The New York venture capital firm Lerer Hippeau is poised to take over most of the stranded 25 companies in the portfolio of a competing firm that lost its partners in a sexual harassment scandal.
The remnants of Binary Capital, the firm run by Jonathan Teo and Justin Caldbeck, is expected to strike a deal with Lerer that will effectively allow Binary to assume the portfolio, Recode has learned. Lerer would inherit a group of early-stage companies that have had little to no guidance since last summer, when Caldbeck was accused of unwanted sexual advances on multiple women, leading to the closure of his fund.
Lerer is expected to take over and gain some equity in at least Binary’s first fund, according to a person familiar with the matter. Whether they take over Binary’s second fund has not yet been determined.
Lerer, led by Eric Hippeau and the father-and-son pair of Ken and Ben Lerer, will have an enormously difficult task: It will have to rush help to two dozen new companies that it does not know while also managing its existing group of 165 companies. And it will also likely have to rebrand the Binary name, which is only four years old and is now defined by scandal.
None of the companies in Binary Capital’s portfolio is particularly large. Multiple Binary-backed founders tell Recode they have heard next to nothing from the limited partnership advisory committee, the Binary LPs who were supposed to manage the investments, as they tried to find a way to save the companies.
After Caldbeck’s departure, Teo at first offered to resign, but his firm’s limited partners never officially accepted his resignation. The firm has since been bogged down in various legal matters, including an attempt by Teo to have his fate decided in arbitration.
Multiple funds in addition to Lerer sought to acquire the portfolio in recent months, according to sources. One portfolio company had publicly pushed Binary to hire a female partner to manage its investments, and several others privately told Recode that they hoped Binary would.
None of Lerer’s managing partners are female. Lerer Hippeau has typically focused on seed-stage deals in e-commerce, media and entertainment, especially those local to New York City. Prominent portfolio companies include BuzzFeed, Casper and Warby Parker.
A Lerer rep did not have any immediate comment. The pending deal was first reported by Axios.
Welcome to the March 8th SwitchArcade Roundup, covering the latest Nintendo Switch news, releases, and sales! There’s a whole lot going on in and around the Switch world today, before Nintendo drops their Direct, which is happening at 5:00 PM EST/4:00 PM CST/2:00 PM PST. You can watch via the embedded player below. We’ve got 10 new games to check out today, a few intriguing news items, and a sale on SMG’s fun Death Squared to check out. Let’s quit wasting time and get into the good stuff.
Activision reveals Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, but not for Switch?
After being teased on James Harden’s hat, Black Ops 4 (stylized with Roman numerals as IIII, and not IV, though that shield logo actually looks kinda neat) was confirmed by Activision. While the teaser has some noteworthy details, such as zombies being back, as is the awesome remote control drone, there’s not a whole lot to glean from this trailer other than it’s a new Call of Duty game. The reveal happens on May 17th, and the game releases on October 12th, much earlier than the standard November release window for Call of Duty games. The announcement doesn’t mention the Switch yet, but there’s no reason why today’s Nintendo Direct might not mention it, or it gets confirmed at a later date. Or maybe some kind of Call of Duty will hit the system soon.
I’m curious to see what the reaction to this one is. Call of Duty: WW2 kinda saved the franchise by going back to boots on the ground, but the competitive CoD crew has started to shift over to Fortnite. Will CoD add a battle royale mode to compensate? I’m down for it. I will appreciate the irony if I get laid off from a company that went big into competitive Call of Duty, back to writing for TouchArcade…and then Call of Duty comes to the Switch. So far, it isn’t, but I hope it does!
Daylight Studios’ eccentric Holy Potatoes games are getting Switch ports courtesy of Rising Star Games. Shop management game Holy Potatoes! A Weapon Shop?! hits this spring, with the space-based Holy Potatoes! We’re in Space?! hitting in the summer, with Holy Potatoes! What the Hell?!, the game where you torture the potato-y damned by cooking them into recipes, hits this autumn. Yeah, that last game is real. While the games have historically worked best with mouse or touch controls, controller support is coming to the Switch ports so you can play on the TV. Preferably while eating some potato products.
Lozenge Lab’s turn-based puzzle game where you help a swimmer cross a pool without hitting any other swimmers will dive on the eShop on March 20th. We enjoyed this one on mobile, so if you want this one on Switch, you only have a couple of weeks to wait. It’ll run you $ 5.99 on the eShop.
This multiplayer puzzle game hit mobile not too long ago, but if you want to play with friends using a joy-con each, or to play in the game’s four player levels, you can do so at a 20% discount, as the game’s on sale for $ 11.99 until March 13th. Don’t let that death counter scare you, y’all have this! Unless your friends are idiots that can’t listen to your instructions, I suppose.
The awesome roguelike shoot ’em up is out now on the Switch, and if you loved the game on other platforms, you should consider picking this one up on Switch. Ships now have a special ability (the default ship has a sword), there are new weapons, and the all-important co-op mode! The game is still really tough, and it seems a bit faster than the mobile version I’m accustomed to, but playing with physical controls all the time is a big help. Also, you can play a particular seed with the ship of your choice from the beginning, though some of the modes only unlock after you play so many times.
I love everything about the game: the challenge, the replayability, the fun and unorthodox weapons, and of course, the metal soundtrack. But if you want to listen to something else while you play, may I recommend some appropriate space metal: Vektor’s Terminal Redux? Much of what I wrote in my mobile version applies to this version, and I definitely recommend playing Steredenn on Switch either again or for the first time. Getting back into this myself has been a ton of fun.
You thought the iPhone jumping from 8 to 10 was bad? How about World Conqueror jumping from 4 to 10? It might actually just be the letter X this time, but don’t get in the way of my jokes. This is a World War II turn-based strategy game where you can undergo missions from the Axis and Allied forces, or build up your own empire from one of 20 countries in the Conquest mode. You can use touch controls or the controller, depending on how you prefer to play. Slitherine’s not on the Switch yet, so EasyTech’s World Conqueror X is gonna be the way to go if you want some turn-based strategic warfare on your Switch.
Need more fast-paced, high-ranking chasing action on your Switch? After publishing Bleed not too long ago, Digerati now has Bleed 2, just a month after the game’s console release (and a year after the Steam release). You use a sword and a ton of ammo to shoot a ton of enemies, and fight a ton of boss fights. And then you get ranked for how fast, how much damage, and how much style you had in killing everything. Get that S rank, folks. I dug the original Bleed, this might be worth checking out!
It’s really weird to think that the late 1990s are so far in the past that now game developers are making unabashed tributes to games from that time. While the game saw release in 2017 with the Festival of Magic subtitle, this release is what they’re calling the “Shouldhavebeen Edition” with a massively overhauled story, side quests, and improved visuals. The other versions get all this new content the same time as the Switch release, so unfortunately, older reviews for other platforms might not represent what the current experience is like. Hopefully it’s a much better game!
Dolores Entertainment publishes this popular mobile roguelike action game onto the Switch. The big addition here from the mobile version is couch co-op for up to four players! That sounds like a good reason to check this one out again if you’ve already played one of the mobile versions.
Awesome Games Studio brings their game where you control a massive zombie horde to the Switch. Ever wonder where the endless amounts of zombies from other games came from? Apparently, they came from I, Zombie (not to be confused with the TV show iZombie), as you have to turn humans and command them to build giant hordes. There’s a level editor in the game if you desire more content or want to start creating things for yourself. I mean, there’s no Super Mario Maker on the Switch yet…
D3 Publisher brings this visual novel to Switch, and it might just be the sexiest game available on the Switch, by far. As the description states, “Once at the banquet, you find yourself presented with men so beautiful you can scarcely believe they’re of this world. They beguile you with tempting eyes and practiced movements.” One of the men has an eyepatch. This game is possibly TOO SEXY. Unrelated question: can you play this one with a single Joy-Con?
Only one game this week, HAMSTER? I’m disappointed. Here’s the 1995 entry into the Fatal Fury series, which makes the controls only have three attack buttons, while adding in the front, middle, and back lanes from Fatal Fury 3, so you can dodge attacks just by changing lanes. Sounds interesting! It’s hard to go wrong with an SNK fighter, if you’re into the genre and can pull off some of the ridiculous joystick motions required to do super moves in SNK’s titles.
Ratalaika Games drops a golf-inspired game onto the Switch. You launch the eponymous fairy, Midnight, around different levels, trying to avoid hazards like spikes and saws. Those are things that professional golfers rarely have to deal with, but you’re gonna have to deal with ’em. You’ll try to get three stars on the game’s 70 levels, using either touch controls or the joystick to aim and launch yourself.
After the recent EU release, now the US gets this version of Peter Molyneux’s game where you explore a trail, and steadily discover the world and build up a community in Eden Falls, while interacting with other players exploring the trail. You can also get a pet dog, which is the key here. It is funny seeing what are essentially mobile ports like these getting regular-priced Switch releases. Hmm!
Stellar collisions are an amazingly rare thing. According to our best estimates, such events only occur in our galaxy (within globular clusters) once every 10,000 years. It’s only been recently, thanks to ongoing improvements in instrumentation and technology, that astronomers have been able to observe such mergers taking place. As of yet, no one has ever witnessed this phenomena in action – but that may be about to change!
According to study from a team of researchers from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, a binary star system that will likely merge and explode in 2022. This is an historic find, since it will allow astronomers to witness a stellar merger and explosion for the first time in history. What’s more, they claim, this explosion will be visible with the naked-eye to observers here on Earth.
This binary star system, which is known as KIC 9832227, is one that Prof. Molnar and his colleagues – which includes students from the Apache Point Observatory and the University of Wyoming – have been monitoring since 2013. His interest in the star was piqued during a conference in 2013 when Karen Kinemuchi (an astronomers with the Apache Point Observatory) presented findings about brightness changes in the star.
This led to questions about the nature of this star system – specifically, whether it was a pulsar or a binary pair. After conducting their own observations using the Calvin observatory, Prof. Molnar and his colleagues concluded that the star was a contact binary – a class of binary star where the two stars are close enough to share an atmosphere. This brought to mind similar research in the past about another binary star system known as V1309 Scorpii.
This binary pair also had a shared atmosphere; and over time, their orbital period kept decreasing until (in 2008) they unexpectedly collided and exploded. Believing that KIC 9832227 would undergo a similar fate, they began conducting tests to see if the star system was exhibiting the same behavior. The first step was to make spectroscopic observations to see if their observations could be explained by the presence of a companion star.
As Cara Alexander, a Calvin College student and one of the co-authors on the team’s research paper, explained in a college press release:
“We had to rule out the possibility of a third star. That would have been a pedestrian, boring explanation. I was processing data from two telescopes and obtained images that showed a signature of our star and no sign of a third star. Then we knew we were looking at the right thing. It took most of the summer to analyze the data, but it was so exciting. To be a part of this research, I don’t know any other place where I would get an opportunity like that; Calvin is an amazing place.”
The next step was to measure the pair’s orbital period, to see it was in fact getting shorter over time – which would indicate that the stars were moving closer to each other. By 2015, Prof. Molnar and his team determined that the stars would eventually collide, resulting in a kind of stellar explosion known as a “Red Nova”. Initially, they estimated this would take place between 2018 and 2020, but have since placed the date at 2022.
In addition, they predict that the burst of light it will cause will be bright enough to be seen from Earth. The star will be visible as part of the constellation Cygnus, and it appear as an addition star in the familiar Northern Cross star pattern (see above). This is an historic case, since no astronomer has ever been able to accurately predict when and where a stellar collision would take place in the past.
What’s more, this discovery is immensely significant because it represents a break with the traditional discovery process. Not only have small research institutions and universities not been the ones to take the lead on these sorts of discoveries in the past, but student-and-teacher teams have also not been the ones who got to make them. As Molnar explained it:
“Most big scientific projects are done in enormous groups with thousands of people and billions of dollars. This project is just the opposite. It’s been done using a small telescope, with one professor and a few students looking for something that is not likely. Nobody has ever predicted a nova explosion before. Why pay someone to do something that almost certainly won’t succeed? It’s a high-risk proposal. But at Calvin it’s only my risk, and I can use my work on interesting, open-ended questions to bring extra excitement into my classroom. Some projects still have an advantage when you don’t have as much time or money.”
Over the course of the year, Molnar and his colleagues will be monitoring KIC 9832227 carefully, and in multiple wavelengths. This will be done with the help of the NROA’s Very Large Array (VLA), NASA’s Infrared Telescope Facility at Mauna Kea, and the ESA’s XMM-Newton spacecraft. These observatories will study the star’s radio, infrared and X-ray emissions, respectively.
Molnar also expects that amateur astronomers will be able to monitor the pair’s orbital timing and variations in brightness. And if he and his team’s predictions are correct, every student and stargazer in the northern hemisphere – not to mention people who just happen to be out for a walk – will be privy to the amazing light show. This is sure to be a once-in-a-lifetime event, so stay tuned for more information.
Interestingly enough, this historic discovery is also the subject of a documentary film. Titled “Luminous“, the documentary – which is directed by Sam Smartt, a Calvin professor of communication arts and sciences – chronicles the process that led Prof. Molnar and his team to make this unprecedented discovery. The documentary will also include footage of the Red Nova as it happens in 2022, and is expected to be released sometime in 2023.
Apple and Google have agreed to pull 330 binary options trading apps from the App Store and Google Play at the request of the Australian Securities & Investments Commission, which expressed concerns about numerous instances of fraud. AppleInsider – Frontpage News