Sarah's Feed
Aug 19, 2014

Former Obama campaign manager to run Uber’s political strategy

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Uber has enlisted David Plouffe, President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign manager, to devise and run its global political and branding strategy, as the fast-expanding car rides-on-demand startup runs into stiff resistance in some cities.

The San Francisco-based company, which is waging an intense campaign against taxi drivers who fear encroachment on their turf, said in a blog post on Tuesday that Plouffe will begin in late September as senior vice president of policy and strategy.

Aug 19, 2014

Venture firm tries telling others how to invest in private companies

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug 19 (Reuters) – A Washington, D.C.-area
company that invests in startup companies is moving into a new
line of business: advising others on how they too can invest in
startups.

Disruption Corp., which runs the Crystal Tech Fund in
Crystal City, Virginia, said Tuesday that regulators had
licensed it to provide investment guidance. It is licensed by
the state of Virginia and appears on the Securities and Exchange
Commission’s list of registered advisors.

Aug 12, 2014

Far from Hollywood, neighbors mourn a friendly, bike-riding, comedy legend

By Sarah McBride

TIBURON Calif. (Reuters) – In Robin Williams’ northern California neighborhood, far from the glitz and glamor of Hollywood, a stunned and saddened community remembered a low-key man who loved bike riding and never got too famous for a playful wave or banter.

“Everyone loved him, but nobody bothered him. He would live unrecognized and just keep to himself,” said Johanna Denning, a neighbor who often saw Williams riding his bike amid low-slung houses with views of the San Francisco Bay.

Aug 12, 2014

Comic virtuoso Robin Williams dead at 63 from apparent suicide

, Aug 12 (Reuters) – Robin Williams, the
versatile actor whose madcap comic style made him one of
television and film’s biggest stars, was found dead on Monday
from an apparent suicide at his home in Northern California. He
was 63.

The comedian’s appeal stretched across generations and
genres, from family fare as the voice of Disney’s blue Genie in
“Aladdin” to his portrayal of a fatherly therapist in the 1997
drama “Good Will Hunting,” for which he earned his sole Oscar.

Aug 12, 2014

Actor Robin Williams dead at 63 from apparent suicide

By Sarah McBride

TIBURON Calif. (Reuters) – Robin Williams, the versatile actor whose madcap comic style made him one of television and film’s biggest stars, was found dead on Monday from an apparent suicide at his home in Northern California. He was 63.

The Marin County Sheriff’s coroner’s division said it suspected Williams committed suicide by asphyxia, but the cause of death is still under investigation and an autopsy will be conducted Tuesday.

Aug 8, 2014

Exclusive: Tango secondary financing values company at around $1.5 billion

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Tango, the mobile messaging company, is arranging a financing transaction that would value its business at around $1.5 billion, roughly one-third more than the valuation it received just five months ago, according to three people familiar with the situation.

Tango’s transaction would involve early investors and shareholders selling shares to Ukrainian-born billionaire Len Blavatnik, who wishes to increase his stake, and potentially others, according to one of the people. Blavatnik, who owns Warner Music Group, first invested in Tango in 2011, when he led a $42 million funding round that valued the company at $160 million.

Aug 8, 2014

Tango secondary financing values company at around $1.5 billion

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug 7 (Reuters) – Tango, the mobile messaging
company, is arranging a financing transaction that would value
its business at around $1.5 billion, roughly one-third more than
the valuation it received just five months ago, according to
three people familiar with the situation.

Tango’s transaction would involve early investors and
shareholders selling shares to Ukrainian-born billionaire Len
Blavatnik, who wishes to increase his stake, and potentially
others, according to one of the people. Blavatnik, who owns
Warner Music Group, first invested in Tango in 2011, when he led
a $42 million funding round that valued the company at $160
million.

Aug 5, 2014

Felicis Ventures raises fund, pledges to always side with founders

SAN FRANCISCO, Aug 5 (Reuters) – Felicis Ventures is trying
a new tack in the hypercompetitive world of funding startup
companies: It is raising a new fund that will always vote
alongside the founders of the company it backs.

The venture company announced on Tuesday that it had raised
$96 million for the new fund, its fourth.

Jul 28, 2014

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, regularly mismatches users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service revealed on Monday, weeks after Facebook Inc admitted to misleading users in a psychological study.

“When we tell people they are a good match, they act as if they are,” co-founder Christian Rudder wrote in a blog post. “Even when they should be wrong for each other.”

Jul 2, 2014

Venture capitalist Draper wins U.S. bitcoin auction

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Venture capitalist Tim Draper was the sole winner of an auction last week of 30,000 bitcoins by the U.S. Marshals Service, according to a statement on Wednesday.

Draper is partnering with Palo Alto-based Vaurum, which facilitates over-the-counter bitcoin trading, Vaurum Chief Executive Officer Avish Bhama said in a statement. Draper, a major backer of Vaurum, will partner with the company to use the coins as a liquidity source for Vaurum’s trading platforms in emerging markets, the statement said.