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Jun 28, 2012

IVP raises $1 billion venture fund

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Institutional Venture Partners said it had raised a $1 billion fund, IVP XIV, underscoring the ability of a small group of venture firms to raise outsize funds amid a broader environment of lackluster returns.

The firm specializes in late-stage venture investments, meaning companies with $20 million or more in revenue, and growth equity, meaning companies with $100 million or more in revenue. Traditional venture companies come in at much earlier stages, perhaps before a company has any revenue.

Jun 27, 2012
via MediaFile

Online video service Chill snags $8 million funding round

Do consumers want a more social side to video? Some $8 milllion to Chill, an online-only video service that works via Facebook, says they do. The cash comes from venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, talent firm William Morris Endeavor, and others. Chill allows people to watch videos and comment on them in groups, live. The cash should help it grow faster, while the relationship with William Morris, a new investor, should help it reel in more content partners, a spokesman said. Its current partners include celebrity-news service TMZ and TV show Jimmy Kimmel Live, it said.  About 18 million registered users have signed up with Chill, and around 10 million are regular visitors, the company said.

Jun 21, 2012
via MediaFile

MinoMonsters releases new version, takes aim at Pokemon fans

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By Mauro Whiteman

Apple iOS gamers who miss the Pokemon monster-battling adventures of their childhoods may come one step closer to fulfillment today with the release of an updated version of MinoMonsters.

While Pokemon’s console-based games aren’t available on the Apple operating system, plenty of imitators are. MinoMonsters, also the name of the company that develops the game, wants to become the clear leader of that group, says CEO Josh Buckley. So far, he’s raised more than $1 million from Andreessen Horowitz and other venture capitalists.

Jun 19, 2012

Pearl raises cash, leads move to paid answers

SAN FRANCISCO, June 19 (Reuters) – What types of online
information services can make money by charging fees rather than
relying on advertising?

That’s the sort of question that one might put to the
business-oriented question-and-answer service Pearl.com.

Jun 18, 2012

Index Ventures raises 350 mln euro tech fund

SAN FRANCISCO, June 17 (Reuters) – Index Ventures said it
raised a 350 million euro fund – about $441 million – to invest
in seed and early-stage technology companies.

The fund will make investments in the $10 million range in
roughly 40 companies, focusing on Berlin, London, New York, San
Francisco, Stockholm and Tel Aviv.

Jun 16, 2012

Facebook to pay $10 million to settle suit

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Facebook Inc has agreed to pay $10 million to charity to settle a lawsuit that accused the site of violating users’ rights to control the use of their own names, photographs and likenesses, according to court documents made public over the weekend.

The lawsuit, brought by five Facebook members, alleged the social networking site violated California law by publicizing users’ “likes” of certain advertisers on its “Sponsored Stories” feature without paying them or giving them a way to opt out, the documents said.

Jun 15, 2012
via MediaFile

Pao made needlessly “scurrilous” claims: Kleiner

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When are facts just the facts– and when do they become scurrilous?

That’s the question created by venture-capital fund Kleiner Perkins in its bid to arbitrate partner Ellen Pao’s discrimination lawsuit against the firm — a turn of events which would sink the proceedings out of public view.

In a memo filed Tuesday in California state court Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers argues that in her May complaint, Pao included “provocative facts– many unnecessary to the pleading of her claims”. The firm gave the example of her relationship with Ajit Nazre, a former partner who left the firm earlier this year. Pao said he pressured her to sleep with him.

Jun 14, 2012

Venture firm Kleiner moves to dismiss discrimination suit

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers asked a California state court on Wednesday to dismiss a discrimination lawsuit by partner Ellen Pao, saying it denied “each and every material allegation” made by her.

The suit has become the talk of Silicon Valley, where the digerati are avidly debating its merits — along with broader questions about sexism in the technology industry.

Jun 12, 2012

Facebook consultant argues that website’s ads work

SAN FRANCISCO, June 11 (Reuters) – Marketing on Facebook
influences consumer behavior and leads to increased
purchases for the brands that leverage the social-networking
site, consulting company comScore said in a report released
Tuesday.

“The Power of Like 2: How Social Media Works,” looks at
paid advertising on Facebook as well as earned media exposure–
meaning mentions of the brand made by Facebook users in status
updates and the like. It is based on the experiences of large
brands such as Best Buy, Starbucks and Target
.

Jun 8, 2012

Facebook backer turns his attention to Brazil

SAN FRANCISCO/ SAO PAULO, June 7 (Reuters) – One of
Facebook’s earliest investors has turned his attention to
a distant market with a small but lively start-up scene: Brazil.

Kevin Efrusy, the partner at Accel who spearheaded the
firm’s initial $12.7 million investment in Facebook back in
2005, has made several new investments in Brazil over the last
year or so.