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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Entrepreneur Sarah Kunst is raising $10 million for a new fund called Cleo Capital, which will provide capital to female entrepreneurs to act as scouts, Axios has learned.

  • She's already secured $1.7 million, per an SEC filing.
  • Kunst made news last year for disclosing that she had received inappropriate messages from investor Dave McClure, who later was forced out of the firm he had founded.

Why it matters: Women still make up only 9% of decision makers in venture capital firms, and receive only a small fraction of VC funding. VC scouts typically keep much of the upside of their deals (as incentive to perform), so Cleo Capital could enable a new group of women to earn significant cash if they prove savvy at picking startups to back.

Go deeper

Convicts turn to D.C. fixers for Trump pardons

Trump confidante Matt Schlapp interviews Jared Kushner last February. Schlapp is seeking a pardon for a biotech executive. Photo: Samuel Corum/Getty Images

A flood of convicted criminals has retained lobbyists since November’s presidential election to press President Trump for pardons or commutations before he leaves office.

What we're hearing: Among them is Nickie Lum Davis, a Hawaii woman who pleaded guilty last year to abetting an illicit foreign lobbying campaign on behalf of fugitive Malaysian businessman Jho Low. Trump confidante Matt Schlapp also is seeking a pardon for a former biopharmaceutical executive convicted of fraud less than two months ago.

GOP plots payback for deplatforming Trump

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Capitol Hill conservatives are gaming out a multi-front war on the tech industry as retribution for deplatforming President Trump and others on the right, congressional sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: When you're in the minority, you figure out who you are as a party. With Republicans now looking up at the Democrats, they're searching for a unifying issue. This is one, at least for now.

Republicans ignore McCarthy and name-drop anyway

Rep. Liz Cheney speaks as House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy watches. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call Inc via Getty Images

Members of the House Republican Conference ignored leader Kevin McCarthy last week when he warned them against criticizing colleagues by name based on intelligence that doing so could trigger more political violence.

Why it matters: McCarthy made clear that name-dropping opponents, instead of spelling out complaints in more general terms, can put a literal target on a politician, especially with tensions so high following the events of Jan. 6.

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