Sarah's Feed
Oct 1, 2013

Venture-backed IPOs and M&A activity decline in value

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Average sizes of both initial public offerings and acquisition prices dropped for venture-backed companies last quarter as some companies battled a tough environment in their sector and others faced outsized comparisons from a year earlier.

Data from the National Venture Capital Association and Thomson Reuters showed 26 venture-backed companies held IPOs last quarter, more any quarter since the final three months of 2010, but the average offer amount dropped by 10 percent from a year ago to $103 million.

Sep 25, 2013

Shackles drop off fundraising for startups. Should we worry?

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Entrepreneur Nicole O’Rourke has a novel idea for raising cash that would have been illegal until this week: smacking a “fund me” sticker on every bottle or can of hair products from her start-up business, Rock Your Hair.

O’Rourke is among the first to take advantage of the lifting of a years-long ban, mandated by the 1933 Securities Act, on using advertising to find investors in private companies. Intended originally to prevent opportunists from targeting the gullible, it has long been considered a bedrock protection against scams. Lifting it, with some protections, should help startups and thus boost the overall economy, proponents say.

Sep 19, 2013

California regulators OK on-demand ridesharing, with conditions

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 19 (Reuters) – On-demand ride services
got the green light from California regulators Thursday in a
move the services hope will help clear their legal status in
other jurisdictions.

The California Public Utilities Commission created a new
category called “Transportation Network Company” that will cover
businesses such as Lyft, SideCar and UberX. Those companies
allow customers to summon rides using apps, typically on their
smartphones, from drivers who use their personal, non-commercial
vehicles.

Sep 19, 2013

Kleiner Perkins sex discrimination case to stay in public eye

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 18 (Reuters) – A high-profile Silicon
Valley sex discrimination lawsuit moved closer to trial
Wednesday after California’s highest court rejected an effort by
venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers to take a former
partner’s case against it to arbitration.

The suit, which pits former partner Ellen Pao against one of
Silicon Valley’s most storied venture capital firms, alleges
harassment, discrimination and retaliation. It became the talk
of the Valley last year with its references to an affair and its
allegations – denied by the firm – of sexual advances and sexist
behavior.

Sep 17, 2013

Entrepreneur starts his version of Harvard, tuition-free

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 17 (Reuters) – Minerva Schools of KGI
doesn’t yet have accreditation, a campus or even a full faculty
roster, but it is offering something even Harvard can’t – four
years of free tuition for its first matriculating class.

The San Francisco-based Minerva Project, an ambitious effort
to remake the higher education model, announced its tuition plan
on Tuesday in hopes of attracting some of the world’s most
talented and academically competitive students for the class
that will enroll in the fall of 2014.

Sep 13, 2013

Analysis: Twitter may kickstart consumer-tech IPO train

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Since Facebook Inc’s messy initial public offering more than a year ago, the buzz in technology investment has mostly surrounded companies serving businesses rather than consumers – a situation Twitter’s imminent debut could help reverse.

From accommodation service Airbnb and storage site Dropbox, to limo-providers Uber, a clutch of hot Silicon Valley names that have steered clear of the markets may now gravitate back if Twitter helps revive investor interest in consumer apps and dotcoms.

Sep 13, 2013

Twitter may kickstart consumer-tech IPO train

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 13 (Reuters) – Since Facebook Inc’s
messy initial public offering more than a year ago, the
buzz in technology investment has mostly surrounded companies
serving businesses rather than consumers – a situation
Twitter’s imminent debut could help reverse.

From accommodation service Airbnb and storage site Dropbox,
to limo-providers Uber, a clutch of hot Silicon Valley names
that have steered clear of the markets may now gravitate back if
Twitter helps revive investor interest in consumer apps and
dotcoms.

Sep 12, 2013

Insight: In Silicon Valley start-up world, pedigree counts

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – When asked to name the most notable rags-to-riches entrepreneur that his firm has funded, venture capitalist Ben Horowitz doesn’t hesitate: Christian Gheorghe, a Romanian immigrant who came to the United States without speaking English, and rose from limo driver to founder of a business-analytics company, Tidemark.

It’s an impressive tale that encapsulates the way Silicon Valley likes to think of itself: a pure meritocracy; a place where talent rises to the top regardless of social class, educational pedigree, race, nationality or anything else.

Sep 12, 2013

In Silicon Valley start-up world, pedigree counts

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 12 (Reuters) – When asked to name the
most notable rags-to-riches entrepreneur that his firm has
funded, venture capitalist Ben Horowitz doesn’t hesitate:
Christian Gheorghe, a Romanian immigrant who came to the United
States without speaking English, and rose from limo driver to
founder of a business-analytics company, Tidemark.

It’s an impressive tale that encapsulates the way Silicon
Valley likes to think of itself: a pure meritocracy; a place
where talent rises to the top regardless of social class,
educational pedigree, race, nationality or anything else.

Sep 10, 2013

Greylock Partners raises $1 billion for new venture fund

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Greylock Partners, the venture-capital firm behind companies like LinkedIn, (LNKD.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said on Tuesday it raised a $1 billion fund, its 14th.

The fund will focus on early-stage companies, Greylock partner David Sze said in a blog post, particularly in the areas of seamless technology and the increasing ease of using technology in the workplace.