Sarah's Feed
Apr 24, 2014

NASA tries space kits to engage kids in science and space

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Making mini satellite dishes that collect signals or building remote-controlled mini Rovers such as the kind NASA has used on Mars are the types of activities that could interest kids in science, but their complexity can derail all but the most enthusiastic hobbyist.

Now, NASA, the U.S. space agency, hopes it has found a workaround through new space kits and a collaboration with a New York-based startup called LittleBits.

Apr 11, 2014

Individuals targeted as San Francisco tech money protests intensify

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Demonstrations against the grip on San Francisco held by wealthy technology workers took a personal turn on Friday with protesters taking aim at a Google lawyer they say personifies the tensions being stirred by abundant tech money.

Jack Halprin, a landlord in the city’s gentrifying Mission district, became the focus of the latest blockade of a tech company commuter bus, with protesters demanding Google ask Halprin to rescind eviction notices he has sent his tenants.

Apr 9, 2014

Tiger Global helps Q&A site Quora raise $80 million

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Question-and-answer service Quora has raised $80 million in funding led by financier Tiger Global, the latest in a group of no-revenue startups to land outsized checks from investors.

The company, founded in 2009 by Facebook alumni, said the cash would support three areas: ensuring Quora lasts on the Internet; that it retains its independence and avoids getting acquired; and that it expands into languages beyond English.

Apr 7, 2014

Ride service Uber dials into courier business

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – App-based ride company Uber will start delivering on its promise of expanding its business into logistics on Tuesday when it launches a trial courier service, Uber Rush, in Manhattan.

“Better, faster, cheaper,” is how Uber’s general manager in New York, Josh Mohrer, described the service in a tweet to Reuters. Customers will be able to watch the progress of their packages in its transportation application, much as they can track the progress of the cars they order up on the service.

Apr 3, 2014

Mozilla CEO resigns, opposition to gay marriage drew fire

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Mozilla Chief Executive Brendan Eich has stepped down, the company said on Thursday, after an online dating service urged a boycott of the company’s web browser because of a donation Eich made to opponents of gay marriage.

The software company came under fire for appointing Eich as CEO last month. In 2008, he gave money to oppose the legalization of gay marriage in California, a hot-button issue especially at a company that boasts about its policy of inclusiveness and diversity.

Apr 2, 2014

Ridesharing service Lyft raises $250 million from Coatue, others

SAN FRANCISCO, April 2 (Reuters) – Lyft, the ridesharing
service known for cars sporting fluffy pink moustaches, said it
has raised another $250 million, making it one of Silicon
Valley’s most richly valued private companies.

The service, which uses a smartphone-based app to match
riders with paid drivers who use their own cars rather than
livery vehicles, said it would use the cash to expand
domestically and internationally. Currently, it works in 28 U.S.
cities, with plans to expand to two more by week’s end: Tampa,
Florida; and Tucson, Arizona.

Mar 27, 2014

Tiger Global leads Wall St pack turning to Silicon Valley

SAN FRANCISCO/BOSTON, March 27 (Reuters) – As increasing
numbers of technology companies defer their initial public
offerings, one influential hedge-fund investor has stepped up to
the plate in Silicon Valley.

Tiger Global Management has emerged as among the most
prominent of a growing club of Wall Street financiers now eyeing
technology start-ups, a circle that includes hedge funds such as
Coatue Management and Valiant Capital Management; private-equity
groups such as Rizvi Traverse Management and TPG; and
mutual-fund giants BlackRock, Fidelity and T. Rowe Price.

Mar 24, 2014

Actifio raises $100 million from Tiger Global

SAN FRANCISCO, March 23 (Reuters) – Data-management company
Actifio said it had raised $100 million in funding led by Tiger
Global, bringing it to funding levels usually reserved for
consumer-oriented companies.

Boston-based Actifio has now raised more than $200 million,
including the latest round, valuing the company at $1.1 billion.

Mar 14, 2014

Uber expands insurance coverage for ridesharing drivers

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – UberX on Friday expanded the insurance coverage it offers to ridesharing drivers, a step toward easing U.S. regulators’ and lawmakers’ concerns and creating broader acceptance of the services.

Ridesharing companies such as UberX, a unit of black-car service Uber, allow members of the public to hail rides at the touch of a smartphone app. Mom-and-pop drivers rather than professionals typically answer their requests, in regular cars rather than commercial vehicles.

Mar 11, 2014

Startups jostle for funding, attention at South by Southwest

AUSTIN, Texas, March 11 (Reuters) – Entrepreneur P.K. Fields
was delighted when she won a contest and a chance to pitch her
Los Angeles-based startup to a venture capitalist.

So delighted, she dropped everything and flew 1,400 miles
(2,250 km) on her own dime to the South by Southwest Interactive
conference in Austin, Texas, for just 20 minutes alone with
angel investor Dave McClure as he was driven around town in a
tiny red-and-black electric BMW i3.