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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Southwest shows that sharks really can fly – CNET

In a nod to the 30th anniversary of Shark Week, the airline paints five of its aircraft with shark-themed artwork.
Source: CNET

The Untested Drugs at the Heart of Nevada's Execution Controversy

A sedative, an opioid, and a paralytic sit at the core of legal and ethical debates over the state-sanctioned killing of death row prisoner Scott Dozier.
Source: Wired

“Airbnb mafia” fund Wave Capital makes it official, closing its debut fund with $55 million

A couple of weeks ago, Airbnb announced some major changes to the ways that it compensates employees before it goes public.

At least two former Airbnb employees and a longtime VC will be ready to fund those who leave when it does. They’ve been waiting on this moment since last summer, in fact. That’s when former Airbnb data scientist Riley Newman left the firm to start work on a venture firm, quickly enlisting the help of his colleague of several years, Sara Adler (Airbnb’s former head of corporate development), and former Madrona Venture Group principal David Rosenthal. What they set out to do with that fund, Wave Capital, is fund marketplace startups, including — especially, even — those founded by other former employees of the home-rental giant.

It’s an idea that has resonated with investors, plainly.  Wave just closed its debut fund with $55 million in capital commitments — slightly more than the three were targeting. They’ve already begun putting it to work, too. To find out more about those bets, and where the three expect to shop next, we asked them for a few more details. Our chat has been edited for length.

TC: How exactly did this firm come to pass?

DR: Riley is really the hub for all of us; his wife and mine grew up together in Marin and have remained best friends since early childhood. As Riley’s career at Airbnb progressed and my career in VC progressed, we talked about doing something together at some point in time.

RN: Meanwhile, Sara and I sat beside each other and together reported to the person who was effectively Airbnb’s CTO and we were part of a number of working groups together. David and I started talking about doing something together and we quickly drew Sara into our plans.

TC: ‘Marketplaces’ is both a huge mission for a venture fund and a narrow one. Why pursue it?

DR: For me, when I was at Madrona, we incubated the [dog services company] Rover.com and I saw the power of marketplaces and the importance of helping them get off the ground. Watching Greg McAdoo [formerly of Sequoia Capital and now of the venture firm Bolt] work with Rover helped me realize the role of a true lead board member. And we thought that between our three collective experiences, we could play that role.

SA: As a member of the corp dev team at Airbnb and at Dropbox and Facebook before that, I could also see the impact of investors even on the final stages of companies’ journeys.

TC: You’ve now fully closed the fund from institutional investors, including the fund-of-funds Cendana Capital. How many companies do you expect to support with it?

DR: We think roughly 18 to 20 companies. We intend to lead every round and to take board seats. We want to play the same role as Greg did at Rover.

SA: We expect for each partner to do one to two deals per year.

TC: You haven’t invested together in the past, and establishing an investing history together is usually really important to institutions that invest in venture funds. How did you persuade them that this wasn’t an issue?

RN: It was definitely a process. [Laughs.] We were told no multiple times. We had not invested together and it did come up quite a bit and was a disqualifying thing for people who care a lot about that. We underwent a monster due diligence process with [the investment consulting company] Cambridge Associates that thankfully put us on [institutional investors’] buy list. But we dealt with every flavor of [no] before that. I think what won everybody over were the skill sets that each of us have, and how well-rounded they are in combination with one other.

SA: I think our approach [appealed to investors], too. It’s kind of like what venture used to be 20 years ago, both in terms of the size of of the investments we plan to make and the time and energy we intend to spend with the companies we fund.

TC: How many investments have you made so far, and how dependent on Airbnb are you for your deal flow? I know Nate Blecharczyk, Airbnb’s co-founder and chief strategy officer, is an advisor to Wave.

RN: Alma was our first investment. We spent months with [cofounder] Dan Hill [who was formerly a director of product and performance marketing at Airbnb and whose startup connect prospective donors with local philanthropies]. We helped them firm up their marketplace design and design a long-term strategy and our [check] was built around a financial model that we built for them to get them from seed to a Series A round.  We’ll have to go out and execute on that, but that process determined what they needed.

We have another investment at the finish line.

SA: Airbnb will be a big part of our network, especially with our first fund, because we know exactly who the great people are at the company, which you only know by working with them. But across my time at Airbnb and Dropbox and Facebook, I’ve been a part of acquiring 30 companies and I’ve interacted with thousands more during the evaluation process, so there’s a deep network of founders for us to draw from.

TC: There’s so much late-stage capital sloshing around. Do you think about how it will impact what you’re doing at the earliest stages of these companies’ lives?

DR: The tail is really wagging the dog in a lot of cases right now. I don’t necessarily see so much capital as good or bad; what’s important to us is that founders use their capital as a tool to accomplish their aims. When you let capital start driving your decisions, there are very real unforeseen circumstances.

TC:  Are there any sectors about which you’re particularly excited?

DR: We’re sector agnostic. We believe in the business model, whether it’s consumer of b2b or healthcare. Crypto, we’re a little scared by, but I suppose those are marketplaces, too.


Source: TechCrunch

Broadcom agrees to buy CA Technologies for $19 billion – CNET

Deal comes four months after Trump blocked chipmaker’s mega-bid for Quaclomm.
Source: CNET

Airbus shows off rebranded A220 airliners – CNET

Ahead of the 2018 Farnborough Airshow, Airbus assigns new names to the Bombardier CS100 and CS300 airliners.
Source: CNET

England crashes out of World Cup, and it's not coming home – CNET

Instead of Blighty, football’s going to wander over to Paris or Zagreb.
Source: CNET

How Logitech continues to thrive in the post-PC world

The PC is in decline, yet a company like Logitech continues to find ways to stay relevant. From its high-end audio to emphasis on gaming, the company is more determined than ever to not go down with the desktop.

The post How Logitech continues to thrive in the post-PC world appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Ex-Tesla worker makes it official and blows the whistle to SEC

The former Tesla employee who was fired and then sued by the electric vehicle automaker has filed a formal whistleblower tip to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission alleging the company has misled investors and put its customers at risk.

Martin Tripp has retained Meissner Associates, a whistleblower, securities, investment  fraud and employment law firm to represent him before the SEC. Tesla did not respond to questions about the whistleblower tip.

The filing is the latest blow in a bout between Tesla, its CEO Elon Musk and Tripp.

Tesla filed a lawsuit on June 20 against Tripp for $1 million, alleging the man, who worked as a process technician at the massive battery factory near Reno, hacked the company’s confidential and trade secret information and transferred that information to third parties, according to court documents. The lawsuit also claims the employee leaked false information to the media.

A mere 24 hours later a combative email exchange between Musk and Tripp emerged. Tesla also notified police based on a tip to its customer service line that Tripp had allegedly told a friend he was going to attack the company’s Gigafactory in Sparks, NevadaTripp has denied this and the Storey County Sheriff’s department, which investigated, told TechCrunch they found no credible threat.

Tripp is turning to an attorney with a successful whistleblower track record. The firm obtained a more than $22 million judgment from the SEC on behalf of a Monsanto whistleblower in 2016.

Tripp’s whistleblower tip, which was filed July 6, alleges that Tesla knowingly manufactured batteries with punctured holes possibly impacting hundreds of cars on the road; misled the investing public as to the numbers of Model 3s actually being produced each week by as much as 44 percent; and lowered vehicle specifications and systemically used scrap and waste material in vehicles, all so as to meet production quotas, according to a statement from Meissner Associates.

Tesla has said in the past that Tripp’s allegations are false and contend that he is not a whistleblower, but someone who hacked and stole confidential information.

Tripp says he has been threatened and harassed in the days since he revealed information about Tesla to the media.

“Getting the truth out has become a nightmare. While we have had to relocate due to threats and harassment, both online and offline, making it difficult to press on, my family and I have also received a ton of support, which keeps us going,” Tripp said in a statement. “I hope that, in the end, my fight will make it easier for future whistleblowers to come forward without fear of repercussions like those I have endured.”

Meissner will not handle the federal lawsuit that Tesla filed against Tripp. He is currently looking for an attorney to represent him in the case, the firm’s managing member Stuart Meissner told TechCrunch.

Meissner, a former assistant district attorney in Manhattan and assistant New York state attorney general, said Tesla filed its lawsuit against Tripp and engaged in a PR campaign to defame him in a calculated effort to ruin his reputation and silence him and other potential Tesla whistleblowers from coming forward.


Source: TechCrunch

Live on ESPN: Will the Overwatch League Usher in Esports’ Crossover Moment?

Thanks to a new agreement, ESPN will be broadcasting esports live in primetime for the first time.
Source: Wired

FCC reportedly plans comment system overhaul after net neutrality debacle – CNET

Proposal comes after 22 million fake comments were submitted for commission’s consideration.
Source: CNET

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