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Convoy, a Seattle-based network that connects trucking companies with freight shippers, has raised $62 million in Series B funding. Y Combinator's Continuity Fund led the round, with partners Anu Hariharan and Ali Rowghani joining the Convoy board of directors. Other backers include Bill Gates' Cascade Investments, Mosaic Ventures, Barry Diller and Greylock Partners.

Investment thesis: This is all about efficiency, in terms of reducing the amount of time that trucks drive empty (which Convoy CEO Dan Lewis estimates to be 40%). Decreasing such vacancies could become a major margin improvement tool for trucking companies, as they continue to wait for the advent of autonomous vehicles.

Flashback: On Friday we reported that YC Continuity is "now willing to selectively back companies that didn't participate in its accelerator program," adding that it already had one such unannounced transaction. Well, this is it. Anu Hariharan tells Kia that such deals will be rare and still come via the YC network even if not incubated within YC. As for why Convoy, she cited a large market opportunity born of the trucking industry's historic lack of innovation.

Bottom line: "The U.S. trucking industry, which exceeded $700 billion in 2015 with freight volume expected to grow another 3% in 2017, has traditionally used brokers to help facilitate transactions between trucking companies and shippers. But that process, from finding to matching to pricing jobs, is often done manually. Convoy is bringing automation to that workflow." – Taylor Soper, GeekWire

Go deeper

Senate Democrats reach deal on extending unemployment insurance

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Senate Democrats struck a deal Friday evening to extend unemployment insurance in President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package after deliberating and halting other action for roughly nine hours, per a Senate aide.

Why it matters: The Senate can now resume voting on other amendments to the broader rescue bill.

Capitol review panel recommends more police, mobile fencing

Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

A panel appointed by Congress to review security measures at the Capitol is recommending several changes, including mobile fencing and a bigger Capitol police force, to safeguard the area after a riotous mob breached the building on Jan. 6.

Why it matters: Law enforcement officials have warned there could be new plots to attack the area and target lawmakers, including during a speech President Biden is expected to give to a joint session of Congress.

Financial fallout from the Texas deep freeze

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Texas has thawed out after an Arctic freeze last month threw the state into a power crisis. But the financial turmoil from power grid shock is just starting to take shape.

Why it matters: In total, electricity companies are billions of dollars short on the post-storm payments they now owe to the state's grid operator. There's no clear path for how they will pay — something being watched closely across the country as extreme weather events become more common.