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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

It's big-IPO speculation season. Lyft wants to go public next year, with a sought-after valuation in the $15 billion range, which is flat to its last private round.

Details: That Lyft valuation is lower than the valuation of Uber Eats, at least if you take the pitch decks from Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley seriously. Uber as a whole, we're told, could be worth as much as $120 billion in an IPO, which maybe explains how it raised $2 billion almost effortlessly in the bond markets this week, despite the fact that it's burning through more than a billion dollars a year.

The bottom line: In Unicornland, everything is always sunny and optimal.

Consider the valuation of Palantir, which somehow is considering going public at a capitalization of $41 billion.

  • That's 55 times its 2018 revenue, a valuation which makes $120 billion for Uber (a mere 11 times this year's revenue) look downright modest.
  • Palantir is 14 years old; it's not a startup any more. And its growth rate of about 25%, while strong, is hardly stratospheric.
  • Morgan Stanley reportedly cut its internal valuation of Palantir by 47% last year. It's hard to see what has happened between now and then that would have reversed that trend so dramatically.

The world of public markets is crueler. Tencent has lost $250 billion of market value in the past nine months.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 34 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day — U.S. tops 88,000 COVID-19 cases, setting new single-day record.
  2. Politics: States beg for Warp Speed billions.
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases.
  4. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.

Technical glitch in Facebook's ad tools creates political firestorm

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: SOPA Images / Contributor

Facebook said late Thursday that a mix of "technical problems" and confusion among advertisers around its new political ad ban rules caused issues affecting ad campaigns of both parties.

Why it matters: A report out Thursday morning suggested the ad tools were causing campaign ads, even those that adhered to Facebook's new rules, to be paused. Very quickly, political campaigners began asserting the tech giant was enforcing policies in a way that was biased against their campaigns.

2 hours ago - Health

States beg for Warp Speed billions

A COVID-19 drive-thru testing center yesterday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. Photo: David Santiago/Miami Herald via AP

Operation Warp Speed has an Achilles' heel: States need billions to distribute vaccines — and many say they don't have the cash.

Why it matters: The first emergency use authorization could come as soon as next month, but vaccines require funding for workers, shipping and handling, and for reserving spaces for vaccination sites.