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Feb 11, 2015

Mithril, doubling down, leads $50 million investment in AppDirect

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 11 (Reuters) – San Francisco-based
AppDirect, which helps developers and businesses create, use and
sell apps, said it raised another $50 million in a funding round
led by Mithril Capital Management, the same firm in charge of
its last round.

The latest funding values AppDirect at $600 million, double
the valuation when it raised $35 million in April.

Feb 2, 2015

Former Kleiner partner seeks $16 mln in discrimination lawsuit

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 2 (Reuters) – Ellen Pao, a former partner
at prominent Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins
Caufield & Byers, is seeking $16 million for discrimination and
retaliation in a lawsuit against the firm, a Kleiner attorney
said in court.

The suit, filed in 2012, accuses the firm of holding her
back from a promotion and better compensation after she
complained about harassment by a male partner. The case helped
spark a broad and ongoing discussion in Silicon Valley about

Jan 30, 2015

Uber will improve privacy, data security following report

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Ride service Uber, which is trying to enhance its image after several controversies, on Friday released the findings of a report on its handling of passenger data and said it would act on all the report’s recommendations for improvements.

Lawyers at Hogan Lovells, who wrote the report commissioned and paid for by Uber, found that the smartphone app-enabled service had appropriate guidelines and procedures in place for internal access control, data security and data retention.

Jan 28, 2015

Uber, Lyft face crucial courtroom test over driver benefits

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Smartphone-enabled car services Uber and Lyft head to court this week to resolve a critical question for Silicon Valley’s sharing economy: whether their drivers are independent contractors or employees.

The two privately held companies face separate lawsuits seeking class action status in San Francisco federal court, brought on behalf of drivers who contend they are employees and entitled to reimbursement for expenses including gas and vehicle maintenance. The drivers currently pay those costs themselves.

Jan 28, 2015

Creating an old-girls network in Silicon Valley

Jan 28 (Reuters) – Thanks to Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg
and her mega-bestselling book, Lean In, the gender-disparity
debate has been front and center for years now in Silicon

But another executive believes she is taking that concept
one step further with her own organization, Upward. Her take:
focus a little less on working harder, and a little more on
old-fashioned meeting and greeting.

Jan 20, 2015

Intel’s diversity drive should focus on internal changes, advocates say

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – When Intel Corp (INTC.O: Quote, Profile, Research) said this month it would spend $300 million on increasing diversity in its workforce, Silicon Valley lauded its plan to improve the “pipeline” of candidates by helping more women and minorities study computer science and engineering.

But focusing too hard on the pipeline, a frequent tactic of technology firms seeking to change their workforce, will benefit the chipmaker less than working on what happens inside Intel, diversity advocates say.

Jan 16, 2015

U.S. venture capitalists spend most money since 2000

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – U.S. venture capitalists invested $48.39 billion last year, the biggest total since 2000, according to new data from the National Venture Capital Association, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Thomson Reuters.

Despite the eye popping numbers that hark back to the dotcom era, including $19.8 billion allocated to software startups, most venture capitalists say last year’s investments should not be confused with a bubble. They point to metrics such as revenue-backed growth, often absent 15 years ago but solid in most current high-flying startups.

Jan 13, 2015

Instacart draws funding from Kleiner Perkins, eyes partnerships

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Online-grocery delivery service Instacart said venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers led its latest funding round totaling $220 million.

The company will use the cash to grow into new markets, both internationally and in the United States, Chief Executive Officer Apoorva Mehta said in an interview.

Jan 9, 2015

Kleiner Perkins partner tried to quit 5 years before filing bias lawsuit

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 9 (Reuters) – Ellen Pao, a former partner
at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers who has filed a
discrimination and retaliation lawsuit against the venture firm,
had offered to resign from Kleiner five years before filing her
lawsuit, court documents show.

The documents, filed this week, state that Pao said in June
2007 she would resign due to job dissatisfaction, seven months
after she ended an affair that is at the heart of her lawsuit.
Pao alleges she was pressured into a relationship with
then-partner Ajit Nazre, who retaliated against her for years
after she called it off.

Jan 6, 2015

Uber vehicles impounded in South Africa: executive

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Police in Cape Town, South Africa, impounded 33 Uber vehicles over the weekend in a dispute over what type of permits drivers should hold, an Uber executive said.

Uber has faced regulatory setbacks all over the world in recent months. Last month, it drew bans in France, Spain and the Netherlands. It was also banned in Delhi after a female passenger there claimed an Uber driver had raped her.