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Jun 20, 2014

Venture capitalist sues former boss, now fired, for fraud

SAN FRANCISCO, June 19 (Reuters) – Investors in March fired
G. Steven Burrill as the head of a $283 million venture-capital
fund he ran, amid alleged fraud and misuse of capital, according
to a lawsuit.

The lawsuit, filed last week in state court in San
Francisco, comes at a time when the Securities and Exchange
Commission is taking a hard look at hidden fees at private
equity funds, although the investigation has not yet touched
venture-capital funds. Private equity funds tend to be larger
and invest at later stages than do venture funds.

Jun 18, 2014

New ridesharing legislation advances in California

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Bills that would make it more complicated and expensive for ridesharing companies to do business in California passed a state Senate committee on Tuesday, although stripped of one particularly onerous provision.

Firms such as Lyft, Sidecar and UberX allow passengers to summon paid rides using apps on their smartphones and have gained in popularity in dozens of U.S. cities over the past few years.

Jun 13, 2014

Nextdoor CEO pleads no contest to hit and run charge

SAN FRANCISCO, June 12 (Reuters) – Nextdoor CEO Nirav Tolia,
whose social networking website espouses neighborhood safety and
community, pleaded no contest Thursday in a San Mateo court to a
misdemeanor for leaving the scene of a highway accident that a
driver says Tolia caused.

Tolia will pay a $239 fine, spend 30 weekend days in a
county program in lieu of 30 days’ jail time, serve two years’
probation, and will be responsible for restitution to the
victim, said San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

Jun 10, 2014

Index Ventures raises 400 million euros for new early-stage fund

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Index Ventures, the firm known for backing online video-chat service Skype at its early stages, said on Tuesday that it had raised 400 million euros ($541.62 million) for a venture fund focused on early-stage investments.

The new fund, which comes just two years after Index announced its previous 350 million euro early-stage fund, underscores a continuing increase in investors’ interest in venture capital. With a new 400 million euro fund, Index Ventures will stick with its global strategy, but perhaps with more of a U.S. twist.

Jun 10, 2014

Okta raises $75 mln from Sequoia, others on heels of last round

SAN FRANCISCO, June 9 (Reuters) – Okta, which helps
companies manage computer log-ins, said on Monday it had raised
$75 million just nine months after its last funding round,
underscoring the pressure many software firms are under to
expand quickly before rivals catch up.

Okta, which plans to use much of the cash to fuel an
international expansion, including in Asia, offers cloud-based
software. A flood of such software firms has
meant many entrepreneurs are eager to raise money at a much
quicker pace than in the past.

Jun 10, 2014

Social inequality in San Francisco spurs verbal brawl among VCs

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Ongoing tensions over how to handle social inequality in San Francisco sparked an a rare outburst among venture capitalists Monday.

Facebook Inc executive-turned-venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya called for San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee to resign due to a “very stupid city government,” spurring fellow venture capitalist Ron Conway to jump to his feet and start yelling.

Jun 6, 2014

Uber snags $1.2 billion in new funding; seen valued at $18 billion

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Uber Inc has raised $1.2 billion from mutual funds and other investors in a funding round that valued the fast-growing rides-on-demand service at $18.2 billion in one of the highest valuations ever for a Silicon Valley startup.

Uber Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick announced the funding round on a blog on Friday.

Jun 6, 2014

Uber snags $1.2 bln in new funding; seen valued at $18 bln

SAN FRANCISCO, June 6 (Reuters) – Uber Inc has raised $1.2
billion from mutual funds and other investors in a funding round
that valued the fast-growing rides-on-demand service at $18.2
billion in one of the highest valuations ever for a Silicon
Valley startup.

Uber Chief Executive Officer Travis Kalanick announced the
funding round on a blog on Friday.

Jun 5, 2014

Immigrants win one third of U.S. Nobel prizes in key fields

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – More than one-third of U.S. Nobel prize winners in chemistry, medicine and physics are immigrants, a new report shows.

The report, released Thursday by the National Foundation for American Policy, a conservative research group, shows that since 2000, two dozen immigrants won Nobels in those fields, out of 68 U.S. prizewinners in chemistry, medicine and physics.

Jun 5, 2014

WhatsApp co-founder sees challenges in U.S. and other markets

, June 4 (Reuters) – Boosting the adoption of
messaging service WhatsApp in the United States and some other
markets is proving difficult, co-founder Brian Acton said, but
the company will still create substantial revenue for
prospective parent Facebook Inc.

“Growth in the United States is a challenge for us,” Acton
said on Wednesday after a talk at StartX, an incubator for young
companies affiliated with Stanford University.