SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Over a sushi lunch on Monday in downtown Boulder, Colorado, venture capitalists at early-stage investment fund Foundry Group decided to act on an initiative that aims to admit more than the usual foundations and university endowments to the VC clubhouse.
Last week, a change in federal regulations allowed AngelList, a site that has connected startups with potential investors since 2010, to let its companies and their backers publicly solicit funding. AngelList took the wraps off a program that Foundry and many others have embraced: syndicates that comprise large groups of individual investors.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Software giant SAP AG said it is allocating more than $650 million to a new venture fund, SAP Ventures Fund II, showing the growing role that corporations are taking on in funding the world’s youngest companies.
Investing cash into start-ups via corporate venture arms is increasingly popular among big companies, while providing more competition to traditional venture capitalists. Some 10.9 percent of venture dollars came from corporations in the first half of this year, according to the National Venture Capital Association, up from 8.4 percent for all of last year and 7.7 percent in 2011.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Average sizes of both initial public offerings and acquisition prices dropped for venture-backed companies last quarter as some companies battled a tough environment in their sector and others faced outsized comparisons from a year earlier.
Data from the National Venture Capital Association and Thomson Reuters showed 26 venture-backed companies held IPOs last quarter, more any quarter since the final three months of 2010, but the average offer amount dropped by 10 percent from a year ago to $103 million.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Entrepreneur Nicole O’Rourke has a novel idea for raising cash that would have been illegal until this week: smacking a “fund me” sticker on every bottle or can of hair products from her start-up business, Rock Your Hair.
O’Rourke is among the first to take advantage of the lifting of a years-long ban, mandated by the 1933 Securities Act, on using advertising to find investors in private companies. Intended originally to prevent opportunists from targeting the gullible, it has long been considered a bedrock protection against scams. Lifting it, with some protections, should help startups and thus boost the overall economy, proponents say.
SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 19 (Reuters) – On-demand ride services
got the green light from California regulators Thursday in a
move the services hope will help clear their legal status in
The California Public Utilities Commission created a new
category called “Transportation Network Company” that will cover
businesses such as Lyft, SideCar and UberX. Those companies
allow customers to summon rides using apps, typically on their
smartphones, from drivers who use their personal, non-commercial
SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 18 (Reuters) – A high-profile Silicon
Valley sex discrimination lawsuit moved closer to trial
Wednesday after California’s highest court rejected an effort by
venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers to take a former
partner’s case against it to arbitration.
The suit, which pits former partner Ellen Pao against one of
Silicon Valley’s most storied venture capital firms, alleges
harassment, discrimination and retaliation. It became the talk
of the Valley last year with its references to an affair and its
allegations – denied by the firm – of sexual advances and sexist
SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 17 (Reuters) – Minerva Schools of KGI
doesn’t yet have accreditation, a campus or even a full faculty
roster, but it is offering something even Harvard can’t – four
years of free tuition for its first matriculating class.
The San Francisco-based Minerva Project, an ambitious effort
to remake the higher education model, announced its tuition plan
on Tuesday in hopes of attracting some of the world’s most
talented and academically competitive students for the class
that will enroll in the fall of 2014.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Since Facebook Inc’s messy initial public offering more than a year ago, the buzz in technology investment has mostly surrounded companies serving businesses rather than consumers – a situation Twitter’s imminent debut could help reverse.
From accommodation service Airbnb and storage site Dropbox, to limo-providers Uber, a clutch of hot Silicon Valley names that have steered clear of the markets may now gravitate back if Twitter helps revive investor interest in consumer apps and dotcoms.
SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 13 (Reuters) – Since Facebook Inc’s
messy initial public offering more than a year ago, the
buzz in technology investment has mostly surrounded companies
serving businesses rather than consumers – a situation
Twitter’s imminent debut could help reverse.
From accommodation service Airbnb and storage site Dropbox,
to limo-providers Uber, a clutch of hot Silicon Valley names
that have steered clear of the markets may now gravitate back if
Twitter helps revive investor interest in consumer apps and
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – When asked to name the most notable rags-to-riches entrepreneur that his firm has funded, venture capitalist Ben Horowitz doesn’t hesitate: Christian Gheorghe, a Romanian immigrant who came to the United States without speaking English, and rose from limo driver to founder of a business-analytics company, Tidemark.
It’s an impressive tale that encapsulates the way Silicon Valley likes to think of itself: a pure meritocracy; a place where talent rises to the top regardless of social class, educational pedigree, race, nationality or anything else.