Mar 7, 2017

Lemnos raises $50 million to invest in hardware startups

Teforia

Lemnos, a Silicon Valley venture firm focused on hardware startups, has raised $50 million for its third—and largest—fund. Jeremy Conrad and Helen Zelman founded Lemnos in 2011, originally as a startup incubator, and have invested in 39 startups, including Airware, Spire, and Teforia.

Changes: The larger fund size will allow Lemnos to write larger checks and do more follow-on investing. The firm also has hired what it calls a "director of portfolio development" to work with portfolio companies as they grow and need to raise more funding. It's also now open to investing in purely software companies—so as long as they're still related to hardware products, Conrad told Axios.

VC and hardware: Until a few years ago, VCs were wary of backing hardware startups because of the high costs and complex production. But that's changed in recent years. "It's been proven that you can do hardware at venture scale," said Conrad of the ability for hardware startups to efficiently grow and bring significant returns to their investors.

The key to building what Conrad calls a "venture-backable business" in hardware is recurring revenue. He cites Kodak as an early proof of that model—selling film to its customers is how the company kept making money after the initial camera purchase. (Snap also looks to model itself after Kodak.) For modern hardware startups, this could be in the form of subscriptions to cloud-based video storage (for cameras), consumable items (like tea pods for a tea maker), or even renting out industrial robots and charging for their use.

Go deeper

Bernie Sanders wins Nevada caucus

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders waves to supporters at a campaign rally on Friday in Las Vegas. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders is projected to handily win the Nevada Democratic primary caucus, becoming the clear frontrunner among 2020 Democratic presidential primary election candidates.

Why it matters: Nevada is the first state with a diverse population to hold a nominating contest, highlighting candidates' abilities to connect with voters of color — particularly Latino voters.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 10 mins ago - Politics & Policy

South Korea and Italy see spikes in coronavirus cases

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus has spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting these are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the United States.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,446 people and infected almost 79,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel and Lebanon, while Iran reported its sixth death from the virus. South Korea's confirmed cases jumped from 204 Friday to 433 on Saturday and Italy's case count rose from 3 to 62 by Saturday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Health

Heat wave melts 20% of snow cover from Antarctic island in days

The effects of February's record heat wave on Eagle Island in Antarctica. Photo: NASA

Antarctica's Eagle Island now has a side that's almost ice-free following this month's searing heat wave in the region, images released by NASA show.

Why it maters: "The warm spell caused widespread melting on nearby glaciers," NASA said in its report. It's the third major melt event of the 2019-2020 Southern Hemisphere summer, following warm spells in January and last November, according to the United Nation's World Meteorological Organization (WMO).