Casper, a New York-based direct-to-consumer bedding products retailer, has raised $170 million in Series C funding. Target Corp. led the round, after reportedly having been in earlier talks to acquire Casper outright. Other investors include Tresalia Capital, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, Institutional Venture Partners, NEA, Irving Capital and individual angels like 50 Cent, Kevin Spacey, Carmelo Anthony and Andre Iguodala.

Why it matters: Because it's the latest example of the rapidly converging e-commerce and physical retail worlds, following last Friday's Amazon/Whole Foods and Walmart/Bonobos deals. For Casper, it's about gaining consumer visibility. For Target, it's about better understanding direct-to-consumer selling via digital.

Remember: Casper may sell via online channels, but it's still much more of a retail company than a tech company.

Top-line: Casper reports more than $200 million in revenue for 2016, compared to around $100 million for 2015.

Bottom line: "The reality that we face is that a vast majority of people don't know that we exist." ― Casper CEO Philip Krim to the NY Times.


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Updated 7 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 20,724,799 — Total deaths: 751,399— Total recoveries: 12,873,188Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 5,234,800 — Total deaths: 166,750 — Total recoveries: 1,755,225 — Total tests: 63,731,305Map.
  3. Politics: House Democrats to investigate scientist leading "Operation Warp Speed" vaccine projectMcConnell announces Senate will not hold votes until Sept. 8 unless stimulus deal is reached.
  4. 2020: Biden calls for 3-month national mask mandateBiden and Harris to receive coronavirus briefings 4 times a week.
  5. States: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to drop lawsuit over Atlanta's mask mandate.
  6. Business: Why the CARES Act makes 2020 the best year for companies to lose money.
  7. Public health: Cases are falling, but don't get too comfortable.

Axios-SurveyMonkey poll: Harris boosting Biden ticket with key voters

Data: SurveyMonkey poll of 2,847 U.S. adults conducted Aug. 11–12, 2020 with ±3% margin of error; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Kamala Harris is accomplishing what Joe Biden's campaign hoped she would in her first two days as his running mate — doing no harm, while exciting parts of the base with whom Biden needs the most help.

The big picture: Black women especially, but also Black men, Hispanics and Democrats and independents across the board say they are more likely to vote for Biden with Harris on the ticket, according to a new Axios-SurveyMonkey poll.

39 mins ago - Technology

Epic sues Apple over developer tax as Fortnite is pulled from App Store

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Fortnite maker Epic Games on Thursday escalated its battle over Apple's App Store tactics, suing the tech giant over antitrust claims while also baiting Apple into dropping Fortnite from the App Store.

The big picture: Epic is just one of several developers clashing with Apple. They argue the company harms competition by taking a cut of up to 30% on in-app purchases and subscriptions and blocking most developers from getting around the tax by charging their users directly.