Illustration: Lazaro Gamio / Axios

San Francisco-based CircleUp has raised $125 million for a new fund that will invest in early-stage consumer packaged goods startups with between $1 million and $10 million in revenue.

Anti-unicorn: Despite all the buzz around CPG companies like Honest Company, which have raised buckets of venture capital in the pursuit of unicorn status, CircleUp is taking a more modest approach. "We don't like the valuations of that model and we don't like the winner-take-all mentality of that model," says CircleUp co-founder and COO Rory Eakin. Instead, CircleUp is looking to invest a few million dollars into companies that could sell for $100 million to $500 million.


CircleUp will invest in about 30 to 40 companies in total, with a target of 18 in the first year. The fund's backers include Singapore-based sovereign wealth fund Temasek, along with family offices, institutions, and individuals like Annie's founder John Foraker, and BlackRock's Kenneth Kroner. CircleUp expects to raise more such funds in the future.

Go deeper

Parties trade election influence accusations at Big Tech hearing

Photo: Michael Reynolds/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

A Senate hearing Wednesday with Big Tech CEOs became the backdrop for Democrats and Republicans to swap accusations of inappropriate electioneering.

Why it matters: Once staid tech policy debates are quickly becoming a major focal point of American culture and political wars, as both parties fret about the impact of massive social networks being the new public square.

52 mins ago - World

Germany goes back into lockdown

Photo: Fabrizio Bensch/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

German Chancellor Angela Merkel will enact one of Europe's strictest coronavirus lockdowns since spring, closing bars and restaurants nationwide for most of November, Reuters reports.

Why it matters: Germany is the latest European country to reimpose some form of lockdown measures amid a surge in cases across the continent.

How overhyping became an election meddling tool

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

As online platforms and intelligence officials get more sophisticated about detecting and stamping out election meddling campaigns, bad actors are increasingly seeing the appeal of instead exaggerating their own interference capabilities to shake Americans' confidence in democracy.

Why it matters: It doesn't take a sophisticated operation to sow seeds of doubt in an already fractious and factionalized U.S. Russia proved that in 2016, and fresh schemes aimed at the 2020 election may already be proving it anew.