Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Cisco Systems agreed to buy ThousandEyes, a San Francisco-based IT performance management platform. No financial terms were disclosed, but Bloomberg put the price tag at around $1 billion.

Why it matters: This is a pandemic-related merger on the upside, with the company accelerating its sale process due to concerns that it could struggle to meet added demand for its services.

ROI: ThousandEyes had raised around $110 million in VC funding, most recently at a $620 million valuation. Shareholders include GV, Thomvest Ventures, Salesforce Ventures, Sequoia Capital, Sutter Hill Ventures, and Tenaya Capital.

The bottom line: "ThousandEyes has made a name for itself with its service that watches pretty much the whole internet to help companies figure out the source of performance problems of websites and web-based apps. For instance, it can determine if an outage is the company's fault or that of its service providers." — Julie Bort, Business Insider

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Updated Jun 30, 2020 - Axios Events

Watch: A conversation on inequity in venture capital

On Tuesday, June 30 Axios hosted a conversation on the impact of Black Americans' underrepresentation in venture capital with Axios business editor Dan Primack and chief technology correspondent Ina Fried featuring Precursor Ventures Managing Partner Charles Hudson, Cleo Capital Managing Director Sarah Kunst and Bessemer Venture Partners' Partner Elliott Robinson.

Sarah Kunst discussed the importance of having racial and ethnic diversity at the decision-making level in venture capital firms and how that drives financial returns.

  • On underrepresentation for Black people in venture capital: "Obviously the funds haven't done a good job hiring diverse candidates even though they're there...Venture just hasn't made that leap to make it a priority in recruiting...It's easy to hire what we know."
  • On how racial and ethnic diversity drive diverse opinions and insights that yield better results: "You're more likely to spot ideas that aren't going to work, and more likely to spot ideas that will work but aren't exactly in your wheelhouse."

Bessemer Venture Partners' Partner Elliott Robinson highlighted title inflation and how it allows firms to appear diverse without giving people real power.

  • On what he calls "diversity theater": "I've lived it...for both black and brown investors as well as female investors. We'll give you an 'investing role' but we won't let you touch things like carry real check writing, sitting on boards, and the like."

Precursor Ventures Managing Partner Charles Hudson discussed what is critical in making systemic change in the industry.

  • On what a lack of diversity signals to potential partners: "When you look at a firm's web page or you look at an industry where you see almost no one who looks like me, I think it can send a pretty strong signal to founders that perhaps I'm not welcome here."
  • On what needs to change in venture capital: "We're an industry that really only hires people from a very narrow set of backgrounds — whether it's academic or professional...As long as we're focused on what's perceived to be low-risk pedigree hiring, we're not going to change anything."

Thank you Cooley LLP for sponsoring this event.

End of broadband pledge could cut lifelines for families

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Internet service providers' pledges to waive fees and forgive missed payments end on June 30, likely cutting off service for some families who can't pay their bills due to the economic impact of the pandemic.

Why it matters: Cutting off internet service for families and students will worsen the loss of knowledge and academic skills that students face over the summer, as well as sever lifelines for those who need broadband connections for work, summer school, searching for jobs and getting news.

Gene regulation startup raises $700 million

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Sana Biotechnology, a Seattle gene regulation startup led by several co-founders of Juno Therapeutics, announced that it raised $700 million in first-round funding.

Why it matters: Juno followed a similar funding strategy, snaring a massive Series A round from some of the same backers, before quickly going public and then being acquired for $9 billion by Celgene.