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Jellyvision, a Chicago-based maker of an employee communications platform called ALEX, today announced that it has raised $20 million in growth equity funding from Updata Partners. Existing shareholders include Jackson Square Ventures.

PR pros, take notice: Not only did the related press release try to be funny, it succeeded. Highlights:

  • Jellyvision is a 100-year-old tech company, give or take 85 years.
  • Following the tragic death of the CD-ROM software market, the company pivoted.

Ugh, pivot? Don't worry, that overused phrase is legit this time. Jellyvision began life as an educational software company that quickly morphed into the gaming company responsible for such late 90s hits as You Don't Know Jack and the CD-ROM version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire.

The visual and writing creatives teams stuck together and turned into a project-based marketing agency whose output often reflected the "question and response" aspects of its games. Eventually a client asked for help explaining healthcare plans to employees, which led to the current ALEX SaaS platform ― whose 800 enterprise customers include more than 80 in the Fortune 500.

Bottom line: "We ride on top of or next to the enrollment platform, so we're not really competing against them." ― Jellyvision CMO Bob Armour, who adds that the company is cash-flow positive.

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Laurene Powell Jobs' $3.5 billion climate campaign

Laurene Powell Jobs, president of Emerson Collective, is investing $3.5 billion in her new climate-action group, the Waverley Street Foundation — all to be spent in 10 years, as a way to show urgency on the issue.

  • Then the group will sunset.

The big picture: The foundation "will focus on initiatives and ideas that will aid underserved communities who are most impacted by climate change," an official tells Axios.

R. Kelly found guilty of racketeering and sex trafficking

Photo: Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Singer R. Kelly on Monday was found guilty of racketeering and eight counts of violating an anti-sex trafficking law, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: Sexual misconduct allegations have surrounded R. Kelly's career, including a child sexual abuse image case in 2008 where he was acquitted. Multiple other victims have come forward to speak about the abuse in recent years.

German elections: After close result, jockeying to replace Merkel begins

Data: Preliminary results from German Federal Returning Officer; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

Germany’s Social Democrats (SPD) pulled off a come-from-behind victory in Sunday’s elections, 10 seats ahead of the Christian Democrats (CDU), which failed to finish top for the first time in 16 years.

State of play: SPD leader Olaf Scholz has said he’ll seek to form a government, but so too has Armin Laschet, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s successor as CDU leader.