May 29, 2018

"Founder friendly" era in Silicon Valley is creating stars

Attendees look on at Google's I/O developer conference. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

"Silicon Valley financiers are losing leverage to star entrepreneurs ... Founders of highflying startups are increasingly wresting control of their companies from venture-capital backers and extracting huge pay packages tied to going public," The Wall Street Journal's Rolfe Winkler and Maureen Farrell write (subscription).

Why it matters: "VCs say empowering founders — through special voting shares, governance rights and other tools — frees them to follow ambitious long-term strategies once their companies go public without having to worry that poor performance will bring pressure from activist investors."

  • The state of play: "Venture capitalists had long called the shots in startup boardrooms and continue to be the primary backers of private companies. But in recent years, they have had to compete against new classes of investors including mutual funds, sovereign-wealth funds and now Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp., which has a $92 billion fund investing in startups."
  • The data: "Last year, 67% of U.S. venture-backed tech companies that staged IPOs had supervoting shares for insiders ... The proportion of nontech U.S. venture-backed IPOs with supervoting shares stood at 10% to 15% every year ... 72% of founders of U.S. tech startups valued over $1 billion that had IPOs over the past 24 months have supervoting shares."

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Updated 1 hour ago - Health

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

The number of deaths from the novel coronavirus surpassed 400,000 worldwide on Sunday morning, per Johns Hopkins.

By the numbers: Almost 6.9 million people have tested positive for COVID-19 globally and more than 3 million have recovered from the virus. The U.S. has reported the most cases in the world with over 1.9 million.

George Floyd updates

Protesters gather north of Lafayette Square near the White House during a demonstration against racism and police brutality, in Washington, D.C. on Saturday evening. Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AFP via Getty Images

Tens of thousands of demonstrators have been rallying in cities across the U.S. and around the world to protest the killing of George Floyd. Huge crowds assembled in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Chicago for full-day events on Saturday.

Why it matters: Twelve days of nationwide protest in the U.S. has built pressure for states to make changes on what kind of force law enforcement can use on civilians and prompted officials to review police conduct. A memorial service was held for Floyd in Raeford, North Carolina, near where he was born. Gov. Roy Cooper ordered all flags to fly at half-staff to honor him until sunset.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 6,898,613 — Total deaths: 399,832 — Total recoveries — 3,087,714Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 a.m. ET: 1,920,061 — Total deaths: 109,802 — Total recoveries: 500,849 — Total tested: 19,778,873Map.
  3. Public health: Why the pandemic is hitting minorities harder — Coronavirus curve rises in FloridaHow racism threatens the response to the pandemic Some people are drinking and inhaling cleaning products in attempt to fight the virus.
  4. Tech: The pandemic is accelerating next-generation disease diagnostics — Robotics looks to copy software-as-a-service model.
  5. Business: Budgets busted by coronavirus make it harder for cities to address inequality Sports, film production in California to resume June 12 after 3-month hiatus.
  6. Education: Students and teachers flunked remote learning.