|Well, hello, and happy Monday.:)|
U.S. stocks are plunging again, with the DJIA dropping more than 1,400 points and the S&P 500 enduring its steepest single-day decline since August 2015, erasing its gains for the year.
The price of Bitcoin fell below $8,000 for the third time in four days today, too.
Broadcom really wants to buy Qualcomm.
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|In “Brotopia,” Sex Parties are the Least of Silicon Valley’s Problems
Two years ago, Bloomberg TV journalist Emily Chang set out to write a book about gender discrimination in Silicon Valley. It wasn’t specifically prompted by that now-famous post of former Uber engineer Susan Fowler, wherein Fowler calmly recounted the many ways that Uber’s internal controls were either very messed up or nonexistent. But the national movement that Fowler unwittingly kicked off certainly gave more urgency to Chang’s work, and today, the product of that effort,Brotopia: Breaking Up the Boys’ Club of Silicon Valley, hits bookshelves.
Vanity Fair was first to run an excerpt of the book, featuring Chang’s reporting about “exclusive, drug-fueled, sex-laced parties” where female founders are preyed upon. What we learned, once we had the book in our hands, is that there’s far more to it than that. We talked with Chang about Brotopia this past weekend. Our conversation has been edited for length.
Reading about these parties in Vanity Fair, it was hard to discern the scale of what you were describing and how much attention these nights should be paid — in part because no one was named. How big are these gatherings, and how frequent are they?
I talked with more than three dozen people [about these parties] and more since that excerpt was published — people who’d either gone and felt they couldn’t escape [or else risk access to the powerful people there] and people who were shut out of them. And I was told they happen every week.
In the Bay Area?
San Francisco. Napa. Malibu. Ibiza. New York. Women entrepreneurs will get invited and they aren’t sure if the gatherings will be shady or not. They don’t realize what they’re getting themselves into. This includes young women who’ve come from other countries and immediately wonder: ‘Is this something that I need to get used to? Is this Silicon Valley?’ You can imagine how alienating that might be for someone new to the U.S.
We’ve already seen a number of VCs leave their firms. Do you think we’ll see more fallout from these parties?
People who are part of the scene have told me it has taken a bit of a pause since the excerpt was published. But the problem is not just sex parties. We all know how much work bleeds into personal life in this industry. I’ve talked with female Uber engineers who were routinely invited to strip clubs and bondage clubs in the middle of the day. As I recount in the book, I went to the famous San Francisco strip club Gold Club and it was packed with tech workers eating lunch.
What we’re talking about is bad behavior that’s not just tolerated but that’s been normalized.
Do you regret that this bit of reporting was the first excerpt published? It grabbed the country’s attention, but Elon Musk, who was in attendance at one of the parties included in the book, has called your conclusions “salacious nonsense.”
Fair, a two-year-old, Santa Monica, Ca.-based flexible car-ownership startup, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding led by next47, the venture arm of Siemens. It has also acquired Los Angeles-based Skurt, a service that delivers rental cars directly to users. Terms of the acquisition aren’t being disclosed, but Fair just last week acquired a service that Uber established in 2015 to lease new and nearly new vehicles to drivers. TechCrunch has more here.
Infarm, a five-year-old, Berlin-based vertical farming startup, has raised $25 million in Series A funding led by Balderton Capital, with participation from TriplePoint Capital, Mons Investments and seed backers Cherry Ventures,QUADIA and LocalGlobe. TechCrunch has more here.
Lightful, a three-year-old, London-based social media and campaign management platform for charities and social enterprises, raised £4 million ($5.6 million) in Series A funding. Tech.eu has more here.
Lightmatter, a year-old, Boston-based startup that makes photonic chips that essentially perform calculations at the speed of light (it’s aiming to leaving transistors in the dust), just raised $11 million in Series A led by Matrix Partners and Spark Capital. TechCrunch has more here.
Lino, an eight-month-old, Cupertino, Ca.-based decentralized autonomous video startup (TechCrunch calls it a kind of crypto YouTube), has raised $20 million via a token sale led by ZhenFund. Other investors in the pre-sale included the crypto-currency focused investment vehicles FBG Capital, DFund, and INBlockchain. TechCrunch has more here.
MDClone, a two-year-old, Beersheba, Israel-based medical data company, has raised $10 million from OrbiMed Israel Partners and earlier investor Lightspeed Venture Partners. The company has now raised $15 million altogether. Globes has more here.
Medopad, a seven-year-old, London-based health tech AI company whose app connects patients with health care professionals, has raised $28 million in funding, including from NWS Holdings. CNBC has more here.
Paige.AI, a relatively new, New York-based startup that’s building an AI system specifically to help understand cancer pathology, has raised $25 million in Series A funding led by Jim Breyer of Breyer Capital, along with other investors who “wish to remain anonymous,” the company tells TechCrunch. More here.
Zebra Fuel, a 1.5-year-old, London-based startup that wants to deliver fuel directly to users’ vehicles, has raised $2.5 million in seed funding led by LocalGlobe, with participation from Firstminute Capital and Zoopla founder Alex Chesterman. TechCrunch has more here.
The San Francisco-based secondary investment firm 137 Ventures is looking to raise up to $200 million for its fourth fund, shows a new SEC filing. The seven-year-old firm makes loans to founders and early employees, using their stock as collateral. The firm had closed its third fund with $200 million in 2016.
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Alison Bush Delgado has joined venture firm SeventySix Capital as a managing director and head of strategic development. She was formerly the global head of consultant relations for Neuberger Berman.
Ripcord CEO and former Apple engineer Alex Fielding is a piece of work, according to a former and current employees, who reportedly say the venture-backed founder keeps a bazooka displayed next to his desk and has a penchant for sexually-charged conversation. Business Insider has more here.
Former Intel president Renee James has launched a new chip company.
A South Korean appeals court has Samsung Vice Chairman Jay Lee walk free from prison after suspending his sentence for bribery.
Bucky Moore has joined Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers as a principal from Costanoa Ventures, where he spent three years as a principal. Moore had also spent less than a year as an associate with Battery Ventures several years ago.
Lululemon CEO Laurent Potdevin abruptly resigned today from the athletic-apparel seller, which says his behavior didn’t live up to its standards. (This one is breaking.)
Venture capitalist Shervin Pishevar has dropped his lawsuit against political opposition research firm Definers Public Affairs, reports Axios. As readers might remember, Pishevar — who stepped away from his firm, Sherpa Capital, in December, amid sexual harassment allegations — had sued Definers last year, claiming it had launched a smear campaign against him. More here.
Storm Ventures has two freshly minted partners: Arun Penmetsa and Paul Willard. Penmetsa joined storm as a principal more than three years ago and worked previously as an engineer at both Oracle and Google. Willard was previously a partner at Subtraction Capital. TechCrunch has more here.
Splunk, an intelligence software company that went public in 2012, is looking to hire a corporate development director. The job is in San Francisco.
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Intel has made smart glasses that look normal.
Lightspeed Venture Partners is trying to hold its more than 300 portfolio companies accountable by asking them to sign a new diversity letter, though Recode wonders if it has enough teeth.
Four investors in a $1 billion health-care fund managed by Dubai’s Abraaj Group have hired a forensic accountant to examine what happened to some of their money, people familiar with the situation said. Among these: Bill and Melinda Gates. The WSJ has the story here.
The most beautiful coffee shop in every U.S. state.
Four of the world’s best Olympians, as you’ve never seen them before (in augmented reality).
“Lady-friendly” Doritos for women. Not a joke, much as we wish it were.