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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

27 mins ago - Technology
Column / Tech Agenda

The new digital extortion

Shoshana Gordon/Axios

If you run a hospital, a bank, a utility or a city, chances are you'll be hit with a ransomware attack. Given the choice between losing your precious data or paying up, chances are you'll pay.

Why it matters: Paying the hackers is the clear short-term answer for most organizations hit with these devastating attacks, but it's a long-term societal disaster, encouraging hackers to continue their lucrative extortion schemes.

57 mins ago - Health

CDC mask guidance sparks confusion, questions

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The CDC's surprise guidance last week freeing the fully vaccinated to go maskless sowed plenty of concerns across the country— even earning the "Saturday Night Live" treatment for all the questions it spurred.

Why it matters: With plenty of Americans still unvaccinated — and without any good way to confirm who has been vaccinated — some experts worry this could put many at increased risk.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

In photos: Israel-Hamas aerial bombardments enter second week

A ball of fire and a plume of smoke rise above buildings in Gaza City as Israeli forces shell the Palestinian enclave, early on May 17. Photo: Mahmud Hams/AFP via Getty Images

Israel and Hamas continued aerial bombardments into Monday morning, as fighting entered a second week.

Why it matters: The worst violence in the region since 2014 has resulted in the deaths of 197 people in Gaza, ruled by Hamas, and 10 in Israel. 58 Palestinian children and two Israeli children are among those killed since the aerial exchanges began on May 10, Reuters notes.

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