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May 2, 2015

SurveyMonkey CEO, husband of Facebook’s Sandberg, dies

SAN FRANCISCO, May 2 (Reuters) – Dave Goldberg, Chief
Executive Officer of SurveyMonkey and husband of Facebook
Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, died unexpectedly on
Friday night, his brother wrote in a Facebook post on Saturday.

“It’s with incredible shock and sadness that I’m letting our
friends and family know that my amazing brother, Dave Goldberg,
beloved husband of Sheryl Sandberg, father of two wonderful
children, and son of Paula Goldberg, passed away suddenly last
night,” Robert Goldberg wrote.

Apr 23, 2015

Snapchat backer IVP raises $1.4 billion for latest venture fund

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Late-stage venture firm Institutional Venture Partners said on Thursday it had raised $1.4 billion for its latest fund, IVP XV, showing continued investor appetite for late-stage private companies even as the public-market’s appetite seems to be flagging. [ID: nL3N0X32VZ]

The fund marks a considerable boost over the $1 billion IVP XIV raised in 2012, and to some extent reflects the growing tendency of late-stage startups to delay tapping public markets for funds and instead turn to late-stage investors. Josh Kopelman at First Round Capital has dubbed the phenomenon the “Private IPO.” (here)

Apr 15, 2015

Uber backers NEA, Menlo Ventures raise large venture funds

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – New Enterprise Associates has raised $2.8 billion for its 15th fund while Menlo Ventures has raised $400 million for its 12th, the venture-capital firms announced Wednesday.

In addition, NEA raised another $350 million for later-stage investments.

The raises show continued investor appetite for big-name venture funds even amid the slowing market for initial public offerings, the preferred exit for venture investments.

Apr 13, 2015

A global development financier’s Silicon Valley foray

SAN FRANCISCO, April 13 (Reuters) – San Francisco-based
startup Planet Labs, a company that aims to blanket the skies
with low-cost satellites, has raised nearly $140 million from
investors that include Russian billionaire Yuri Milner and
SpaceX backer Draper Fisher Jurvetson. Now, the company has
raised an additional $20 million from an unlikely contender: the
venture arm of the International Finance Corporation, a
multilateral lending organization that’s part of the World Bank.

The IFC describes its mission as “alleviating poverty and
creating opportunity.” Generally, that has meant investing in
emerging markets, not the Silicon Valley.

Apr 13, 2015

Clinton wins high marks for social-media launch

SAN FRANCISCO, April 13 (Reuters) – Presidential contender
Hillary Clinton tweeted, Facebooked and YouTubed her way through
the first official day of her campaign in a social media
strategy that earned her high marks among marketers.

Her tweet announcing her candidacy notched almost 90,000
retweets by the end of the day Sunday, her campaign video more
than 1 million views on YouTube, and her Facebook campaign page
almost 500,000 likes.

Apr 9, 2015

Trials, tribulations and tone deafness feed HBO’s ‘Silicon Valley’

SAN FRANCISCO, April 9 (Reuters) – Venture firm Kleiner
Perkins Caufield & Byers just put an embarrassing
gender-discrimination lawsuit behind it. Now, thanks to the HBO
show “Silicon Valley,” it’s about to get dinged Hollywood-style.

The lawsuit that thrust the firm into the headlines last
month caught show creator Mike Judge’s eye, but played out too
late for the current season, he said in an interview Wednesday
night ahead of the show’s Bay Area premiere. “Silicon Valley”
has attracted a loyal following in the region for its incisive
and accurate skewering of the culture around technology

Apr 2, 2015

SurveyMonkey expands business into paid analytic services

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Online polling company SurveyMonkey, one of the United States’ most richly valued venture-backed firms, launched a new tool on Thursday to help companies better understand their customers.

The tool, known as Benchmark, aims to bolster the fee-based, rather than the free part of SurveyMonkey’s business model, helping it justify the $2 billion valuation it commanded when it raised $250 million in funding in December.

Mar 30, 2015

Jury clears top Silicon Valley firm of gender bias, retaliation

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Silicon Valley powerhouse venture
capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers was cleared on
Friday of claims it short-circuited the career of a former
partner because she is a woman, in a gender discrimination trial
that shook the tech world.

A California jury also rejected a claim that Kleiner, the
firm that backed Google Inc and Inc
, had retaliated against its former partner, Ellen Pao,
by firing her after she sued in 2012.

Mar 29, 2015

Juror in gender lawsuit sympathized with Pao, sided with Kleiner

SAN FRANCISCO, March 29 (Reuters) – To some Silicon Valley
watchers, the Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers gender
discrimination case became a referendum on the challenging state
of women in technology. But for the lone woman in technology on
the jury, an at times unfriendly workplace did not amount to
gender discrimination at the powerful venture capital firm.

The jury on Friday cleared Kleiner on all charges of gender
bias and retaliation, leaving the technology community scouring
the jurors for the thinking behind their decision and for clues
on whether other gender discrimination cases can succeed.

Mar 27, 2015

Jury clears Kleiner of gender bias in Silicon Valley case

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A California jury on Friday cleared venture capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers of gender discrimination claims brought against it by a woman former partner in a trial that transfixed Silicon Valley.

The jury also said it had cleared Kleiner on a claim that the firm had retaliated against former partner Ellen Pao by “teminating” her employment after she sued in 2012.