Sep 6, 2017

ConsenSys forms VC fund for blockchain startups

ConsenSys, a company that develops apps and tools based on Ethereum, has launched a $50 million venture capital fund that will provide pre-seed and seed capital to blockchain technology startups. It will be led by Kavita Gupta, while ConsenSys founder Joe Lubin (also co-founder of Ethereum) also will be involved.

Gupta, who most recently worked on mission investing for Eric Schmidt's family foundation, tells Axios that she doesn't believe the advent of ICOs should result in the depreciation of traditional venture capital:

There is still value to due diligence and even if two PhD kids have sold tokens based on a brilliant white paper, they still have to figure out how to deliver a company. That's not necessarily something they have experience doing."

ConsenSys Ventures — which has not taken outside capital — will back startups that both do and don't plan to eventually offer digital tokens. It hasn't closed any deals yet, but does have three term sheets out.

Go deeper

Palantir CEO reflects on work with ICE

Palantir CEO Alex Karp told "Axios on HBO" that there have "absolutely" been moments he wished the company hadn't taken a contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

  • "Did I suffer? ... I've had some of my favorite employees leave," Karp told "Axios on HBO."

Michigan governor won't apologize for coronavirus lockdown

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer defended the strictness of her state's coronavirus lockdown in an interview with "Axios on HBO," saying it was necessary — despite the protests that have drawn national attention — because of how quickly the state's cases were rising.

The big picture: Whitmer, who has been a frequent target of President Trump, insisted that she had to act in the face of a lack of federal leadership — and that thousands more people in her state would have died without the lockdown.

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand now has only one novel coronavirus patient in hospital and just 22 active cases in the country, top health official Ashley Bloomfield confirmed at a briefing. He's "confident we have broken the chain of domestic transmission," with no new cases reported for most of May, he added.

By the numbers: Brazil on Monday recorded for the first time more deaths from the novel coronavirus in a single day than the United States, Reuters notes. Brazil reported 807 deaths from COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, compared to 620 in the U.S. for the same period.