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Biden’s Vice-Presidential Search: Who’s on the List and Where It Stands

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Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s advisers have conducted several rounds of interviews with a select group of vice-presidential candidates and are beginning to gather private documents from some of them, as they attempt to winnow a field that features the most diverse set of vice-presidential contenders in history.

The search committee has been in touch with roughly a dozen women, and some eight or nine are already being vetted more intensively.

Among that group are two contenders who have recently grown in prominence, Representative Val Demings of Florida and Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms of Atlanta. One well-known candidate, Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, has lost her perch as a front-runner. And some lower-profile candidates, like Senator Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, are advancing steadily in the search process.

The New York Times spoke to an array of people who are familiar with the vice-presidential search and the activities of the Biden team, and the interviews yielded the fullest picture yet of the list of candidates Mr. Biden is considering, who is advancing and who may be fading, and the dynamics at play.

Mr. Biden’s vice-presidential search has taken a bifurcated course so far, with one path unfolding in the open — joint appearances on television or in virtual events with potential running mates — and another in an environment of strict discretion. People involved in the confidential part described it on condition of anonymity, because they were not authorized to discuss a process that is designed to shield Mr. Biden’s thinking and the participants’ privacy.

Some of the contenders who have advanced furthest in the process are well known, including Senators Kamala Harris of California and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. But The Times confirmed that several other women — whose names have been repeatedly floated but who have not publicly confirmed that they agreed to be vetted for the job — are under active consideration as well.

Ms. Harris and Ms. Warren have been interviewed at length by Mr. Biden’s team, as has Ms. Baldwin, who was the first openly gay candidate ever elected to the Senate.

Two women with distinctive national-defense credentials have also been interviewed and asked for documents: Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, an Iraq war combat veteran who is Asian-American, and Susan Rice, the former national security adviser to President Barack Obama and the first black woman to serve as ambassador to the United Nations.

As the vetting process advances to a newly intense phase, the political currents of the last few weeks are also leaving a mark on the Biden team’s deliberations. The wave of demonstrations touched off by the killing in Minneapolis of George Floyd, a black man, at the hands of a white police officer there, has elevated a pair of black women long regarded as intriguing long-shot candidates: Ms. Demings and Ms. Bottoms.

Though Ms. Demings and Ms. Bottoms are far less known to the national electorate than other figures on Mr. Biden’s list, they have played crucial roles in a cascading civil rights crisis: Ms. Demings, a former police chief in Orlando, Fla., has become a major figure in the law-enforcement debate, while Ms. Bottoms’s handling of chaotic demonstrations in her city earned her national acclaim.

Both women have spoken with the vetting team, and Biden advisers have reached out to their allies to seek information about them.

Image

Credit…Alyssa Schukar for The New York Times

Representative Charlie Crist of Florida, a supporter of Ms. Demings, said he had recently spoken about her with former Senator Christopher J. Dodd, a member of Mr. Biden’s search committee. Mr. Crist — a former Republican who was vetted for vice president by John McCain in 2008 — predicted that if Mr. Biden made Ms. Demings his running mate, it would lock down Florida and its 29 Electoral College votes.

“She is ready for the task,” Mr. Crist said of Ms. Demings, adding, “It would make a huge difference if you actually had a Floridian on the ticket.”

Mr. Biden insisted in an interview with CBS this past week that the last few tumultuous weeks had not meaningfully changed his thinking about the vice presidency, except to put “greater focus and urgency on the need to get someone who is totally simpatico with where I am.”

“I want someone strong,” he said, “and someone who is ready to be president on Day 1.”

Representative Dina Titus of Nevada, a prominent early supporter of Mr. Biden, counseled him to not be caught up in a momentary news cycle but rather make a sober-minded governing choice, someone to help him steer through turbulent years ahead.

“He needs to pick somebody who’s serious, respected and has some policy chops,” Ms. Titus said, “not just somebody who’s a personality.”

Several state executives have also had conversations with members of the vetting team, including Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, who clashed with President Trump over his handling of the coronavirus, and Gov. Gina Raimondo of Rhode Island, a leader of her party’s centrist wing. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham of New Mexico, a former chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, is one of the candidates from whom Biden advisers have requested private documents, a signal that she is regarded as a serious contender.

It is not clear precisely where Stacey Abrams, the former Georgia candidate for governor, stands in the process. In an appearance Wednesday on Stephen Colbert’s CBS show, Ms. Abrams appeared to say she had not been contacted by the search committee, though several people insisted she was still in the mix.

Credit…Alyssa Schukar for The New York Times

Ms. Harris, who was already a leading prospect, appears to have lifted herself further in recent weeks with her advocacy for policing reform. But three Democrats in regular contact with top Biden officials said they still frequently expressed unease about Ms. Harris because of her rocky turn as a presidential candidate and her blistering attack on Mr. Biden in the first debate last year.

Ms. Klobuchar is also still under consideration, but she has receded amid criticism that she did not take on police misconduct as a district attorney in Hennepin County, home to Minneapolis. That may leave Ms. Warren as the most formidable white candidate in the running, in large part because of her popularity with liberals and her credibility as a messenger on the economy.

Mr. Biden’s decision has taken on outsize importance as the country faces an overlapping set of crises that are all but certain to last beyond Inauguration Day.

At 77, Mr. Biden would be the oldest person ever elected to the White House, a distinction with actuarial implications that cannot be discounted. A moderate white man in a party fueled by the political energy of women, young liberals and people of color, Mr. Biden is facing demands from numerous quarters to complete his ticket with someone who represents racial, geographic, generational or ideological balance — imperatives that no one running mate could satisfy in full.

If Mr. Biden wins the November election, he might well take office under the darkest conditions of any president in half a century, with economic stagnation and a deadly pandemic shadowing his new administration.

That unsettling reality has bolstered the view among many Democrats that Mr. Biden must choose a running mate who could be a full partner in governing rather than someone who is useful chiefly for tactical purposes in an election season.

The selection process by now has become so delicate that some of Mr. Biden’s senior aides are stepping gingerly. Steve Ricchetti, one of Mr. Biden’s closest advisers, has told people he is trying to avoid contact with any of the prospects because he does not want to be seen as tipping his hand.

Credit…Erin Schaff/The New York Times

The fact that someone has been interviewed for vice president does not necessarily mean she is among the top candidates, and it is somewhat customary for presidential candidates to put a few close allies on their short list as a kind of reward for their support. People briefed on the search also said it would be premature to assume anyone has been eliminated as a candidate simply because she may not have moved as far in the process as others.

Jennifer Palmieri, who advised Hillary Clinton during her 2016 hunt for a running mate, said it made sense for the search committee to screen a large number of candidates to give Mr. Biden flexibility in his decision. The search, she said, should function “outside of the day-to-day political ecosystem” that thrives on fleeting conventional wisdom.

“Their job is to give Biden as many qualified options as possible,” Ms. Palmieri said. “Somebody who does not make a lot of sense in June can make a great pick on Aug. 1.”

The search process has been carried out by a selection committee staffed by a team of lawyers and led by four close allies of Mr. Biden: Mr. Dodd, Representative Lisa Blunt Rochester of Delaware, Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles and Cynthia Hogan, Mr. Biden’s counsel when he was vice president himself.

The process has unfolded in several stages, according to people familiar with the search. In April and May, advisers to Mr. Biden contacted more than a dozen Democratic women to ask whether they would be willing to be vetted for the vice presidency. Nearly everyone approached answered in the affirmative; a notable exception was Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, who is running for re-election this year and declined to join a time-consuming vetting process that she believed was highly unlikely to end in her selection.

A second senator, Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, did not immediately rebuff the Biden team but removed herself from consideration late last month. Senator Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire also agreed to be vetted, but she has not been actively pursuing the job and is not seen as a major candidate.

For those who agreed to move ahead, the next step was interviewing with members of Mr. Biden’s screening committee. Those sessions involved a range of broad questions concerning the role of the vice presidency and the policy challenges facing a potential Biden administration, as well as aspects of the candidates’ public records.

Only in recent days has the process moved toward more intrusive scrutiny of the candidates’ sensitive private matters.

Credit…Audra Melton for The New York Times

That stage of the process may be especially important for candidates like Ms. Bottoms and Ms. Demings, who have not undergone the kind of public examination that other women, like Ms. Harris and Ms. Warren, endured as presidential candidates.

While Ms. Demings could help Mr. Biden in Florida, a similar argument could apply to Ms. Bottoms, given Georgia’s status as an emerging political battleground. As mayor, she has managed the coronavirus response in the Southern metropolis and has regularly criticized Mr. Trump’s rhetoric about reopening states.

Some of Ms. Bottoms’s fellow city leaders are enthusiastic about the idea of a mayor on the ticket. “She’d be strong and is very popular amongst her colleagues,” said Mayor Steve Benjamin of Columbia, S.C.

Mr. Benjamin, a former president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, said he had shared his high opinion of Ms. Bottoms with the Biden camp.

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/13/us/politics/joe-biden-vice-president.html

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The Briefing: RVShare raises over $100M, Google disputes charges, and more

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Here’s what you need to know today in startup and venture news, updated by the Crunchbase News staff throughout the day to keep you in the know.

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RVShare raises over $100M for RV rentals

RVShare, an online marketplace for RV rentals, reportedly raised over $100 million in a financing led by private equity firms KKR and Tritium Partners.

Akron, Ohio-based RVShare has seen sharp growth in demand amid the pandemic, as more would-be travelers seek socially distanced options for hitting the road. Founded in 2013, the company matches RV owners with prospective renters, filtering by location, price and vehicle types.

Previously, RVShare had raised $50 million in known funding, per Crunchbase data, from Tritium Partners. The company is one of several players in the RV rental space, and competes alongside Outdoorsy, a peer-to-peer RV marketplace that has raised $75 million in venture funding.

Funding news

  • BrightFarms closes on $100M: Indoor farming company BrightFarms said it secured more than $100 million in debt and new equity capital to support expansion plans. The Series E round of funding was led by Cox Enterprises, which now owns a majority stake in the company, and includes a follow-on investment from growth equity firm Catalyst Investors.
  • Anyscale inks $40MAnyscale, the Berkeley-based company behind the Ray open source project for building applications, announced $40 million in an oversubscribed Series B funding round. Existing investor NEA led the round and was joined by Andreessen Horowitz, Intel Capital and Foundation Capital. The new funding brings Anyscale’s total funding to more than $60 million.
  • Klar deposits $15M: Mexican fintech Klar closed on $15 million in Series A funding, led by Prosus Ventures, with participation from new investor International Finance Corporation and existing investors Quona Capital, Mouro Capital and Acrew. The round brings total funding raised to approximately $72 million since the company was founded in 2019. The funds are intended to grow Klar’s engineering capabilities in both its Berlin and Mexico hubs.
  • O(1) Labs rakes in $10.9M: O(1) Labs, the team behind the cryptocurrency Mina, announced $10.9 million in a strategic investment round. Co-leading the round are Bixin Ventures and Three Arrows Capital with participation from SNZ, HashKey Capital, Signum Capital, NGC Ventures, Fenbushi Capital and IOSG Ventures.
  • Blustream bags $3M: After-sale customer engagement company Blustream said it raised $3 million in seed funding for product usage data and digital transformation efforts for physical goods companies via the Blustream Product Experience Platform. York IE led the round of funding for the Worcester, Massachusetts-based company with additional support from existing investors.Pillar secures another $1.5M: Pillar, a startup that helps families protect and care for their loved ones, raised $1.5 million in a seed extension to close at $7 million, The round was led by Kleiner Perkins.

Other news

  • Google rejects DOJ antitrust arguments: In the wake of a widely anticipated U.S. Justice Department antitrust suit against Google, the search giant disputed the charges in a statement, maintaining that: “People use Google because they choose to, not because they’re forced to, or because they can’t find alternatives.”
  • Facebook said to test Nextdoor rival: Facebook is reportedly testing a service similar to popular neighborhood-focused social Nextdoor. Called Neighborhoods, the feature reportedly suggests local neighborhood groups to join on Facebook.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

Venture investors and leaders in the fintech space can visualize a future where such startups will move toward again rebundling services.

Root Inc., the parent company of Root Insurance, launched its initial public offering and is looking at a valuation of as much as $6.34 billion.

Clover Health posted rising revenues and a narrower loss in its most recent financial results, published in advance of a planned public market debut.

Crunchbase News’ top picks of the news to stay current in the VC and startup world.

Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/briefing-10-21-20/

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Crunchbase

Syte Sees $30M Series C For Product Discovery

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Online shopping has become the norm for most people in 2020, even coaxing traditional retail brands to up their presence to stay competitive. However, now that shoppers can’t see and touch products like they used to, e-commerce discovery has become a crucial element for customer acquisition and retention.

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Enter Syte, an Israel-based company that touts creating the world’s first product discovery platform that utilizes the senses, such as visual, text and voice, and then leverages visual artificial intelligence and next-generation personalization to create individualized and memorable customer experiences, Syte co-founder and CEO Ofer Fryman told Crunchbase News.

To execute on this, the company raised $30 million in Series C funding and an additional $10 million in debt. Viola Ventures led the round and was joined by LG Technology Ventures, La Maison, MizMaa Ventures and Kreos Capital, as well as existing investors Magma, Naver Corporation, Commerce Ventures, Storm Ventures, Axess Ventures, Remagine Media Ventures and KDS Media Fund.

This brings the company’s total fundraising to $71 million since its inception in 2015. That includes a $21.5 million Series B, also led by Viola, in 2019, according to Crunchbase data.

Fryman intends for the new funding to be put to work on product enhancements and geographic expansion. Syte already has an established customer base in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, and will now focus expansion in the U.S. and Asia-Pacific.

Meanwhile, Syte has grown 22 percent quarter over quarter, as well as experienced a 38 percent expansion of its customer base since the beginning of 2020.

“Since we crossed $1 million annual recurring revenue, we have been tripling revenue while also becoming more efficient,” Fryman said. “We can accelerate growth as well as build an amazing technology and solution for a business that needs it right now. We plan to grow further, and even though our SaaS metrics are excellent right now, our goal is to improve them.”

Anshul Agarwal, managing director at LG Technology Ventures, said Syte was an attractive investment due in part to its unique technology.

“They have a deep-learning system and have created a new category, product discovery that will enable online shopping in a way we never had the ability to do before,” Agarwal said. “The product market fit was also unique. We believe in the strong execution by the team and the rapid growth in SaaS. We looked at many different companies, and the SaaS metrics that Syte showed are the strongest we’ve seen in a while.”

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

Venture investors and leaders in the fintech space can visualize a future where such startups will move toward again rebundling services.

Root Inc., the parent company of Root Insurance, launched its initial public offering and is looking at a valuation of as much as $6.34 billion.

Clover Health posted rising revenues and a narrower loss in its most recent financial results, published in advance of a planned public market debut.

Crunchbase News’ top picks of the news to stay current in the VC and startup world.

Source: https://news.crunchbase.com/news/syte-sees-30m-series-c-for-product-discovery/

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Coinpedia

GenTech Proudly Secures Deal with TruLife Distribution to Drive Growth in SINFIT Digital Sales

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Denver, CO, October 21, 2020 – OTC PR WIRE – GenTech Holdings, Inc. (OTC PINK: GTEH) (“GenTech” or the “Company”), an emerging leader in the high-end Premium Coffee (www.secretjavas.com), Hemp Wellness (www.hakunasupply.com) and Functional Foods (www.SINFITnutrition.com) marketplaces, along with its SINFIT Nutrition brand (“SINFIT”), is excited to announce that the Company has signed a new marketing, sales, and distribution agreement (the “Agreement”) with TruLife Distribution (“TruLife”) (TruLifeDist.com), a leader in marketing, distribution, compliance, e-commerce, and advisory services in the Functional Foods marketplace. The main focus of the new Agreement will be to accelerate the growth of e-commerce sales of SINFIT products, particularly over the Amazon.com platform.

TruLife provides direct access to sales on Amazon, Walmart, Rakuten, Wish, TopHatter, and other top e-commerce platforms, allowing clients to instantly list, ship, and sell products through any major platform, with an experienced team of experts and a proven track record of success in brand placement and digital sales strategies.

“We have already demonstrated a significant & expansive growth curve since taking control of the SINFIT brand in June,” commented Harold Vaca, VP Domestic Sales of SINFIT. “But the vast majority of that growth has been driven by large purchase orders from major distribution partners, both domestic and international. We are also committed to aggressively pursuing end-market consumer direct purchases through our e-commerce footprint, which will provide additional growth and diversify our cash flow ecosystem, making our overall strategy less dependent upon any one source of demand, while driving further growth in total sales.”

Management notes that e-commerce sales represent a sizeable portion of overall retail sales growth worldwide, with more than $3.5 trillion in online sales accounting for over 14% of total pre-pandemic global retail sales. Since the onset of the global health crisis, that ratio has shifted decisively further in favor of e-commerce sales, which is not likely to entirely revert back upon the advent of a viable and widely accessible vaccine.

Vaca added, “We have seen an epic process of market penetration for e-commerce platforms this year as major online retailers have begun to reach a much wider base of consumers – people who haven’t ever shopped much online, but have been forced to during recent months out of personal health concerns. Many of them will almost certainly continue to make use of e-commerce now that they have tried it out, at least to some extent, making e-commerce an essential sales channel for SINFIT products. TruLife has the network, team, experience, and resources to dramatically augment our e-commerce performance.”

SINFIT branded products registered over $2.2 million in global sales in 2019, and are now approved for sale and available for purchase on the Walmart.com and Amazon.com e-commerce platforms as well as in over 2,500 GNC locations in North America and over 10,000 global physical and e-commerce stores across more than 10 countries around the world.

SINFIT products as well-positioned relative to peers and to the long-term macro tailwind defining the functional foods market, which saw sales top $267 billion in February of this year on a global basis, with sales in the US reaching $63 billion, according to Euromonitor 2020. This trend is part of a larger supportive momentum in the general category, with global sales of organic food and drink topping $105 billion in 2018 (Ecovia 2019). U.S. organic food sales also reached $47.9 billion, up 5.9% in 2018 (OTA 2019). In 2019, 77% of U.S. adults used dietary supplements, an all-time high (CRN 2019). U.S. supplement sales are estimated to have reached $49.3 billion in 2019, up 6.2% (NBJ 2019).

About GenTech Holdings, Inc.:

GenTech Holdings, Inc. is a publicly traded company under the symbol GTEH. The Company launched a high-end Coffee Subscription service in early 2020 called Secret Javas, owns a Functional Food company, SINFIT Nutrition and recently closed its acquisition on Products-Groups’ “Hakuna Supply”.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release may contain forward-looking statements, including information about management’s view of GenTech, Inc.’s future expectations, plans and prospects. In particular, when used in the preceding discussion, the words “believes,” “expects,” “intends,” “plans,” “anticipates,” or “may,” and similar conditional expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Any statements made in this news release other than those of historical fact, about an action, event or development, are forward-looking statements. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause the results of GenTech, its subsidiaries and concepts to be materially different than those expressed or implied in such statements. Unknown or unpredictable factors also could have material adverse effects on GenTech’s future results. The forward-looking statements included in this press release are made only as of the date hereof. GenTech cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements. Accordingly, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Finally, GenTech undertakes no obligation to update these statements after the date of this release, except as required by law, and also takes no obligation to update or correct information prepared by third parties that are not paid for by GenTech.

Corporate Contact:
invest@gentech.group

www.gentechholdings.com

Source: https://otcprwire.com/gentech-proudly-secures-deal-with-trulife-distribution-to-drive-growth-in-sinfit-digital-sales/

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