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AP Photo/Kin Cheung

Unity, a San Francisco-based VR/AR gaming engine founded in 2004, has raised $400 million in new funding led by Silver Lake. Around half of the deal is a secondary, which means that it will liquidity for early shareholders (primarily employees). The company is now valued at around $2.6 billion, and previously raised over $170 million from firms like DFJ Growth, Sequoia Capital, Thrive Capital and WestSummit Capital.

Why it matters: Beyond the fact that Unity powers Pokemon Go, which was the hottest thing on the planet (and in my house) at this time last year? Okay, how about because Unity claims that half of all new mobile games and two-thirds of all AR/VR content is now made in its environment? That basically means that Unity can sidestep the "hits problem" of gaming, and instead is able to ride the industry's more secular trends.

Bottom line: "Unity's plan is to democratize game development. It has done so by creating an engine that enables games to run on just about any platform, without huge costs related to porting the games to each new platform. That allows game developers to cut their costs and generate more revenues from more platforms. In that sense, Unity frees the developers from being beholden to platform owners, who often front the cash for big game development in exchange for exclusivity." -- Dean Takahashi, VentureBeat

Go deeper

Cartels target civilians near border bridge

Photo illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios. Getty Images Photos: Guillermo Arias/Bloomberg, Guillermo Arias/AFP, Erin Clark/The Boston Globe, Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call.

Unwitting border area residents are being roped into smuggling contraband for transnational criminal groups that have operated throughout the pandemic despite border closures, as the fight over routes is again resulting in the slaughter of civilians in Mexico.

Why it matters: The cartels smuggle drugs and even people through legal ports of entry, in hidden car compartments or commercial trucks, undeterred by any border wall or COVID-related closures. Now criminals are bloodletting to control the corridor to at least one crossing.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
15 mins ago - Technology

Lina Khan's mission

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

All of the world's trillion-dollar companies (with the exception of Saudi Aramco) are reportedly having what Protocol's Issie Lapowsky characterizes as "heart palpitations" over the appointment of Lina Khan as FTC chair. But don't expect anything drastic to happen soon.

Why it matters: Khan is the most fearsome foe that Big Tech could have imagined in America's top antitrust role — and her fans in Congress are making waves as well. But you'd never guess that from the giants' share prices, which have been hitting new all-time highs since the announcement.

Exclusive: EV charging providers to allow roaming across their networks

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Greenlots, Chargepoint and several other electric vehicle charging companies will allow roaming access across their networks, a move that could help speed EV adoption.

Why it matters: Your phone works on any mobile network, no matter which provider you use. And you can use any bank's ATM machine, regardless of where you keep your money. Now the same will be true of EV charging.