An American’s Murky Path From Russian Propagandist to Jan. 6

Charles Bausman, a former financial executive who runs websites that promote far-right views, recorded footage in the Capitol for a Russian television producer. Soon after, he fled to Moscow as a “political refugee.”

#anti-semitism, #bausman-charles, #connecticut, #hanick-john, #internet-research-agency-russia, #malofeev-konstantin-v, #pennsylvania, #presidential-election-of-2020, #prigozhin-yevgeny-v, #propaganda, #putin-vladimir-v, #right-wing-extremism-and-alt-right, #rt-tv-network, #rumors-and-misinformation, #russia, #russian-invasion-of-ukraine-2022, #russian-orthodox-church, #social-media, #spencer-richard-b-1978, #storming-of-the-us-capitol-jan-2021, #trump-donald-j, #united-states

Outcry Over High School Clinic Exposes Deep Divisions on Mental Health

American teenagers are reporting severe levels of anxiety and depression. But when Connecticut moved to expand mental health services in schools, it ran into fierce opposition in one town.

#anxiety-and-stress, #connecticut, #depression-mental, #education-k-12, #killingly-conn, #mental-health-and-disorders, #school-boards, #state-legislatures, #teenagers-and-adolescence, #your-feed-healthcare

America Is Under the Gun

Will we rise up to face the rising tide of violence?

#buffalo-ny, #connecticut, #crime-and-criminals, #firearms, #mass-shootings, #national-rifle-assn, #newtown-conn-shooting-2012, #republican-party, #sandy-hook-elementary-school-newtown-conn, #senate, #social-media, #surveillance-of-citizens-by-government, #united-states-politics-and-government, #uvalde-tex

Long Covid Is Dangerous. The Fear of It Still Shouldn’t Rule Your Life.

Why a reasonable fear of chronic illness isn’t a case against normal living.

#chronic-condition-health, #connecticut, #long-covid, #lyme-disease

Tired of Massacres? Get Rid of the Guns.

Deadly mass shootings have something in common.

#buffalo-ny, #buffalo-ny-shooting-may-14-2022, #busse-ryan-1970, #connecticut, #firearms, #gun-control, #gunfight-book, #mass-shootings, #murphy-christopher-scott, #newtown-conn-shooting-2012, #pulse-orlando-fla-nightclub, #school-shootings-and-armed-attacks, #united-states-politics-and-government

Alfred Baldwin, Lookout for Watergate Burglars, Dies at 83

A co-conspirator, he became an early witness for the government, which helped lead to the indictment of the burglars and linked them with the White House.

#alfred-c-baldwin-iii, #connecticut, #deaths-obituaries, #mccord-james-w-jr, #united-states-politics-and-government, #watergate-affair

He Wrapped Landmarks in Fabric. Years Later, His Art Turned Up in a Dumpster.

Hundreds of paintings by Francis Hines had been thrown away when a Connecticut man, Jared Whipple, found them — and a new life mission.

#art, #connecticut, #east-village-manhattan-ny, #hines-francis-1920-2016, #lost-and-found-property, #new-york-city, #southport-conn, #whipple-jared

Connecticut Moves to Blunt Impact of Other States’ Anti-Abortion Laws

The state is among several acting to strengthen abortion rights protections as a Supreme Court ruling that could overturn Roe v. Wade looms.

#abortion, #connecticut, #lamont-ned, #roe-v-wade-supreme-court-decision, #states-us, #suits-and-litigation-civil, #womens-rights

The Superpredator Myth Did a Lot of Damage. Courts Are Beginning to See the Light.

We don’t need to keep everyone in prison forever.

#amnesties-commutations-and-pardons, #black-people, #connecticut, #criminal-justice, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #prisons-and-prisoners, #probation-and-parole, #sentences-criminal

For 25 Years, My Dad Helped Build Weapons of Death

My father fled Vietnam only to spend the rest of his life in American factories helping shore up the same military that had set our family adrift.

#connecticut, #factories-and-manufacturing, #labor-and-jobs, #refugees-and-displaced-persons, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces, #vietnam-war, #vietnamese-americans, #war-and-armed-conflicts

Former Yale Official Admits to $40 Million Fraud Scheme

For a decade, a Yale School of Medicine administrator used university funds to buy computer equipment, which she resold to pay for luxury cars, real estate and vacations, the authorities said.

#colleges-and-universities, #computers-and-the-internet, #connecticut, #education-k-12, #frauds-and-swindling, #ipad, #new-haven-conn, #petrone-jamie, #robberies-and-thefts, #tablet-computers, #yale-school-of-medicine, #yale-university

With Gas Prices at Record Highs, States Look at Cutting Taxes to Ease Strain

Actions by Maryland, Georgia and Connecticut could be followed by other states soon.

#american-automobile-assn, #california, #connecticut, #gasoline-tax-us, #georgia, #hogan-lawrence-j, #inflation-economics, #kemp-brian-p, #lamont-ned, #maryland, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #russian-invasion-of-ukraine-2022, #sales-and-excise-taxes, #tax-foundation, #taxation

Warehouses Transform N.Y.C. Neighborhoods as E-Commerce Booms

The region is home to the largest concentration of online shoppers in the country. The facilities, key to delivering packages on time, are reshaping neighborhoods.

#amazon-com-inc, #building-construction, #connecticut, #delivery-services, #e-commerce, #long-island-ny, #new-jersey, #new-york-city, #northeastern-states-us, #real-estate-commercial, #red-hook-brooklyn-ny, #shopping-and-retail, #supply-chain, #united-parcel-service-inc, #warehouses

A Fall From the Society Pages to Prison Unsettles Greenwich

The sealing of the case against Hadley Palmer, 53, who must register as a sex offender for secretly filming minors, has revived questions about judicial favoritism for the wealthy. Lawyers say they were trying to protect her victims.

#belle-haven-greenwich-conn, #child-abuse-and-neglect, #children-and-childhood, #connecticut, #greenwich-conn, #palmer-hadley, #photography, #prisons-and-prisoners, #privacy, #self-incrimination, #sex-crimes, #york-correctional-institute

Sandy Hook Families Reach Settlement With Gunmaker Remington

Victims’ families had sued the maker of the AR-15-style weapon used in the attack at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

#bushmaster-firearms, #connecticut, #gun-control, #newtown-conn-shooting-2012, #remington-arms-co, #suits-and-litigation-civil

Greenwich Woman Who Secretly Made Videos of Children Pleads Guilty to Sex Crimes

Hadley Palmer, 53, pleaded guilty to making images of children in intimate situations at her home in Belle Haven, a wealthy Connecticut enclave. The court record was sealed over an A.P. reporter’s objection.

#associated-press, #belle-haven-greenwich-conn, #child-abuse-and-neglect, #child-pornography, #children-and-childhood, #connecticut, #crime-and-criminals, #greenwich-conn, #hadley-palmer, #hedge-funds, #john-f-blawie, #privacy, #psychology-and-psychologists, #sex-crimes

A Guide to Mask Requirements in N.Y., N.J. and Connecticut

New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have all announced plans to loosen certain restrictions, but all of them continue to require masks in some places.

#connecticut, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #health-department-nys, #masks, #new-jersey, #new-york-city, #new-york-state, #vaccination-proof-and-immunization-records

An ‘Eerily Similar’ Murder-for-Hire

New revelations about a killing in 2014 have prompted questions from the son of a New Jersey couple found dead in their home that year.

#airports, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #caddle-sean, #connecticut, #laguardia-airport-queens-ny, #murders-attempted-murders-and-homicides, #new-jersey, #new-york-city

Will a Mask Debate Split Blue States?

The growing normalcy divide within liberal America.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #connecticut, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #democratic-party, #education-k-12, #liberalism-us-politics, #new-england-states-us, #new-york-city, #queens-nyc, #united-states, #vaccination-and-immunization

East Coast Braces for Snow Again

A winter storm watch was in effect from eastern North Carolina up to New England. Meteorologists said that slight changes in the storm’s track could shift snow totals drastically.

#coast-erosion, #connecticut, #delaware, #east-coast-us, #interstate-95, #mid-atlantic-states-us, #new-england-states-us, #new-york-city, #snow-and-snowstorms, #weather, #wind

How Remote Work is Crippling New York City’s Commuter Rails

Before the pandemic, they relied on office workers, who paid up to $500 a month on tickets. At the M.T.A., those sales are down 75 percent.

#commuting, #connecticut, #coronavirus-return-to-office, #long-island-rail-road-co, #metro-north-commuter-railroad, #metropolitan-transportation-authority, #new-jersey, #new-york-city, #port-authority-trans-hudson-path, #real-estate-commercial, #solomon-partners, #transit-systems

‘Admissions,’ by Kendra James

Kendra James was a legacy student at Taft, but wasn’t made to feel like a member of a proud tradition while she was there.

#admissions-standards, #admissions-a-memoir-of-surviving-boarding-school-book, #black-people, #connecticut, #education-k-12, #james-kendra, #race-and-ethnicity, #taft-school-the

Death of High School Hockey Player Renews Debate on Neck Guards

Canada and Sweden mandate neck protection for amateurs, but U.S.A. Hockey only recommends players wear neck guards. Teddy Balkind’s death could change that.

#accidents-and-safety, #balkind-teddy-2005-22, #connecticut, #hockey-ice, #interscholastic-athletics, #national-hockey-league, #neck, #protective-clothing-and-gear, #sports-injuries, #united-states, #usa-hockey

Connecticut High School Hockey Player Dies After Fall on the Rink

Teddy Balkind, a sophomore at St. Luke’s School, died after he fell and his neck was cut by another player’s skate, police and school officials said.

#brunswick-school-greenwich-conn, #connecticut, #deaths-fatalities, #education-k-12, #falls, #hockey-ice, #private-and-sectarian-schools, #st-lukes-school, #teddy-balkind

A School Won 92-4 in Basketball. Then the Coach Was Suspended.

Sacred Heart Academy, a Catholic high school for girls in Hamden, Conn., said that running up the score against Lyman Hall High School did not mesh with its values.

#athletics-and-sports, #basketball, #coaches-and-managers, #connecticut, #education-k-12, #education-secondary, #hamden-conn, #interscholastic-athletics, #new-haven-conn, #private-and-sectarian-schools, #wallingford-conn

The Renaissance Women Who Painted Against the Odds

The Wadsworth Atheneum spotlights female artists from Italy in the 16th through 18th centuries, and asks: Who got left out of the canon?

#anguissola-sofonisba-1532-1625, #art, #connecticut, #detroit-institute-of-arts, #florence-italy, #gentileschi-artemisia, #museums, #nochlin-linda-1931, #wadsworth-atheneum, #women-and-girls

How the $1 Trillion Infrastructure Bill Could New York

The bill, which President Biden is expected to sign Monday, is likely to fund road and bridge repairs, water infrastructure upgrades and airport expansions.

#airports, #bridges-and-tunnels, #brookings-institution, #buses, #connecticut, #corbett-kevin-s, #electric-and-hybrid-vehicles, #garbarino-andrew, #gutman-hank, #infrastructure-public-works, #latimer-george-s, #law-and-legislation, #malliotakis-nicole, #metropolitan-transportation-authority, #new-jersey, #new-jersey-transit, #new-york-city, #reed-thomas-w-ii, #regional-plan-assn, #roads-and-traffic, #subways, #transit-systems, #tri-state-transportation-campaign, #van-drew-jeff

Saving the Connecticut Farm That Helped Spark M.L.K.’s Dream

Summers spent working on a tobacco farm in the 1940s opened a teenage Martin Luther King Jr. to a world beyond the Jim Crow South.

#black-people, #civil-rights-and-liberties, #civil-rights-movement-1954-68, #connecticut, #historic-buildings-and-sites, #king-martin-luther-jr, #morehouse-college, #national-register-of-historic-places, #race-and-ethnicity, #trust-for-public-land

Ross Douthat on His Chronic Lyme Experience

The challenge of treating an illness when there’s no medical authority to trust.

#antibiotics, #chronic-condition-health, #connecticut, #douthat-ross-g, #lyme-disease, #tests-medical, #ticks-insects

Suffering From Confounding Symptoms, a Patient Treats Himself

In “The Deep Places,” Ross Douthat chronicles the illness that continued to plague him no matter what he threw at it.

#antibiotics, #books-and-literature, #connecticut, #douthat-ross-g, #food-and-drug-administration, #lyme-conn, #lyme-disease, #new-york-times, #therapy-and-rehabilitation

How I Became a Sick Person

A sudden descent into a chronic illness.

#anxiety-and-stress, #chronic-condition-health, #connecticut, #doctors, #douthat-ross-g, #lyme-disease, #tests-medical

Bobby Valentine, Ex-Mets Manager, Wants to Be the Mayor of Stamford

The mayor’s race in Stamford has been flooded with money and intrigue, thanks largely to the flamboyant presence of Bobby Valentine, a first-time candidate and former Mets and Red Sox manager.

#baseball, #coaches-and-managers, #connecticut, #content-type-personal-profile, #elections-mayors, #new-york-mets, #politics-and-government, #simmons-caroline-1986, #stamford-conn, #valentine-bobby

How Will Blue America Live With Covid?

It can be the safety-above-all caricature that deep-red America has made of it, or it can leave the age of emergency behind.

#bedford-trevor, #connecticut, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #education-k-12, #epidemics, #masks, #mississippi, #new-england-states-us, #new-haven-conn, #vaccination-and-immunization

Inside Rikers: Dysfunction, Lawlessness and Detainees in Control

With a staffing emergency disrupting the basic functions of the jail system, detainees have had free rein inside.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #connecticut, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #correction-department-nyc, #de-blasio-bill, #deaths-fatalities, #democratic-party, #justice-department, #legal-aid-society, #manhattan-nyc, #new-york-city, #new-york-times, #prison-guards-and-corrections-officers, #rikers-island-prison-complex, #schiraldi-vincent-n

How to Learn More About the History of Your Home

Tracking down property records and researching other documents can shed light on the life of a house.

#connecticut, #content-type-service, #genealogy, #historic-buildings-and-sites, #libraries-and-librarians, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #real-estate-and-housing-residential, #stonington-historical-society

How Old Is This Old House?

Property records don’t go back far enough to date some houses. But experts can pinpoint a house’s age by studying tree-ring patterns in the house’s timber.

#carbon-dating, #connecticut, #historic-buildings-and-sites, #massachusetts, #northeastern-states-us, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #real-estate-and-housing-residential, #restoration-and-renovation, #wood-and-wood-products

GrubMarket gobbles up $120M at a $1B+ pre-money valuation to take on the grocery supply chain

When people talk about “online food delivery” services, chances are that they’ll think of the Uber Eats, Instacarts and Getirs of this world. But today a startup that’s tackling a different aspect of the market — addressing the supply chain that subsequently turns the wheels of the bigger food distribution machine — is announcing a big round of funding as it continues to grow.

GrubMarket, which provides software and services that help link up and manage relationships between food suppliers and their customers — which can include wholesalers and other distributors, markets and supermarkets, delivery startups, restaurants, and consumers — has picked up $120 million in a Series E round of funding.

The funding is coming from a wide mix of investors. Liberty Street Funds, Walleye Capital, Japan Post Capital, Joseph Stone Capital, Pegasus Tech Ventures, Tech Pioneers Fund are among the new backers, who are being joined by existing investors Celtic House Asia Partners, INP Capital, Reimagined Ventures, Moringa Capital Management, and others, along with other unnamed participants

Mike Xu, GrubMarket’s founder and CEO (pictured, above), tells me that the company is currently profitable in a big way. It’s now at a $1 billion annualized run-rate, having grown revenues 300% over last year, with some markets like New York growing even more (it went from less than $10 million ARR to $100 million+).

With operations currently in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Missouri, Massachusetts, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington, and some 40 warehouses nationwide. GrubMarket had a pre-money valuation of over $1 billion, and now it will be looking to grow even more, both in terms of territory and in terms of tech, moving ahead in a market that is largely absent from competitors.

“We are still the first mover in this space,” Xu said when I asked him in an interview about rivals. “No one else is doing consolidation on the supply chain side as we are. We are trying to consolidate the American food supply chain through software technologies, while also trying to find the best solutions in this space.”

(And for some context, the $1 billion+ valuation is more than double GrubMarket’s valuation in October 2020, when it raised $60 million at a $500 million post-money valuation.)

Longer term, the plan will be to look at an IPO provisionally filing the paperwork by summer 2022, Xu added.

GrubMarket got its start several years ago as one of many companies looking to provide a more efficient farm-to-table service. Tapping into a growing consumer interest in higher quality, and more traceable food, it saw an opportunity to build a platform to link up producers to the consumers, restaurants and grocery stores that were buying their products. (Grocery stores, incidentally, might be independent operations, or something much bigger: one of GrubMarket’s biggest customers is Whole Foods, which uses GrubMarket for produce supply in certain regions of the U.S. It is currently is the company’s biggest customer.)

As we wrote last year, GrubMarket — like many other grocery delivery services — found that the pandemic initially provided a big fillip, and a big rush of demand, from that consumer side of the business, as more people turned to internet-based ordering and delivery services to offset the fact that many stores were closed, or they simply wanted to curtail the amount of shopping they were doing in-person to slow the spread of Covid-19.

But fast forward to today, while the startup still serves consumers, this is currently not the primary part of its business. Instead, it’s B2B2C, serving companies that in turn serve consumers. Xu says that overall, demand from consumers has dropped off considerably compared to a year ago.

“We think that restaurant re-openings have meant more people are dining out again and spending less time at home,” Xu said, ” and also they can go back to physical grocery stores, so they are not as interested as they were before in buying raw ingredients online. I don’t want to offend other food tech companies, but I think many of them will be seeing the same. I think B2C is really going to slow down going forward.”

The opening for GrubMarket has been not just positioning itself as a middleman between producers and buyers, but to do so by way of technology and consolidating what has been a very regionalized and fragmented market up to now.

GrubMarket has snapped up no less than 40 companies in the last three years. While some of these have been to help it expand geographically (it made 10 acquisitions in the Los Angeles area alone), many have also been made to double down on technology.

These have included the likes of Farmigo, once a Disrupt Battlefield contender that pivoted into becoming a software provider to CSAs (an area that GrubMarket sees a lot of opportunity), as well as software to help farms manage their business staffing, insurance and more: Pacific Farm Management is an example of the latter.

GrubMarket’s own in-house software, WholesaleWare, a cloud-based service for farmers and other food producers, saw its sales grow 3,500% over the last year, and it is now managing more than $4 billion in wholesale and retail activity across the U.S. and Canada.

There will be obvious ways to extend what GrubHub does deeper into the needs of its customers on the purchasing end, but this is in many ways also a very crowded market. (And not just crowded, but crowded with big companies. Just today, Toast, the company that builds software for restaurants, filed for a $717 million IPO at potentially a $16.5 billion valuation.) So instead, GrubHub will continue to focus on what has been a more overlooked aspect, that of the suppliers.

“I am focused on the food supply chain,” Xu said. “Operators in the food supply chain business most of the time don’t have any access to software and e-commerce technology. But we are not just a lightweight online ordering system. We do a lot of heavyweight lifting around inventory management, pricing and customer relations, and even HR management for wholesales and distributors.” That will also mean, longer term, that GrubMarket will likely also start to explore connected hardware to help those customers, too: robotics for picking and moving items are on that agenda, Xu said.

“GrubMarket has built a profitable, high-growth business underpinned by its best-in-class technology platform that’s reinventing how businesses access healthy, fresh foods,” said Jack Litowitz, director of strategic investments at Reimagined Ventures, in a statement. “We’re proud to support GrubMarket as it continues to expand into new regions and grow its WholesaleWare 2.0 software platform. At Reimagined Ventures, we always seek to invest in businesses that are disrupting inefficient industries in innovative ways. Mike Xu and the GrubMarket team have built one of these businesses. We’re excited to back their vision and work in making the food supply chain more efficient.”

“GrubMarket is transforming the trillion-dollar food distribution industry with unprecedented speed by implementing advanced digital solutions and operational discipline. The company’s scale, growth, and profitability are extraordinarily impressive. Pegasus is delighted and honored to be part of GrubMarket’s exciting journey ahead,” added Bill Reichert, partner at Pegasus Tech Ventures.

#arizona, #california, #canada, #ceo, #connecticut, #digital-solutions, #farmigo, #food, #food-delivery, #food-supply-chain, #funding, #georgia, #grocery-store, #grubhub, #grubmarket, #instacart, #japan-post-capital, #los-angeles, #massachusetts, #michigan, #mike-xu, #missouri, #new-jersey, #new-york, #olo, #online-food-delivery, #online-food-ordering, #oregon, #partner, #pegasus-tech-ventures, #pennsylvania, #reimagined-ventures, #retailers, #software, #software-platform, #supply-chain, #texas, #uber-eats, #united-states, #washington, #whole-foods

Billionaire Sacklers granted lifetime legal immunity in opioid settlement

Friends and family members of people who have died during the opioid epidemic protest against a bankruptcy deal with Purdue Pharmaceuticals that allows the Sackler family to avoid criminal prosecution and to keep billions of dollars in private wealth, on August 9, 2021, outside the Federal courthouse in White Plains, New York.

Enlarge / Friends and family members of people who have died during the opioid epidemic protest against a bankruptcy deal with Purdue Pharmaceuticals that allows the Sackler family to avoid criminal prosecution and to keep billions of dollars in private wealth, on August 9, 2021, outside the Federal courthouse in White Plains, New York. (credit: Getty | Andrew Lichtenstein)

A federal bankruptcy judge on Wednesday approved a $4.5 billion opioid settlement that provides sweeping lifetime legal immunity for the billionaire Sackler family behind Purdue Pharma.

“This is a bitter result,” Federal Judge Robert Drain said Wednesday in a lengthy explanation of his approval of the settlement. “I believe that at least some of the Sackler parties also have liability for those [opioid] claims… I would have expected a higher settlement.”

The Sacklers owned and were largely directing Purdue Pharma in the late 1990s when the company allegedly began aggressively and deceptively selling its highly addictive opioid painkiller, OxyContin. Purdue, which has twice pled guilty for wrongdoing in marketing OxyContin, is largely seen as sparking the nationwide epidemic of opioid addiction and overdoses. The opioid crisis has killed nearly 500,000 people in the US in the past two decades.

Read 14 remaining paragraphs | Comments

#addiction, #connecticut, #new-york, #opioids, #overdose, #oxycontin, #purdue, #sacklers, #science, #washington

Commuter Trains Have Kept Rolling. Will All Those Riders Ever Return?

Transit agencies in the New York City region are having to reinvent their railroads to adapt to the shift away from going to the office every day.

#commuting, #connecticut, #coronavirus-reopenings, #grand-central-terminal-manhattan-ny, #long-island-rail-road-co, #metro-north-commuter-railroad, #metropolitan-transportation-authority, #new-jersey, #new-york-city, #transit-systems

How Does My Garden Grow? With a Little Help from My Friends.

After years of collecting plants from here and there, I am now surrounded by plants that once belonged to important people in my life.

#connecticut, #flowers-and-plants, #gardens-and-gardening, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #real-estate-and-housing-residential

He Passed Out Three Times in 10 Days. What Was Wrong?

Could all this really be a result of a urinary-tract infection?

#antibiotics, #connecticut, #fainting, #fever, #tests-medical, #ticks-insects

Henri Forecast: More Rain in the Northeast

Meteorologists are warning of flash flooding as up to three more inches of rain are expected over parts of Long Island, New York and New England.

#brooklyn-nyc, #connecticut, #floods, #hurricane-henri-2021, #mid-atlantic-states-us, #national-hurricane-center, #new-york-metropolitan-area, #weather

Tropical Storm Henri Brings Power Outages and Record Rain to Northeast

The storm was expected to continue dumping rain across the region through Monday night, prompting flood watches in several states.

#central-park-manhattan-ny, #connecticut, #cuomo-andrew-m, #hurricane-henri-2021, #massachusetts, #national-weather-service, #new-york-metropolitan-area, #rhode-island, #weather

Long Island and New England Prepare for Rare Hurricane Strike

As Hurricane Henri approached the region, New York City prepared to shut down city beaches, and Boston erected flood barriers around its most vulnerable subway station.

#connecticut, #evacuations-and-evacuees, #fire-island-ny, #floods, #hurricane-henri-2021, #long-island-ny, #new-england-states-us, #new-york-state, #rhode-island

Four States Start Inquiries Into Recurring Donation Tactics of Both Parties

Letters to WinRed and ActBlue, which process online campaign donations for Republicans and Democrats respectively, ask for documents related to their use of prechecked boxes.

#actblue, #attorneys-general, #campaign-finance, #connecticut, #democratic-party, #ellison-keith, #james-letitia, #maryland, #minnesota, #new-york-state, #prechecked-boxes, #republican-party, #suits-and-litigation-civil, #united-states-politics-and-government, #winred

The Egg Dish So Good They Have a Society in France to ‘Safeguard’ It

The recipe for oeuf mayo is strikingly simple, which means the details really matter.

#connecticut, #cooking-and-cookbooks, #eggs, #recipes

Connecticut Legalizes Recreational Marijuana, With Sales Set for May 2022

Legislation signed Tuesday permits the possession of up to one and a half ounces of cannabis and provides a clean slate for some with past convictions.

#connecticut, #lamont-ned, #marijuana

Summertime … and the Sloganeering Is a Little Awkward

Cities and states are spending millions to promote tourism as they reopen, but the marketing campaigns aren’t always the catchiest.

#advertising-and-marketing, #art, #chicago-ill, #cincinnati-ohio, #connecticut, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-reopenings, #de-blasio-bill, #de-niro-robert, #federer-roger, #greece, #hamilton-ohio, #hancock-michael-b, #hockney-david, #illinois, #khan-sadiq, #new-york-city, #road-trips, #slogans-and-mottoes, #summer-season, #travel-and-vacations, #vaccination-and-immunization

The LatAm funding boom continues as Kaszek raises $1B across a duo of funds

Long before SoftBank launched its $2 billion Innovation Fund in Latin America, and before Andreessen Horowitz began actively investing in the region, Sao Paulo-based Kaszek has been putting money into promising startups since 2011, helping spawn nine unicorns along the way.

And now, the early-stage VC firm is announcing its largest fund closures to date: Kaszek Ventures V, a $475 million early-stage fund, believed to be the largest vehicle of its kind ever raised in the region, and Kaszek Ventures Opportunity II, a $525 million for later-stage investments.

Over the years, Kaszek has backed 91 companies, which the firm says collectively have raised over $10 billion in capital. 

MercadoLibre co-founder Hernán Kazah and the company’s ex-CFO, Nicolas Szekasy, founded Kaszek a decade ago after leaving LatAm’s answer to Amazon. Fun fact: the firm’s name comes from a combination of their two last names: Ka-Szek. Rounding out the team are Nicolas Berman, former VP at MercadoLibre, Santiago Fossatti, Andy Young and Mariana Donangelo.

Kaszek founded its first fund in 2011, raising $95 million, an impressive sum at that time. Funds II and III closed in 2014 and 2017, raising $135 million and $200 million, respectively. By 2019, Kaszek had closed on its fourth fund, raising $375 million and its first Opportunity Fund, reserving $225 million for later-stage investing in existing portfolio companies.

It’s notable that in its fifth fund, Kaszek is reserving more of its new capital to fund later-stage investments – a testament to its faith in its current portfolio. Both funds, according to Kaszek, were “several times oversubscribed” with demand coming globally from university endowments, global foundations, technology funds and several tech entrepreneurs.

Silicon Valley-based Sequoia Capital has been an LP since day one via Sequoia Heritage, its community investment office. Also, Connecticut-based Wesleyan University is an LP with Chief Investment Officer Anne Martin describing the founding team as “internet pioneers.”

In recent years, there has been an explosion of global investor interest in Latin American startups. The region’s startup scene is seeing a surge of fundraises, with new unicorns emerging with increasing regularity. And Kaszek has been at the heart of it all.

“We have been at the epicenter of the technology ecosystem in Latin America since 1999, first with MercadoLibre and now with Kaszek, and have witnessed firsthand the extraordinary  evolution that the sector has experienced since its infancy,” said managing partner and co-founder Kazah. “When MercadoLibre started, the internet penetration was less than 3% and it was mostly dial-up connections. Today, more than two decades later, technology secular trends are stronger than ever before as we are experiencing an acceleration towards digitalization.”

Kaszek has not yet backed any companies out of its newest investment vehicles, but plans to put money in 20 to 30 companies out of its early-stage fund, with check sizes ranging from $500,000 to $25 million, according to Kazah. Its Opportunity Fund investments will be more concentrated with the firm likely backing 10 to 15 companies with check sizes ranging from $10 million to $35 million. The firm is industry agnostic, with Kazah saying it considers “any industry where technology is playing a transformational role.”

General partner and co-founder Szekasy says that In the firm’s first funds, Kaszek mostly backed first-time entrepreneurs. But in its last early-stage fund, it began backing more teams led by repeat entrepreneurs or by founders spawned out of some of the region’s more successful startups. As many VC firms do, Kaszek describes its investment strategy as providing more than capital, but also becoming partners with the founders of its portfolio companies. For example, Creditas founder and CEO Sergio Furio describes the firm as “the co-founder I did not have.”

While the firm declined to comment on performance, a source with firsthand knowledge of its metrics over the years tells TechCrunch that it’s quite impressive with MOICS ranging from 19.2 for Fund I, 10.5 for Fund II, 4.9 for Fund III and 2.6 for Fund IV.

The firm’s active portfolio currently consists of 71 companies. Kaszek was one of the earliest investors in Brazilian neobank Nubank, just one of 9 unicorns it has helped build over the years. Other unicorns it’s backed include MadeiraMadeira, PedidosYa, proptech startup QuintoAndar, Gympass, Loggi, Creditas, Kavak and Bitso.

The firm’s investments have largely concentrated in Brazil and Mexico (the two startup hotspots of the region) and Colombia but the firm has also backed startups based in other countries in the region such as DigitalHouse (which was formed in Argentina), NotCo (originally founded in Chile) and Kushki (launched first in Ecuador). It has people on the ground in its home base of Brazil as well as Mexico, the United States, Argentina and Uruguay. 

“We have always believed that the strong secular technology trends that we were seeing 20 years ago, evident in the US and a little later in China, were going to happen in Latin America,” Kazah told TechCrunch. “…Everything we predicted back then was going to happen, happened. Maybe it happened later, but it was also much larger and more comprehensive than what we had initially imagined. That is typically what happens with innovations, they take off later than you think, but fly much higher than you ever imagined.” 

#amazon, #andreessen-horowitz, #argentina, #brazil, #business, #ceo, #cfo, #chile, #china, #co-founder, #colombia, #companies, #connecticut, #creditas, #economy, #ecuador, #entrepreneurship, #funding, #fundings-exits, #hernan-kazah, #internet-penetration, #kaszek, #kaszek-ventures, #latin-america, #mercadolibre, #mexico, #nubank, #private-equity, #quintoandar, #sequoia-capital, #silicon-valley, #softbank, #startup, #startup-company, #startups, #tc, #united-states, #uruguay, #venture-capital, #vp

Scarred but Resilient, New York City Tiptoes Toward Normalcy

The city reopened hesitantly, as New Yorkers balanced caution with a desire to embrace the freedom of prepandemic life.

#connecticut, #coronavirus-reopenings, #disease-rates, #new-jersey, #new-york-city, #restaurants, #shutdowns-institutional, #vaccination-and-immunization