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."

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19 mins ago - World

Scoop: Secret Israel-Sudan contacts paved the way for deal sealed by Trump

Trump on the phone with the leaders of Sudan and Israel. Photo: Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty

While the U.S. officially brokered the Israel-Sudan normalization deal, it was Israel that facilitated talks between the U.S. and Sudan on the broader deal that included Sudan’s removal from America’s state sponsors of terrorism list.

Why it matters: Israel’s secret contacts with Sudanese officials paved the way for a deal that was nearly a year in the making.

Updated 21 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Biden ahead in Wisconsin, Michigan as cases surge in the Midwest.
  2. Health: Surge "is real" and not just caused by more tests, Trump's testing czar saysMask mandates help control the rise in hospitalizations.
  3. Business: Surge is sinking consumer confidence Testing is a windfall.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. World: Putin mandates face masks.
44 mins ago - Health

Trump's testing czar: COVID surge "is real" and not just caused by more tests

Assistant Secretary of Health Adm. Brett Giroir, who leads the federal government's coronavirus testing response, pushed back on Wednesday against President Trump's continued claims that rising coronavirus cases are a product of increased testing.

The big picture: Every available piece of data shows that the pandemic is getting worse again across the country. Hospitalizations are on the rise — and some hospitals are warning that they could soon be overwhelmed — while 13 states set new highs last week for coronavirus infections recorded in a single day.