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Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, video conference tool Zoom has become the go-to app for bringing home everything from work to school — and now it's being used for political fundraising.

What's new: On Tuesday, Silicon Valley technologists used Zoom to host the Democratic National Committee's first virtual fundraiser, which featured DNC technology chief Nell Thomas and Deck Technologies founder Max Woods. 

  • The event was initially planned to be in-person, but like so much else, went virtual, co-host and venture capitalist Roy Bahat tells Axios. 

What they're saying: "We've hosted a lot of fundraisers since 2016, and it was better than a lot of them," says Bahat of Tuesday's video call. "It's way easier to get the expert to you … all the guests could come from wherever." 

  • At its peak, about 75 people were tuned into the event, which featured a presentation from Thomas about the DNC's tech infrastructure. 
  • The hosts posted a link for submitting payments into the Zoom dashboards and directed participants to it. Bahat said that made it much easier to actually collect donations than at in-person events.
  • Bahat hasn't received fundraising results from the DNC yet, but says that with this first Zoom-hosted event, the hosts were more focused on getting every participant to donate than on the total amount. 

The big picture: Campaigns have been increasingly using tech over the years to reach voters and coordinate activities, but the coronavirus pandemic could force fully virtual measures like social distancing to remain in place for months. The presidential election is a little over seven months away.

Go deeper: Campaigns turn to texting as coronavirus spreads

Go deeper

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.

U.S. Chamber decides against political ban for Capitol insurrection

A pedestrian passes the U.S. Chamber of Commerce headquarters as it undergoes renovation. Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce revealed Friday it won't withhold political donations from lawmakers who simply voted against certifying the presidential election results and instead decide on a case-by-case basis.

Why it matters: The Chamber is the marquee entity representing businesses and their interests in Washington. Its memo, obtained exclusively by Axios, could set the tone for businesses debating how to handle their candidate and PAC spending following the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.