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Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images

A number of leading children's brands, including Lego and Sesame Workshop, are among the investors pouring $50 million into BEGiN, the New York startup behind the early-learning program HOMER.

Why it matters: Thus far, HOMER has focused on reading apps, but with the new funding and partnerships, the company says it will expand to a full early-learning program combining digital, physical and in-person experiences, tapping some of its investors for both content and distribution.

Details:

  • Other investors include Trustbridge Partners and Interlock Partners and the lead investor behind Gymboree Play and Music.
  • Former Mattel and Babytree executive Siddharth Mathur is joining the company as executive chairman.
  • Sesame Workshop COO Steve Youngwood, Lego Education's Jyoti Parikh and Gymboree's Xinkai Chen and GSV partner Michael Cohn will also join the board.

Between the lines: HOMER's expansion comes as parents around the globe are looking for new early learning options amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

What they're saying: "HOMER helps parents architect a unique learning journey for their child based on the specific way that they learn," CEO Neal Shenoy told Axios. "This approach helps all children appreciate that they are powerful learners, even when that learning does not occur in a formal classroom setting."

Go deeper

Parents of 545 children separated at southern border remain unfound

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The U.S. cannot locate the parents of 545 migrant children separated under a 2017 pilot program as part of President Trump’s immigration policy, NBC News first reported, citing a filing from the American Civil Liberties Union.

Why it matters: The number of parents who are currently considered “unreachable” is larger than was previously known. Search efforts have grown increasingly difficult given the time that has passed between when the children were released from federal custody and when volunteers started trying to find them.

Kaine, Collins' censure resolution seeks to bar Trump from holding office again

Sen. Tim Kaine (center) and Sen. Susan Collins (right). Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool via Getty Images

Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) are forging ahead with a draft proposal to censure former President Trump, and are considering introducing the resolution on the Senate floor next week.

Why it matters: Senators are looking for a way to condemn Trump on the record as it becomes increasingly unlikely Democrats will obtain the 17 Republican votes needed to gain a conviction, Axios Alayna Treene writes. "I think it’s important for the Senate's leadership to understand that there are alternatives," Kaine told CNN on Wednesday.

Stark reminder for America's corporate leaders

Rosalind "Roz" Brewer is about to become only the second Black woman to permanently lead a Fortune 500 company. She starts as Walgreens CEO on March 15.

Why it matters: It's a stark reminder of how far corporate America's top decision-makers have to go during an unprecedented push by politicians, employees and even a stock exchange to diversify their top ranks.

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