Venture capital

VC funds want new rules on investing in unicorns and tokens

Unicorn with a dollar bill sign.
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Venture capitalists want more flexibility in what sorts of investments they can make, according to a letter recently sent by the National Venture Capital Association to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Why it matters: Qualifying as a "venture capital fund" comes with benefits like fewer reporting guidelines than other types of private investment funds, but the definitions were written when companies didn't stay private quite so long, and before the advent of digital tokens.

Plaid raises $250 million, now valued at $2.65 billion

plaid financial technology app

Plaid, a San Francisco-based app programming platform for banks and other financial services providers, raised $250 million in Series C funding at what Axios has learned is a $2.65 billion valuation. Kleiner Perkins Growth led, and was joined by Andreessen Horowitz, Index Ventures and return backers Goldman Sachs, NEA and Spark Capital.

Why it matters: It's around a 10x valuation bump from where Plaid last raised in 2016, representing how Plaid has become integral infrastructure for top digital finance companies like Acorns, Coinbase, Robinhood and Venmo. As Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva notes, "Plaid is to finance apps what Stripe is to e-commerce."

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