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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.

Jul 1, 2014

Former executive sues dating app Tinder, alleges sexual harassment

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Former Tinder marketing Vice President Whitney Wolfe is suing the popular dating-app company for sexual harassment and discrimination, making it the latest technology business to face challenges over its treatment of women.

Wolfe’s lawsuit, filed Monday, listed a series of alleged incidents of harassment over roughly 18 months starting in late 2012. Among the allegations: that Chief Executive Officer Sean Rad and the company’s chief marketing officer, Justin Mateen, removed her title as co-founder because of her gender; and that Mateen publicly insulted her, including calling her a whore at a company party, while Rad ignored her complaints.

Jun 27, 2014

Kleiner Perkins files to raise $1.2 billion in new venture funds

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Venture fund Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers filed to raise two new funds totaling $1.2 billion, showing scaled-back ambitions compared with previous funds.

The new funds, an early-stage growth fund of $450 million known as KPCB XVI and a later-stage fund of $750 million known as KPCB Digital Growth, contrast with the $525 million KPCB XV, raised two years ago, and the $1 billion inaugural Digital Growth fund, raised in 2010.

Jun 26, 2014

Venture fund 500 Startups uses Jobs Act to raise $100 million from public

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – 500 Startups, the $100 million Silicon Valley venture fund perhaps best known for its incubator program for young companies, said on Thursday it would tap a new source of cash for its latest fund: the public.

Such a move would have been illegal until late last year, when a new law kicked in that allows private companies and funds to use advertising to find investors. Its adoption by 500 Startups, founded by respected entrepreneur and investor Dave McClure, signals growing acceptance of public fundraising in Silicon Valley.

Jun 26, 2014

Couchbase raises $60 mln to compete against Oracle, Microsoft

SAN FRANCISCO, June 26 (Reuters) – Couchbase, a company that
helps companies deal with the vast troves of data scattered
around the Internet, said on Thursday it raised $60 million,
further enabling it take on incumbents such as Oracle Corp
and Microsoft Corp.

The company, whose name is a combination of related
technologies known as CouchDB and Membase, helps companies store
data in a way that makes it work better with cutting-edge
applications and other Internet innovations. Those are the
task-specific software programs that increasing numbers of
consumers use multiple times each day, often on theit mobile
phones.

Jun 26, 2014

Insurance legislation for ridesharing advances in California

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A bill that would impose insurance requirements on ridesharing companies in California passed a state Senate committee 9-1 on Wednesday, although with somewhat lower costs to the industry than previously written into the bill.

Companies such as Lyft, Sidecar and UberX, which is a part of black-car service Uber, 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 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.