Dec 14, 2017

Koch Industries launches a venture capital group

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata

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 17 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Updates: George Floyd protests continue for 8th day

Police officers wearing riot gear push back demonstrators outside of the White House on Monday. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people continued Tuesday across the U.S. for the eighth consecutive day, prompting a federal response from the National Guard, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection.

The latest: The National Park Service said in a statement Tuesday that while it "is committed to the peaceful expression of First Amendment rights," it "cannot tolerate violence to citizens or officers or damage to our nation’s resources that we are entrusted to protect."

American carnage

Protesters race up a hill to avoid tear gas in Philadelphia, June 1. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

The list of victims has swiftly grown since George Floyd died in police custody just eight days ago.

The big picture: Protests against police brutality have turned into a showcase of police brutality, with tear gas and rubber bullets deployed against crowds. The police have the arsenals at their disposal, but we're also seeing law enforcement officers becoming targets.

McConnell blocks resolution condemning Trump's actions against peaceful protesters

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) blocked a resolution introduced by Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday that would have condemned the use of tear gas and rubber bullets against peaceful protesters outside the White House on Monday in order to allow President Trump to walk to St. John's Church.

What they're saying: "Justice for black Americans in the face of unjust violence, and peace for our country in the face of looting, riots, and domestic terror. Those are the two issues Americans want addressed," McConnell said on the Senate floor.