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.

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Coronavirus spreads to more countries, and South Korea ups its case count

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. South Korea's confirmed cases jumped from 204 on Friday to 433 on Saturday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,362 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 11 mins ago - Health

Centrist Democrats beseech 2020 candidates: "Stand up to Bernie" or Trump wins

Bernie Sanders rallies in Las Vegas, Nevada on Feb. 21. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Center-left think tank Third Way urgently called on the Democratic front-runners of the 2020 presidential election to challenge Sen. Bernie Sanders on the South Carolina debate stage on Feb. 25, in a memo provided to Axios' Mike Allen on Saturday.

What they're saying: "At the Las Vegas debate ... you declined to really challenge Senator Sanders. If you repeat this strategy at the South Carolina debate this week, you could hand the nomination to Sanders, likely dooming the Democratic Party — and the nation — to Trump and sweeping down-ballot Republican victories in November."

Situational awareness

Warren Buffett. Photo: Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Warren Buffett releases annual letter, reassures investors about future of Berkshire Hathaway
  2. Greyhound bars immigration sweeps
  3. U.S. military officially stops offensive operations in Afghanistan
  4. America's future looks a lot like Nevada
  5. Centrist Democrats beseech 2020 candidates: "Stand up to Bernie" or Trump wins