Nov 16, 2017

Science Inc.'s ICO raises a fraction of its goal

Rebecca Zisser / Axios

Science Inc. announced in August that it would raise up to $100 million via an initial coin offering, for the purpose of funding a new incubator cohort of blockchain-based startups. But, with less than a week to go, Science only has raised around $12 million.

Why it matters: These results show that the current token sale craze won't result in wild success for everyone. It also raises questions as to whether investors saw true value in backing a startup incubator for the promise of returns from the yet-to-be-selected startups.

A Science inc. spokesperson tells Axios it had a soft cap of $50 million and points to the modest $10 million that funded Science's first traditional incubator program, which yielded Dollar Shave Club. For context, Blockchain Capital, a VC fund that invests in blockchain-based companies, also raised $10 million through an ICO.

Statement from Science: We had a soft cap at $50 million. We're very happy with the amount raised so far. For context, our first Science incubator, which led to great exits for Dollar Shave Club, HelloSociety and Famebit, raised $10 million. Brock Pierce [co-founded] Blockchain Capital, the only other investment vehicle to do an ICO like this, raised $10 million in its ICO.Beyond that, a lot of changes have happened in the cryptocurrency and ICO market since we pre-announced, and since we're doing a regulated ICO, we're also more restricted in how we can raise. For example, most ICOs give major discounts to people who invest in pre-sale. Because we're doing a regulated securitized ICO that complies with the SEC, we can't give those kinds of discounts. We also can't accept investments from active crypto markets like China.Again, we're really happy with this outcome, and we've gotten lots of valuable experience and insight that we can pass along to the portfolio companies we're actively incubating now.

This article has been updated to note Brock Pierce is a co-founder of Blockchain . The company says he's no longer involved in day-to-day operations.

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 24 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 2,362 people and infected more than 77,000 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 1 hour ago - Health

America's rundown roads add to farmers' struggles

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

American farmers are struggling to safely use the roads that cut through their fields; decades of neglect and lack of funding have made the routes dangerous.

The big picture: President Trump has long promised to invest billions in rural infrastructure, and his latest proposal would allocate $1 trillion for such projects. Rural America, where many of Trump's supporters live, would see a large chunk of that money.