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Steve Cohen and Bill de Blasio are kind of doing the same thing

Seeding startups is so hot right now, you guys

So, can we now say that literally everyone is a tech investor?

When you think of thought allies, scandal-plagued billionaire hedge funder Steve Cohen and purported former Sandinista/New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio do not spring immediately to mind, but this week both men became (at least in their own ways) tech-focused venture capitalists.

On Monday, news broke that Cohen had launched a venture capital unit under his Point72 Asset Management umbrella. The unit, called Honeycomb Ventures, will take some of Point72's $11 billion and look to the tech world.

Honeycomb will invest in global media, technology and telecommunication companies, including those that focus on cloud computing, payments and security technology and e-commerce.

According to Bloomberg, Cohen already has his thirsty eyes on one promising app.

Honeycomb is leading a second round of financing for a wine app called Delectable, which instantly recognizes any wine from a photo and allows users to get opinions, see what friends are drinking, buy wine and keep track of their favorite drinks.

While de Blasio is not indulging his wine connoisseurship, it seems that he is dipping the city's money toe into the tech investment pool.

An unusual public-private venture capital fund targeting the biosciences is launching in New York with $150 million to deploy, three times the original goal.
The Early-Stage Life Sciences Funding Initiative (a refreshingly literal name for tech investment funds) combines $10 million of New York City money with $140 million from the Celgene Corp. (NASDAQ: CELG), GE Ventures and Eli Lilly & Co. (NYSE: LLY).

That money will be matched by investment from two hedge funds, Flagship Ventures out of Cambridge, Mass., and Chicago's ARCH Venture Partners. The two funds will share management duties as well.

For de Blasio, the fund (which in all fairness was a brainchild of the Bloomberg administration) is an economic development play that will look to grow jobs and involvement in the city's biotech sector.

It remains to be seen if the two tech investment newbies are scheduling time to compare notes.

Cohen’s Point72 Starts Technology Venture Capital Unit [Bloomberg]

City joins with Big Pharma to launch $150M biotech investment fund [NY Biz Journal]


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