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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."

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Actor Matthew McConaughey’s nine-point lead in a theoretical matchup against Greg Abbott shows just how vulnerable the hard-right Texas governor could be in a general election.

Why it matters: Abbott has won conservative accolades for his abortion, mask and vaccine bans. Axios reported Sunday that former Rep. Beto O’Rourke is preparing to announce a gubernatorial challenge — but a recent poll shows he’s not even the most popular Democrat in the state.

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Delayed maps upend midterm campaigns

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Midterm candidates are panicking about how the congressional maps will ultimately be drawn, with several strategists telling Axios campaigns are in limbo.

Why it matters: Candidates are unsure if the district they're targeting will remain intact or be reshaped by the process. The uncertainty is especially vexing to Democrats, who are vying to maintain their narrow margin in the House.

First look: Conservatives' 2022 big target: Tax increases

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Conservative groups are unveiling huge ad-buys going after vulnerable House Democrats over tax increases and other revenue measures in their party's massive infrastructure spending bill, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: President Biden and Democrats have an immense amount of political capital riding on a $3.5 trillion bill facing razor-thin margins in both chambers. Conservatives are running ads targeting the House members who leaders will need to pass the measure.