Dec 15, 2017 -

Ex-Google Ventures chief raises $150 million VC fund

In March we reported that Google Ventures founder Bill Maris was launching his own venture capital firm, called Section 32, after a late 2016 hiccup. Today Maris will announce that he has closed his debut fund with $150 million in capital commitments (compared to an initial $100m target). Expect it to be fairly agnostic in terms of stage, sector and geography.

  • Trends: Maris has a well-known interest in the intersection between biotech and computing, but also is wary of how "super trendy" the space has become among VCs. In other words, the supply/demand balance may have flipped a bit too hard.
  • Science fiction: Section 32 is a Star Trek reference, although Maris has no plans to seek out teleportation startups (you know, the thing that would make self-driving cars obsolete). But he does add this: "Science fiction for me isn't escapism. It's optimism."

What's next

Honoring Kobe Bryant: Sports stars, politicians and celebrities mourn NBA great

Kobe Bryant on court for the Los Angeles Lakers during the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest on All-Star Saturday Night, part of 2010 NBA All-Star Weekend at American Airlines Center in Dallas in February 2010. Photo: Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Sports stars, politicians and celebrities paid tribute to NBA legend Kobe Bryant, who was killed in a California helicopter crash alongside his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others on Saturday. He was 41.

What they're saying: Lakers great Shaquille O'Neal said in an Instagram post of his former teammate, "There's no words to express the pain I'm going through now with this tragic and sad moment of losing my friend, my brother, my partner in winning championships, my dude and my homie. I love you brother and you will be missed."

Go deeperArrow14 mins ago - Sports

Bolton alleges in book that Trump tied Ukraine aid to investigations

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Trump's former national security adviser John Bolton alleges in his forthcoming book that the president explicitly told him "he wanted to continue freezing $391 million in security assistance to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats including the Bidens," the New York Times first reported.

Why this matters: The revelations present a dramatic 11th hour turn in Trump's Senate impeachment trial. They directly contradict Trump's claim that he never tied the hold-up of Ukrainian aid to his demands for investigations into his political opponent Joe Biden.

Impeachment: Then & now

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

We are living in a measurably different political and media landscape than when the Senate acquitted President Bill Clinton of impeachment charges in 1999.

The big picture: These dynamics are setting the pace as President Trump’s legal team speeds through arguments to seek a fast acquittal.