Apr 11, 2017

Comcast invests in Plume, a Wi-Fi wall plug startup

Courtesy of Plume

Plume, the maker of a sleek Wi-Fi network extender that can be operated via smartphone app, has raised $27.5 million in a new VC funding round that could total $37.5 million, according to an SEC filing.

Big cable: Comcast led the round, per a source familiar with the situation, as reflected by a filing note that Comcast executive Tyson Marian has joined Plume's board of directors. The cable giant's interest isn't surprising: In January, at the annual CES convention, Comcast touted a new cloud-based Wi-Fi hub to help its Xfinity customers manage their Internet service and connected home devices.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based startup previously raised funding from Jackson Square Ventures, Spark Capital and Liberty Global Ventures. Competitors include Eero, Luma, and Google's OnHub router.

Update: Plume confirmed the new funding and that Marian has joined the board, though it declined to comment on participating investors.

Note: Comcast is an investor in Axios though NBCUniversal.

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DOJ to treat antifa involvement in protests as domestic terrorism

Barr and Trump. Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

Attorney General Bill Barr said in a statement Sunday that the Justice Department will use its network of 56 regional FBI Joint Terrorism Task Forces to identify the "criminal organizers and instigators" of violence during the George Floyd protests, including antifa and similar groups.

Why it matters: Barr, President Trump and other members of the administration have pinned the blame for riots and looting over the past few days of protests against police brutality on antifa, a loosely defined far-left movement that uses violence and direct-action protest tactics.

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Trump and Zuckerberg share phone call amid social media furor

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

In the week that President Trump took on social media, Axios has learned that he had a call Friday with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg that was described by both sides as productive.

Why it matters: With the White House and Twitter at war, Facebook has managed to keep diplomatic relations with the world's most powerful social-media devotee.

Twitter, Google lead chorus of brands backing George Floyd protests

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Twitter and Google are among the dozens of brands over the past 24 hours that have taken public stances in favor of Americans protesting racial equality. Some companies have changed their logos in solidarity with the movement, while others have pledged money in support of efforts to address social injustice.

Why it matters: The pressure that companies feel to speak out on issues has increased during the Trump era, as businesses have sought to fill a trust void left by the government. Now, some of the biggest companies are quickly taking a public stand on the protests, pressuring all other brands to do the same.