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Photo: Dan Kitwood / Getty Images

Mubadala, an Abu Dhabi-based sovereign wealth fund with $125 billion in assets under management, is opening its first U.S. office in San Francisco as it enters the venture capital business. It also is launching a $400 million venture fund in partnership with Japan's SoftBank Group, and a $200 million VC fund-of-funds.

Why it matters: Sovereign wealth funds are increasing their attention to high-growth tech startups in Silicon Valley, with some like Singapore's Temasek and the Qatar Investment Authority also opening West Coast outposts. "It's more than just setting up an office — it's a real committed and genuine intent to be an active member of this community," Ibrahim Ajami, head of Mubadala's VC arm, tells Axios.

The pitch: Mubadala hopes to impress startups with its deep pockets and its ability to provide introductions to its existing businesses in sectors like telecom, semiconductors, aerospace, and real estate. Expect an exclusive focus on enterprise startups in areas like robotics, life sciences, and software.

The breakdown:

  • A $400 million direct venture fund in partnership with SoftBank Group, each contributing half of the capital. Average check sizes are expected to be between $10 million and $20 million, with a focus on early and expansion-stage transactions. It already has backed Recursion Pharmaceuticals and Color Genomics, with plans to invest in a total of 25 companies in North America and Europe over the next four years.
  • A $200 million fund-of-funds to invest in a mix of VC funds in North America and Europe. Funds it's already backed include Data Collective, Ulu Ventures, and Afore Capital.
  • Overseeing Mubadala's $15 billion investment in SoftBank Vision Fund (although that's a pretty passive job, according to Ajami).

SoftBank collision? Mubadala and SoftBank Vision Fund have very similar investment interests, but Ajami says there's no worry of competition as the latter invests at much later stages.

Background: Mubadala Investment Company is the product of a 2017 merger of two sovereign wealth funds, International Petroleum Investment Company and Mubadala Development Company.

Go deeper

House passes $1.9 trillion COVID relief package

Photo: Screenshot via C-SPAN

The House approved President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief package on a 219-212 vote early Saturday morning, sending it to the Senate for a possible rewrite before it gets to Biden's desk.

The big picture: The vote was a critical first step for the package, which includes $1,400 cash payments for many Americans, a national vaccination program, ramped-up COVID testing and contact tracing, state and local funding and money to help schools reopen.

8 hours ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."

Updated 8 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: FDA advisory panel endorses J&J COVID vaccine for emergency use — About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.

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