Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A proprietary machine-learning platform has driven more than $100 million in portfolio-company investments for the venture capital firm EQT Ventures, according to numbers first seen by Axios.

Why it matters: EQT Venture's home-brewed Motherbrain platform represents a notable effort to adapt machine learning to the failure-prone process of picking and choosing early-stage tech investments.

How it works: Motherbrain monitors over 10 million companies and takes data from dozens of structured and unstructured sources to identify patterns that may be useful as EQT Ventures searches for possible investments.

  • Part of Motherbrain's appeal is that it can locate companies for potential investments directly through data anywhere in the world, rather than relying on investor connections or geography.
  • "Motherbrain is part of our quest to do everything we do in a smarter way," says Henrik Landgren, an operating partner at EQT Ventures who leads the product work on Motherbrain.

Among the companies discovered with Motherbrain's help is Standard Cognition, which develops AI-powered autonomous checkout technology.

  • "[EQT Ventures] told us that 'Motherbrain informed us we had to talk to you,'" says Michael Suswal, co-founder and COO of Standard Cognition. "I felt flattered and it made me more interested in the firm. We probably wouldn't have connected with them if it wasn't for Motherbrain."

The bottom line: We often think of automation as outright replacing human jobs, but the Motherbrain platform is an example of another trend: augmenting how humans work.

Go deeper

Hundreds gather to pay tribute to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg along Supreme Court steps

Photo: Alex Brandon/AP

At the Supreme Court steps Friday night hundreds of people gathered to pay tribute to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — singing in a candlelight vigil, with some in tears.

Details: If there is a singular mood at the Supreme Court tonight, it’s some kind of a daze manifested by silence. 

A court fight for the ages

The flag flies at half-staff as people mourn on the Supreme Court steps last night. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Ruth Bader Ginsburg — feminist icon, legal giant, toast of pop culture — left this statement with granddaughter Clara Spera as cancer closed in: "My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed."

The big picture: For all that the nation owes "Notorious RBG" — the hip-hop-inspired nickname she enjoyed and embraced — Republicans are planning to do their best to be sure her robe is quickly filled, despite that last wish, with her ideological polar opposite.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8:15 a.m. ET: 30,539,903 — Total deaths: 952,629— Total recoveries: 20,800,482Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8:15 a.m. ET: 6,726,353 — Total deaths: 198,603 — Total recoveries: 2,556,465 — Total tests: 92,163,649Map.
  3. Politics: In reversal, CDC again recommends coronavirus testing for asymptomatic people.
  4. Health: The dwindling chances of eliminating COVID-19 — Massive USPS face mask operation called off The risks of moving too fast on a vaccine.
  5. Business: Unemployment drop-off reverses course 1 million mortgage-holders fall through safety netHow the pandemic has deepened Boeing's 737 MAX crunch.
  6. Education: At least 42% of school employees are vulnerable.