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Jul 17, 2012
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With Openbucks investment, Jerry Yang goes a little less Yahoo, a little more show-me-the-money

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Let one Ms. Marissa Mayer worry about how to turn around Yahoo, the struggling Internet company he co-founded. Jerry Yang,  43, has focused his attention to an increasingly hot field: online payments.

Mountain View, Calif.-based Openbucks has reeled in Yang as its latest investor. He led a $4.8 million funding round for the company, joined by former Yahoo CEO Terry Semel, Greycroft Partners, SV Angel, and others.

Jun 29, 2012

Feature: U.S. “Genius” visa attracts entrepreneurs and Playmates

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Shera Bechard, the Canadian-born former girlfriend of Playboy Enterprises founder Hugh Hefner, would not be an obvious candidate for the special visas that the U.S. government reserves for “individuals with extraordinary ability.”

Playboy magazine named Bechard Miss November in 2010, and she also started an online photo-sharing craze called “Frisky Friday.” Neither seems quite on the level of an “internationally recognized award, such as a Nobel Prize,” which the government cites as a possible qualification.

Jun 29, 2012

U.S. ‘Genius’ visa attracts entrepreneurs and Playmates

SAN FRANCISCO, June 29 (Reuters) – Shera Bechard, the
Canadian-born former girlfriend of Playboy Enterprises founder
Hugh Hefner, would not be an obvious candidate for the special
visas that the U.S. government reserves for “individuals with
extraordinary ability.”

Playboy magazine named Bechard Miss November in 2010, and
she also started an online photo-sharing craze called “Frisky
Friday.” Neither seems quite on the level of an “internationally
recognized award, such as a Nobel Prize,” which the government
cites as a possible qualification.

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
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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
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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
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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.