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Jun 5, 2014

Immigrants win one third of U.S. Nobel prizes in key fields

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – More than one-third of U.S. Nobel prize winners in chemistry, medicine and physics are immigrants, a new report shows.

The report, released Thursday by the National Foundation for American Policy, a conservative research group, shows that since 2000, two dozen immigrants won Nobels in those fields, out of 68 U.S. prizewinners in chemistry, medicine and physics.

Jun 5, 2014

WhatsApp co-founder sees challenges in U.S. and other markets

, June 4 (Reuters) – Boosting the adoption of
messaging service WhatsApp in the United States and some other
markets is proving difficult, co-founder Brian Acton said, but
the company will still create substantial revenue for
prospective parent Facebook Inc.

“Growth in the United States is a challenge for us,” Acton
said on Wednesday after a talk at StartX, an incubator for young
companies affiliated with Stanford University.

Jun 4, 2014

True raises $290 mln amid improved environment for venture capital

SAN FRANCISCO, June 4 (Reuters) – True Ventures said it
raised $290 million for its fourth venture fund amid a climate
of greater optimism for venture capital, which is digging itself
out of an era of low returns and investor discontent.

True specializes in early-stage startups, investing in
companies ranging from Automattic, which is behind online
publisher WordPress, to book-oriented social network Goodreads,
acquired last year by Amazon.Com Inc.

Jun 4, 2014

Cash infusion for Gild aims to bring diversity to U.S. tech sector

SAN FRANCISCO, June 4 (Reuters) – Hiring startup Gild has
raised cash to help it tackle one of the U.S. technology
sector’s highest-profile challenges: the lack of diversity among
its workers.

Gild, which said it raised $13.5 million from Menlo Ventures
and others, uses algorithms to find software developers that
don’t always fit the traditional mold. Customers run from online
commerce site Gilt to software company Microsoft Corp
to travel site TripAdvisor Inc.

Jun 2, 2014

Next up at the ballot box: Undreaming California

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Creating the state of California took a revolt that led to the short-lived Bear Republic, a war with Mexico, and various international treaties. Now, some northern natives hope to take it apart, starting with a couple of ballot initiatives.

Tuesday, voters in Del Norte and Tehama Counties will consider a measure calling for separation from California and the formation of a new state. Supporters are hoping to generate momentum for pulling together portions of northern California and southern Oregon into an entity to be called Jefferson. Thomas Jefferson once imagined that part of western North America might develop into a freestanding republic.

May 22, 2014

VCs eye big cloud software returns despite dwindling valuations

SAN FRANCISCO, May 22 (Reuters) – A cloud software boom has
nudged startups into unlikely realms such as dairy farms, yoga
studios and back-of-the-building loading docks, leading venture
capitalists to hope for stratospheric returns.

Venture capitalists poured more than $11 billion into
software last year, more than into any other sector and about
double the amount in 2010, according to the National Venture
Capital Association. The number of deals in which venture firms
have backed software startups has risen by about half in the
same time, to 1,570 last year.

May 16, 2014

Protesters target tech executives over San Francisco evictions

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A tenants’ rights advocacy group released on Thursday what it called a “Dirty Dozen” list of landlords from the technology sector that it said had evicted San Francisco tenants.

The list, released by a group known as the Anti Eviction Mapping Project, reflects frustrations over rising rents and cost of living that activists say are driven by the technology industry.

May 15, 2014

Nextdoor CEO Tolia faces lawsuits over hit-and-run accident

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Nextdoor CEO Nirav Tolia, whose social networking website espouses neighborhood safety and community, is facing civil and criminal charges for leaving the scene of a highway accident that a driver says he caused.

San Mateo County initiated filing criminal charges against Tolia on Tuesday, Assistant District Attorney Karen Guidotti said on Thursday.

May 13, 2014

Venture capitalist Khosla in court over ending California beach access

SAN MATEO, California (Reuters) – Vinod Khosla, co-founder of Sun Microsystems and now a prominent venture capitalist, on Monday testified about his decision to close off a popular beach, in a court case that calls into question a California tradition of open access to the state’s famed beaches.

The lawsuit makes Khosla the latest in a line of Californian billionaires to clash with locals over their properties. Their dispute stems from Khosla’s closure of an access road to a northern California property known as Martin’s Beach, which is about 30 miles west of San Jose.

May 8, 2014

Venture firm Atomico sues ex-employee, consultant for double-dipping

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Atomico Partners, a London-based venture firm founded by Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom, is suing a former employee and consultant for secretly diverting potential Atomico investments to a venture firm that the two were building.

The employee, Pogos Saiadian, and the consultant, Wouter Gort, reached out to startups and potential investments using their Atomico credentials, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in state court in Delaware.