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Carey Lai and Paul Yeh. Photo: Conductive Ventures

Conductive Ventures, recently formed by former Kleiner Perkins partner Paul Yeh and ex-Intel Capital director Cary Lai, has raised $100 million for a debut fund that will invest in "expansion stage" enterprise software and hardware startups

Why it matters: Conductive is seeking to fill the so-called "Series B gap," which has emerged, with many VC firms moving either very early or very late in the private capital cycle.

“I think the historical perspective is that you pay up so you get less ownership, and there’s risk that hasn’t been mitigated in that round,” Lai tells Axios of investing in his new firm's Series B sweet spot.

Details: Conductive will invest in startups raising between $10 million and $25 million in funding, usually with between $1 million and 10 million in revenue. It has already backed four companies, and expects to regularly invest outside the Bay Area, including in auto and hardware hubs like Michigan and Pittsburgh.

Origin story: Lai and Yeh have been friends since their earliest post-college days. They shared an apartment in San Francisco’s SoMa neighborhood with one of Yeh’s college friends, Kabam co-founder and ex-CEO Kevin Chou (who is advising Conductive).

1 fun thing: One of Conductive's values is being “budget-conscious”—no $100,000-chrome panda statues allowed…

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Why it matters: The Fed-driven economy relies on the creation of trillions of dollars — literally out of thin air — that are used to purchase bonds and push money into a pandemic-ravaged economy that has long been dependent on free cash and is only growing more addicted.

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Scoop: Trump's spy chief plans dire China warning

Xi Jinping reviews troops during a military parade in Beijing last year. Photo: Thomas Peter/Reuters

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Why it matters: It's exceedingly rare for the head of the U.S. intelligence community to make public accusations about a rival power.