Oct 23, 2017

Howard Morgan teams with Facebook co-founder

Howard Morgan

Howard Morgan today announced that he has agreed to become chairman of B Capital Group, a global growth equity firm led by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin and former Bain Capital investor Raj Ganguly.

Why it matters: Morgan has a Midas touch when it comes to new investment firms, from Renaissance Capital to Idealab to First Round Capital. His part-time role at B Capital Group is more focused on firm operations than investment, but he's hoping to continue the streak.

Resume: It's not hyperbole to call Howard Morgan a tech industry legend, first as a computer science professor at the early dawn of the Internet age (he's credited with bringing World Wide Web predecessor ARPANET to Philadelphia, where he taught). Morgan would go on to become an original team member at early quantitative hedge fund Renaissance Technologies, before moving on to become an early investor with Idealab at the beginning of the dotcom boom and as co-founder of First Round Capital in 2004. He formally retired from First Round earlier this year.

New job: Morgan tells Axios that he will spend around 20% of his time with B Capital, primarily to help the firm figure out how to best operate with multiple global offices. "They really need help building out the firm and integrating people." He's particularly intrigued by B Capital's financial ties to Boston Consulting Group, which he believes will help growth-stage portfolio companies get access to the Global 5000.

History: Morgan first met Ganguly around seven years ago at a tech industry conference, and was introduced to Saverin several years after that. He says that Saverin has correctly identified a large tech investment opportunity in Southeast Asia, and refers to the Facebook founder as "much more humble and self-effacing than most people think... He's not the guy from the movie."

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 741,030 — Total deaths: 35,305 — Total recoveries: 156,838.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 143,532 — Total deaths: 2,572 — Total recoveries: 4,865.
  3. Federal government latest: The White House will extend its social distancing guidelines until April 30 — Hospital ship the USNS Comfort arrives in Manhattan
  4. Public health updates: — White House COVID-19 response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said the 100,000 to 200,000 U.S. coronavirus death toll estimate is based on the presumption that citizens follow social-distancing guidelines "almost perfectly."
  5. Business latest: Macy's will furlough the majority of it's workers this week, as the chain's stores remain closed.
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Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

At least 28 state governors have ordered their residents to stay home to promote social distancing and limit community spread from the coronavirus pandemic as the U.S. copes with more than 144,000 positive cases — more than any other country in the world, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: COVID-19 killed over 2,500 people in the U.S. by Monday. That's far fewer than in Italy, where over 10,700 people have died — accounting for a third of the global death toll. The number of people who've recovered from the virus in the U.S. exceeded 4,800.

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Gov. Larry Hogan. Photo: Jim Spellman/Getty Images

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The big picture: Maryland is the latest state to announce policies to enforce social distancing, which have affected almost 250 million Americans. More than 1.5 billion people worldwide had been asked to stay home as of last week.

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