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When people ask me to name the most important venture capital firm in Boston, my answer is always the same: Accomplice. Now, however, it seems that the firm has grander geographic aspirations.

Here's what's happening, per a source familiar with the situation (and confirmed by Accomplice partner Jeff Fagnan):

  • Accomplice is expanding west, with plans to hire a partner and between one and two junior investment professionals in San Francisco. In the interim, Boston-based Fagnan plans to spend around half of his time in San Francisco. Also working out of San Francisco is Dustin Dolginow, who also helps manage the Maiden Lane seed funds (an affiliate of both Accomplice and AngelList).
  • The firm plans to begin raising its next fund in Q4. That vehicle is expected to feature an even split of Massachusetts and California-based tech startups.
  • Chris Lynch, who joined as a partner in 2012 after selling his company (Vertica) to HP for $350 million, will not be a partner on that next fund. He also is no longer making new investments, although he's continuing to serve on existing portfolio company boards.

Currently, this leaves Accomplice with five investment professionals who can write checks.

Why this matters: Accomplice is hardly the biggest or most successful VC firm in Boston, but it has been laser-focused on fostering a local tech ecosystem that badly needed a catalyst. It also has been a major player in terms of local philanthropy, via its creation of TUGG. The westward expansion might concern some locals who have seen this geo-creep before (e.g., Greylock, CRV), although Fagnan's past history with dispersed Atlas Venture (which once had offices all over the world) should keep ambitions relatively grounded.

Go deeper

Updated 16 mins ago - Health

California surpasses 50,000 COVID-19 deaths

A man prepares a funeral arrangement in in Los Angeles, California, Feb. 12. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

California's death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 50,000 on Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: It's the first state to record more than 50,000 deaths from the coronavirus.

2 hours ago - Technology

Facebook bans Myanmar military

A protester holds a placard with a three-finger salute in front of a military tank parked aside the street in front of the Central Bank building during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar. Photo by Aung Kyaw Htet/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook said on Wednesday it would ban the rest of the Myanmar military from its platform.

The big picture: It comes some three weeks after the military overthrew the civilian government in a coup and detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi, causing massive protests to erupt throughout the country. Military leaders have been using internet blackouts to try to maintain power in light of the coup.

It's harder to fill the Cabinet

Data: Chamberlain, 2020, "United States of America Cabinet Appointments Dataset" Chart: Will Chase/Axios

It's harder now for presidents to win Senate confirmation for their Cabinet picks, an Axios data analysis of votes for and against nominees found.

Why it matters: It's not just Neera Tanden. The trend is a product of growing polarization, rougher political discourse and slimming Senate majorities, experts say. It means some of the nation's most vital federal agencies go without a leader and the legislative authority that comes with one.

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