Betaworks Ventures is just weeks away on a final close for its debut fund, which is expected to total around $50 million, Axios has learned. An earlier regulatory filing had suggested that the group could raise upwards of $75 million.

This is the first institutional fund for tech studio Betaworks, which previously had invested off its balance sheet (those investments will be folded into the new vehicle). One big difference will be that deals out of the fund, while still seed-focused, will be larger ($250k-$500k vs. $50k-$100k). There is some overlap with existing Betaworks investors, but there will be some Betaworks Ventures LPs that are new to the platform.

Betaworks Ventures has three partners: Matthew Hartman, Peter Rojas and John Borthwick (the Betaworks CEO, who will split his time 50/50 between the fund and the studio). No comment on any of this from Betaworks, due to regulatory restrictions.

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Updated 46 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Voters in Wisconsin, Michigan urged to return absentee ballots to drop boxes

Signs for Joe Biden are seen outside a home in Coon Valle, Wisconsin, on Oct. 3. Photo by KEREM YUCEL via Getty

Wisconsin Democrats and the Democratic attorney general of Michigan are urging voters to return absentee ballots to election clerks’ offices or drop boxes, warning that the USPS may not be able to deliver ballots by the Election Day deadline.

Driving the news: The Supreme Court rejected an effort by Wisconsin Democrats and civil rights groups to extend the state's deadline for counting absentee ballots to six days after Election Day, as long as they were postmarked by Nov. 3. In Michigan, absentee ballots must also be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day in order to be counted.

54 mins ago - Technology

Facebook warns of "perception hacks" undermining trust in democracy

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Facebook warned Tuesday that bad actors are increasingly taking to social media to create the false perception that they’ve pulled off major hacks of electoral systems or have otherwise seriously disrupted elections.

Why it matters: "Perception hacking," as Facebook calls it, can have dire consequences on people's faith in democracy, sowing distrust, division and confusion among the voters it targets.

Obama: Trump is "jealous of COVID's media coverage"

Former President Barack Obama launched a blistering attack on President Trump while campaigning for Joe Biden in Orlando on Tuesday, criticizing Trump for complaining about the pandemic as cases soar and joking that he's "jealous of COVID's media coverage."

Driving the news: Trump has baselessly accused the news media of only focusing on covering the coronavirus pandemic — which has killed over 226,000 Americans so far and is surging across the country once again — as a way to deter people from voting on Election Day and distract from other issues.

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