May 22, 2020 - Economy & Business

Augmented reality company Magic Leap raises $350 million in new funding

Magic Leap booth during Collision 2019 in Toronto, Canada. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Magic Leap, a Florida-based maker of augmented reality devices, raised $350 million in new funding, according to a company memo first reported on by Business Insider.

Why it matters: It puts a whole new spin on the company's name. Magic Leap previously raised nearly $3 billion, repeatedly missed product launch targets and then, once it did launch to critical cackles, almost no one wanted to buy.

  • Investors include ... well, we don't know. The company isn't saying, although CEO Rony Abovitz recently told employees that he was in investment talks with a health care company. Existing backers include Alibaba, Alphabet, Qualcomm Ventures, KKR, Fidelity, and Kleiner Perkins.

The bottom line: "It seems that the lavishly funded augmented reality company still plans to turn all of its focus to the enterprise, as previously announced — a move that puts it in more direct competition with the likes of Microsoft’s HoloLens," writes TechCrunch.

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Mark Zuckerberg: Social networks should not be "the arbiter of truth"

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg argued on CNBC's "Squawk Box" Thursday that social media platforms should not police political speech, and that "people should be able to see what politicians say.”

Why it matters: Zuckerberg was responding to Twitter's decision this week to fact-check a pair of President Trump's tweets that claimed that mail-in ballots are "substantially fraudulent." Twitter's label, which directs users to "get the facts" about mail-in voting, does not censor Trump's tweets.

House Democrats pull FISA reauthorization bill

Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

House Democrats pulled legislation Thursday that would have renewed expired domestic surveillance laws and strengthened transparency and privacy protections amid broad opposition from President Trump, House GOP leadership and progressive Democrats.

Why it matters: The failure to reauthorize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) comes as Trump continues to attack the intelligence community, which he claims abused the law to surveil his 2016 campaign and Trump administration officials.

U.S. GDP drop revised lower to 5% in the first quarter

Data: Bureau of Economic Analysis; Chart: Axios Visuals

The U.S. economy shrunk by an annualized 5% in the first quarter — worse than the initially estimated 4.8% contraction — according to revised figures released by the government on Thursday.

Why it matters: It's the worst quarterly decline since 2008 and shows a huge hit as the economy was just beginning to shut down because of the coronavirus. Economists are bracing for the second quarter's figures to be the worst ever — with some projecting an annualized decline of around 40%.

3 hours ago - Economy & Business