Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

NextGen Venture Partners has raised $52 million for its second fund, the early-stage investment firm tells Axios.

In context: Unlike many VC firms that are now shifting to work from home, NextGen has been distributed from the start, including an extensive network of 1,300 venture partners. Startup pitches via Zoom are routine, and NextGen even built its own social network-like software for managing deals.

What they're saying: Managing partner Jon Bassett tells Axios:

  • “In the early days, NextGen really started as wanting to be the best investor in second-tier cities…we said ‘let’s invest outside of Silicon Valley.' With Fund 2, we want to be in the best deals regardless of of geography.”
  • “I think the lessons learned is that having industry experts in the room during the pitch is incredibly helpful and efficient… In our process, you get all the relevant people in a 60-90 minute call.”

Go deeper

Media and telecom deals down due to coronavirus pandemic

Reproduced from PwC; Chart: Axios Visuals

Deal volume for the media and telecom industry has slowed significantly during the coronavirus, according to the latest report from PwC.

Yes, but: Some companies, like Industry Dive, with healthy balance sheets and access to capital are still trying to find opportunistic investments.

Uber CEO proposes "benefits funds" for gig workers

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. Photo: Scott Heins/Getty Images)

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi called for establishing "benefits funds" for gig workers in a New York Times op-ed out Monday.

Why it matters: Gig workers, who remain independent contractors and not employees, have long pushed companies like Uber for benefits comparable to those received by traditional workers. The coronavirus pandemic and its resultant economic strain has broadened those calls.

Trump tries to set a tax trap for Biden

Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump is trying to lure Joe Biden into a Walter Mondale trap — attempting to force the Democratic nominee to embrace middle-class tax increases as part of his election strategy.

Why it matters: With his Saturday evening executive action to unilaterally rewrite the tax code, Trump again is demonstrating the lengths to which he’ll go to change the conversation — and try to make the election a choice between him and Biden, and not a referendum on him.