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Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Mike Smith, former COO and president at Stitch Fix, and Nikhil Basu Trivedi, previously a partner at Shasta Ventures, are raising $150 million for a new venture capital fund named Footwork, multiple sources tell Axios. 

Backstory: The pair has known each other for several years since both serving on the board of Imperfect Foods. 

Strategy: The generalist tech fund will invest in seed and Series A deals.

  • Smith, who was one of the few top Black executives in Silicon Valley, recently told Recode that he plans on backing founders from underrepresented backgrounds.
  • Per a source, while this is certainly part of Footwork's strategy, it's not the firm's exclusive focus.

Footwork declined to comment. 

Go deeper

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
9 mins ago - Health

Biden set to immediately ramp up federal pandemic response

President Biden signs executive hours just hours after being inaugurated. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

On his first full day on the job, President Biden will move quickly to translate his promise of a stronger federal response to the pandemic into policy — starting with 10 executive orders and other directives.

Why it matters: The hands-on federal effort marks a significant change from the Trump administration, which put states in charge of many of the logistical details of their pandemic responses.

New coronavirus cases down, but more bad news ahead

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The pace of new coronavirus infections fell significantly over the past week, but the virus is still out of control, and a more contagious variant is gaining ground.

By the numbers: The U.S. averaged roughly 198,000 new cases per day in the final week of the Trump administration — a 19% drop from the week before, but still a ton of cases.

Guaranteed income programs are proliferating

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Cities around the country are starting up guaranteed income programs, which pay low-income residents around $300-$600 a month to help improve their lives.

Why it matters: If successful, backers hope these experiments — which bring the idea of guaranteed basic income from the progressive drawing board to reality — could set the stage for a day when unconditional cash stipends are a ubiquitous national safety net.

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