in regions where it can have different fee and pay structures. Two years ago, this is exactly what the CEO of Rappi, a Latin American delivery startup, explained to me about emerging markets.
  • The reported valuation is about twice the current market cap of GrubHub, a U.S.-based food delivery company that mostly aggregates restaurants that offer their own delivery — and why CEO Matt Maloney has said the company's business is working.

Uber declined to comment.

Go deeper

Michigan board certifies Biden's win

Poll workers count absentee ballots in Detroit, Michigan on Nov. 4. Photo: Salwan Georges/The Washington Post via Getty Images

The Michigan Board of State Canvassers certified the state's election results on Monday, making President-elect Joe Biden's win there official and granting him the state's 16 electoral votes.

Why it matters: Republican Party leaders had unsuccessfully appealed to delay the official certification, amid the Trump campaign's failed legal challenges in key swing states.

Biden to nominate Janet Yellen as Treasury secretary

Photo: Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden is preparing to nominate former Fed Chair Janet Yellen as his Treasury Secretary, four people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Yellen, 74, will bring instant economic celebrity to Biden’s team and, if confirmed, she will not only be the first female Treasury Secretary but also the first person to have held all three economic power positions in the federal government: the chair of Council of Economic Advisers, the chair of Federal Reserve and the Treasury Secretary.

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Bob Nelsen on AstraZeneca and his plan to revolutionize biotech

AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford on Monday reported promising efficacy data for their COVID-19 vaccine, which has less stringent storage requirements than the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines and may be distributed earlier in developing countries.

Axios Re:Cap digs into the state of vaccine and therapeutics manufacturing with Bob Nelsen, a successful biotech investor who on Monday launched Resilience, a giant new pharma production platform that he believes will prepare America for its next major health challenges.

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