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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

StepStone Group (Nasdaq: STEP) agreed to buy Greenspring Associates, a Baltimore-based direct and indirect VC and growth equity investor.

Why it matters: This is part of a burgeoning boom in "private equity" firms going public, either directly or via merger. And, yes, the last time this happened was right before the financial crisis.

Details: The deal includes $185 million in cash, $540 million in stock and an earnout of up to $75 million. Greenspring's portfolio includes companies like Scopely and TripActions, plus funds managed by firms like Accel and Benchmark.

The bottom line: Greenspring, which ran a bank process, is betting on a flywheel effect whereby direct VC deals lead to fund stakes which lead to secondaries.

Go deeper

Competition in online sports betting is fierce — and not profitable

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The growth potential in the nascent market for American sports betting is huge. But for now, operators are still losing money — a lot of it.

The big picture: Sports betting is taking a page from the playbook of tech giants like Netflix, Amazon and Twitter, sacrificing profitability in the early days in the hope of ingraining themselves in customers’ lives.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Axios AM Deep Dive: America’s murder surge

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

Homicides rose at the fastest rate in at least six decades last year. This Axios AM Deep Dive, led by Future correspondent Bryan Walsh, looks at the state of gun crime.

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Senate Democrats target billionaires

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

After failing to get a deal on other planned tax increases, key Senate Democrats are pivoting to a billionaires' income tax to pay for President Biden's social spending.

The big picture: No advanced economy has attempted anything similar on such a scale.