Sarah's Feed
Feb 26, 2014

No insurance, no ridesharing, cities tell UberX, Lyft and others

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 26 (Reuters) – Using mobile apps to
connect passengers with drivers, ridesharing services like UberX
and Lyft say they are bringing new zip to transportation. But a
number of cities say they don’t want to share the road until
they get something utilitarian: better insurance.

If the cities insist, they could slow or halt the services’
expansion. The conflict poses the latest challenge to the
nascent “sharing economy,” which allows people to rent out
personal property and services, often on an ad hoc basis.

Feb 21, 2014

With WhatsApp deal, Sequoia Capital burnishes reputation

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 20 (Reuters) – Shortly after moving to
Silicon Valley in 2004, the young Facebook founder Mark
Zuckerberg pulled a prank on Sequoia Capital by making an
investment pitch in his pajamas.

The discussion never got serious, and Sequoia never invested
in Facebook. But now, Sequoia is getting the last laugh.

Feb 20, 2014

Ukrainian roots shine through at WhatsApp

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – WhatsApp grew up in Silicon Valley, but its founder’s background in Eastern Europe gave it its DNA.

The messaging company bought by Facebook for $19 billion in a deal announced on Wednesday has become a global force, with 450 million customers who find it an easy way to send messages across borders and between different brands of mobile devices.

Feb 20, 2014

Facebook to buy WhatsApp for $19 billion in deal shocker

By Gerry Shih and Sarah McBride

(Reuters) – Facebook Inc will buy fast-growing mobile-messaging startup WhatsApp for $19 billion in cash and stock in a landmark deal that places the world’s largest social network closer to the heart of mobile communications and may bring younger users into the fold.

The transaction involves $4 billion in cash, $12 billion in stock and $3 billion in restricted stock that vests over several years. The WhatsApp deal is worth more than Facebook raised in its own IPO and underscores the social network’s determination to win the market for messaging.

Feb 19, 2014

Facebook to buy WhatsApp for $19 billion

By Gerry Shih and Sarah McBride

(Reuters) – Facebook Inc will buy fast-growing mobile-messaging startup WhatsApp for $19 billion in cash and stock, as the world’s largest social network looks for ways to boost its popularity, especially among a younger crowd.

The acquisition of the hot messaging service with more than 450 million users around the world stunned many Silicon Valley observers with its lofty price tag.

Feb 14, 2014

Investor Tom Perkins says progressive taxation ‘persecutes’ the rich

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Tom Perkins, the Silicon Valley venture capitalist who compared the plight of the wealthiest Americans to Jews in Nazi Germany, offered up a provocative new idea on what the rich deserve: more votes in public elections for every dollar they earn.

“If you pay a million dollars, you should get a million votes,” Perkins, the retired co-founder of venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, told an audience at San Francisco’s Commonwealth Club in comments that he later said were meant to be provocative. He also said that only taxpayers should have the right to vote.

Feb 11, 2014

Number of young U.S. technology companies falls: report

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 11 (Reuters) – Sluggish growth among
young technology firms could bode trouble for the U.S. economy,
according to a new report from the Kauffman Foundation.

The number of technology firms aged five years or younger -
key drivers of job creation – has fallen to below 80,000, down
from a high of 113,000 in 2001, according to the report. Today’s
levels are roughly on par with the mid 1990s.

Feb 6, 2014

Rents rising faster in tech hubs than in rest of U.S.

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 6 (Reuters) – San Franciscans have long
blamed the technology sector for rising rents. Now, a study from
real-estate company Trulia backs them up.

Rents are rising faster in U.S. tech hubs than in the rest
of the country, Trulia said in a report released
Thursday. In January, it said, rents rose 3.3 percent in the
nation’s 100 biggest metropolitan areas in January, but they
rose by an average of 5.7 percent in the 10 biggest tech hubs.

Feb 4, 2014

Ex-Sequoia partners raise $250 mln for Silicon Valley-style startups in Midwest

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 4 (Reuters) – Regions around the world
have long sought to replicate California’s success in launching
startups. Now, two venture capitalists have raised $250 million
in a gambit to recreate some Silicon Valley-style growth in the
U.S. Midwest.

Mark Kvamme and Chris Olsen, formerly partners at
venture-capital firm Sequoia Capital, announced Tuesday that
they had raised the funds to nurture companies in states often
overlooked by traditional venture cash. Their new fund,
Columbus, Ohio-based Drive Capital Fund I, will focus on
technology, healthcare and consumer businesses, they said.

Jan 28, 2014

Venture capitalist Perkins apologizes for Nazi analogy

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 27 (Reuters) – Legendary venture
capitalist Tom Perkins apologized for comments comparing the
treatment of wealthy Americans to the Nazi’s persecution of
Jews, although he stood by his belief in the danger of
demonizing the rich.

“I deeply apologize to you and anyone who has mistaken my
reference to Kristallnacht as a sign of overt or latent
anti-Semitism,” he said in an interview Monday on Bloomberg
Television. “This is not the case.”