Sarah's Feed
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.

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.