May 15, 2020 - Economy & Business

Andreessen Horowitz leading deal for voice chat app Clubhouse

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Clubhouse, the voice chat app that's captivated Silicon Valley's elite, has agreed to a new $12 million investment led by Andreessen Horowitz, Axios has learned from multiple sources.

Why it matters: Several top-tier venture capital firms competed for the deal, with some even offering more than the $100 million valuation Clubhouse secured from Andreessen Horowitz. They view the app as a cross between Slack and sports talk radio, with users able to drop in and out of conversations.

  • Andreessen Horowitz partner Andrew Chen will take a seat on Clubhouse's board.
  • The firm might have strengthened its position over the weekend, when it recruited comedian Kevin Hart to sign on for a few minutes.

The bottom line: What made this deal particularly interesting is that it's largely played out on Clubhouse, which remains invite-only for now, over the past couple weeks.

  • The only way to really understand the app is to use it, so venture capitalists (including from Andreessen Horowitz, Benchmark, and Greylock) have been holding court — conducting due diligence in plain sight.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 6,724.516 — Total deaths: 394,018 — Total recoveries — 2,996,832Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 1,894,753 — Total deaths: 109,042 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: WHCA president says White House violated social-distancing guidelines to make reporters "a prop" — Jailing practices contribute to spread.
  4. Sports: How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar.
  5. Jobs: Better-than-expected jobs report boosts stock market.
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Scoop: German foreign minister to travel to Israel with warning on annexation

Heiko Maas. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is expected to travel to Israel next week to warn that there will be consequences if Israeli leaders move forward with plans to annex parts of the West Bank, Israeli officials and European diplomats tell me.

Why it matters: Israeli and European officials agree that if Israel goes ahead with unilateral annexation, the EU will respond with sanctions.

Minneapolis will ban police chokeholds following George Floyd's death

A memorial for George Floyd at the site of his death in Minneapolis. Photo: Steel Brooks/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Minneapolis has agreed to ban the use of police chokeholds and will require nearby officers to act to stop them in the wake of George Floyd's death, AP reports.

Why it matters: The agreement between the city and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, which has launched an investigation into Floyd's death while in police custody, will be enforceable in court.