Mar 24, 2017

Ello founder is back with a wacky Snapchat-like app

The man behind Ello, an "anti-Facebook" social network that made headlines in 2014 for its ad-free approach, is back with something new. It's Wuu, a quirky, yet simplistic, mobile app reminiscent of Snapchat and Instagram (minus public posting or "likes"). As with Ello, it's unclear how Wuu plans to make money as it won't have ads and is focused on user privacy.

Paul Budnitz, Ello's co-founder and original CEO, released Wuu yesterday on iOS, though the app is still invite-only. Budnitz still remains part-owner of Ello, though he no longer runs the company. The social network no longer makes headlines but has found popularity among artists. Earlier this month, Ello raised $2.5 million in new funding.

Wuu money: SEC filings revealed Wuu raised between $725,000 and $1.3 million over two convertible note rounds last year. Budnitz declined to say more about dollars, but did reveal to Axios that Founders Fund is the lead investor, adding that the firm told him to "do whatever the hell you want" as far as building the app. Other investors in Wuu include Vermont-based VC firm FreshTracks Capital (also an Ello investor), and a few undisclosed Hollywood celebrities.

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Pro-Trump warrior takes the helm of U.S. intelligence

Richard Grenell in Berlin. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

By picking Ambassador Richard Grenell to be acting director of national intelligence, President Trump has slotted a pro-Trump warrior into the ultimate apolitical role.

What they're saying: James Clapper, the longest-serving DNI (2010-2017), tells Axios it's "very worrisome installing a partisan with no real intelligence experience in this position."

Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers as Israel confirms first case

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. U.S. numbers include Americans extracted from Princess Cruise ship.

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship — as Israel confirmed its first case among evacuees from the ship.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,200 people and infected over 76,000 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 118 new deaths since Thursday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 55 mins ago - Health

California's "woman quota" law seems to be working

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

When California passed its boardroom law requiring public companies based there to have at least one female director, there were concerns it would spark a gold rush for the same handful of well-known women — but that hasn’t happened.

Why it matters: Of the 138 women who joined all-male California boards last year, 62% are serving on their first company board, per a study by accounting firm KPMG. That means a majority of companies aren't contributing to so-called overboarding in corporate America.