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Charles Koch. Photo: Patrick T. Fallon / Getty Images

Koch Industries has launched an early-stage venture capital arm that will be led by Chase Koch, the son of company chairman and CEO Charles Koch.

Bottom line: Charles and David Koch might differ strongly with most of Silicon Valley on politics, but they believe there can be alignment when it comes to disruptive technologies.

  • It's called Koch Disruptive Technologies, and will be separate from the company's private equity group (Koch Equity Development), which is supporting Meredith Corp.'s takeover of magazine publisher Time Inc.
  • No word on dollar allocations, but a Koch source calls it a "significant focus" for the company, as evidenced by putting the boss' son in charge.
  • Also on the team will be new hire Jason Illian, founder and ex-CEO of a Dallas-based startup called BookShout.
  • Its first deal was announced this morning: Leading a $150 million Series E round for INSIGHTEC, an Israel-based developer of MRI-guided ultrasound devices for surgery.
  • Per an internal email from Koch CFO Steve Feilmeier: "We all know that the rate of change in the marketplace is accelerating. This is a threat to every business we operate; however, it also creates opportunity if we identify and invest in those entrepreneurs and technologies that can improve our businesses or potentially create a new business platform."
  • Go deeper: Politico's Nancy Scola recently wrote on the unexpected partnership between Koch and Silicon Valley.

Go deeper

Updated 60 mins ago - Health

First North American Omicron cases identified in Canada

COVID-19 testing personnel at Toronto Pearson International Airport in September. Photo: Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

The first two cases of the new Omicron variant have been detected in North America, the Canadian government announced Sunday evening.

Driving the news: The World Health Organization has named Omicron a "variant of concern," but cautioned earlier on Sunday that it is not yet clear whether it's more transmissible than other strains of COVID-19.

4 hours ago - Health

WHO: Not yet known whether Omicron leads to more severe disease

Photo illustration: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The World Health Organization on Sunday said that it is not yet clear whether the newly discovered Omicron variant is more transmissible than other strains of the COVID-19 virus.

Why it matters: The agency's statement comes as the variant, discovered in South Africa, has already been detected in European and Asian countries.

10 hours ago - Health

Fauci: Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in U.S.

Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, cautioned on Sunday that the COVID-19 Omicron variant will "inevitably" be found in the United States.

Driving the news: Fauci, Biden's chief medical adviser, told ABC's George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" that U.S. officials will meet with colleagues from South Africa later on Sunday to try to determine the severity of the cases, as countries scramble to learn more about the variant.