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Illustration: Axios / Lazaro Gamio

Two former Uber executives are quietly operating an investor syndicate to invest in startups led by their former colleagues, Axios has learned.

Bottom line: There should be plenty of deal-flow, as Uber is known for encouraging its employees to innovate.

  • It's called Moving Capital, and also invests in two-sided marketplace and transportation startups. Initial portfolio companies include Lime and Cargo.
  • The co-founders are Josh Mohrer (launched and led NYC) and William Barnes (led West Coast ops). Mohrer also was briefly a partner at Tusk Ventures, where he led the firm's Series A and Series B investments in Bird.
  • The private syndicate, operated via AngelList, consists of around 100 Uber alums (many of whom have plenty of cash, thanks to the SoftBank tender). Around half of them have been active so far.
  • Don't be surprised if Moving Capital soon evolves from a private AngelList syndicate to a more traditional VC fund structure.

Last week I was chatting with some VCs about the relative dearth of Seattle startups, expressing surprise that neither Amazon nor Microsoft have really become founder factories.

A few of them suggested that lots of startups would likely come out of Uber, due to to a highly-entrepreneurial environment (particularly on the ops side). As one explained:

"No matter what you think about Uber's culture, everyone there will tell you that team leaders were basically running mini-companies, with lots of ability to try new things."

Go deeper

Nathan Bomey, author of Closer
11 mins ago - Economy & Business

Tesla delays Cybertruck until 2023

Tesla debuts the Cybertruck in Hawthorne, Calif., on Nov. 21, 2019. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Tesla is at risk of falling behind on one of the most critical products in the American auto industry: pickups.

Why it matters: Pickups are the most profitable segment in the business and account for the first, second and third best-selling vehicles in the country. Without a serious pickup strategy, Tesla could miss out on a huge source of future income.

Defense taking steps to mitigate civilian harm after botched airstrikes

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin speaks during a news conference at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia on Sept. 1, 2021. Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin issued a directive Thursday to improve the U.S. military's approach to civilian harm mitigation and response, calling it a "strategic and a moral imperative."

Why it matters: The Pentagon has faced criticism for years for amassing civilian casualties in its missions, especially in the Middle East. New York Times investigations have found systemic failures in efforts to prevent civilian deaths, as well as a cover-up of a 2019 airstrike that killed dozens of women and children in Syria.

3 hours ago - World

Mapped: The world's most and least corrupt countries

Expand chart
Data: Transparency International; Map: Jared Whalen/Axios

The most corrupt governments in the world are in South Sudan, Syria and Somalia, according to Transparency International's annual index, while the "cleanest" are in Denmark, Finland and New Zealand.

  • Breaking it down: The U.S. is 27th, China 66th, India 85th, Brazil 96th and Russia 136th. Scroll over the map to see each country's ranking.