Jul 24, 2018

Scoop: Ex-Uber employees form group to invest in former colleagues

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."

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Major League Soccer embarks on its 25th season

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As Major League Soccer begins its 25th season, the league is financially stable and surging in popularity, and its 26 teams have gorgeous facilities and rapidly increasing valuations.

  • It also continues to expand, with David Beckham's Inter Miami and Nashville SC set to debut this season as the 25th and 26th teams. Plans are in place to reach 30 franchises by 2022 — triple the number from 2004.
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Wall Street opens with 2% drop as coronavirus correction worsens

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The stock market opened 2% lower on Friday morning, pushing stocks further into correction territory.

Why it matters: It continues the ugly stretch for Wall Street that began after a spike in coronavirus cases around the world. The S&P is 12% below its recent peak, edging closer to the mark that would technically end the market’s decade-long rally.

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Coronavirus updates: First case in sub-Saharan Africa confirmed

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

Nigeria confirmed its first novel coronavirus case in an Italian who flew to Lagos from Milan — the first known case in sub-Saharan Africa. The World Health Organization has been working to prepare Africa's health care systems to be ready for the outbreak, which is now also confirmed in Algeria and Egypt.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,850 people and infected over 83,700 others in some 50 countries and territories. The novel coronavirus is now affecting every continent but Antarctica, and the WHO said Wednesday the number of new cases reported outside China has exceeded those inside the country for the first time.

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