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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Source: Felicis Ventures

Felicis Ventures, an early-stage VC firm that's riding high with the recent sales of Plaid (to Visa for $5 billion) and Credit Karma (to Intuit for $7 billion), has raised $510 million for its seventh fund.

The bottom line: Most of the fund was raised before coronavirus sent the markets into chaos, but Felicis founder Aydin Senkut has been through enough cycles to avoid sudden investment strategy shifts.

Senkut experienced the dotcom boom and bust while an early Google executive, and raised the first Felicis fund just as the financial crisis was subsiding in 2010. He says:

  • “The reality is that we’ve been thinking about it for the last 10 years because you can’t predict these black swans. We’re gonna keep focusing on critical areas that are never gonna go out of fashion.”
  • His advice to startups: “You have a car and your number one job is to not run out of gas”—meaning, cash.

In addition to the new fund, Felicis also disclosed it has a lifetime cash-on-cash multiple of 5.4x across all funds as of January.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Investors increase their exuberance

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

U.S. stocks jumped across the board on Monday and the S&P 500 had its best day since June 5, as the bulls stepped in and bought the dips in stock prices following last week's minor selloff.

Why it matters: While some have worried rising U.S. interest rates would dampen investor exuberance over the expected pickup in economic growth thanks to increasing vaccine numbers and big fiscal spending hopes, Monday showed investors still like risk assets. A lot.

3 hours ago - World

China and Russia vaccinate the world — for now

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

While the U.S. and Europe focus on vaccinating their own populations, China and Russia are sending millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses to countries around the world.

Why it matters: China's double success in controlling its domestic outbreak and producing several viable vaccines has allowed it to focus on providing doses abroad — an effort that could help to save lives across several continents.

Ina Fried, author of Login
3 hours ago - Technology

China will dominate AI unless U.S. invests more, commission warns

Photo illustration: Axios Visuals. Photo: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The U.S., which once had a dominant head start in artificial intelligence, now has just a few years' lead on China and risks being overtaken unless government steps in, according to a new report to Congress and the White House.

Why it matters: Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who chaired the committee that issued the report, tells Axios that the U.S. risks dire consequences if it fails to both invest in key technologies and fully integrate AI into the military.

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