We’ve just secured Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto to speak at our City Spotlight: Pittsburgh event. As Brian Heather puts it, Pittsburgh currently has one of the most vibrant robotic startup ecosystems in the world, is at the center of research for most of the world’s autonomous vehicles, and has given birth to successful companies like Duolingo. In this great (and virtual) event, Peduto will discuss with Carnegie Mellon University President Farnam Jahanian the challenges and successes in creating and maintaining this ecosystem.
- Solid Power is going public: The solid-state battery developer, backed by Ford and BMW, said Tuesday it would move to Nasdaq by merging with special-purpose acquisition firm Decarbonization Plus Acquisition Corps III after posting a $1.2 billion market value.
- We have a new FTC commissioner: The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Lina Khan, a critic of Big Tech and a prominent incredible pundit, as commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission, signaling a new era of investigations for the technology industry. Republicans joined Democrats in a rare show of bipartisan support for Khan’s ideas, relying on the most powerful companies in the tech, with a 69-28 vote.
- Andreessen Horowitz has launched its own media apparatus called Futre: Funded by a fund of 16 people, the publication looks to provide content that is not currently on the market and can be made from the firm’s “unique, attractive perch,” said MarketWenMatchers, the firm’s marketing operating partner and future best wishes, A16Z, and Welcome to the jungle.
- The unicorn social: IRL, a social calendar application that may crash during COVID, raises capital instead of searching for virtual events for user attendance, and achieves that success with funding $170 million in funding and Unicorn Status, currently valued at $1.17 billion.
- From the mouths of authors: The bookclub, which allows authors to hold book groups, share exclusive video-based interviews and answer readers’ questions, raises $20 million in rounds in the series. If only Jora Neil Hurston, James Baldwin, Henry Miller and George Elliott were still alive.
- In no one we trust: LGT, a platform that helps move organizations from legacy access to zero trust – a protection model based on maintaining strict access control and not relying on anyone – has raised $26 million for its efforts.
Solar funding: Heliogen has raised $108 million in funding to test its 1000-degree solar reactors at several partner mines and refineries.