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Tag Archives: british

For Madrona Venture Group, four IPOs in 20 months and a brand-new fund

Madrona Venture Group typically flies under the radar of Silicon Valley reporters, partly because it’s in Seattle. But the 23-year-old, early-stage venture firm has been having a pretty good run of late — success it just used to close its seventh fund with $300 million, the same amount it raised for its sixth fund in 2015. Among its investors: Bezos Expeditions, Vulcan Capital, and billionaire John Stanton, who is the chairman of the board of Trilogy International Partners (as well as the majority owner of the Major League Baseball team the Seattle Mariners). Madrona’s momentum didn’t build overnight. Four Madrona portfolio companies that have IPO’d over the last 20 months — the cloud software companies Smartsheet, Apptio, the real estate site Redfin, and the RFID chip maker Impinj —  took on average 12 years to get into the hands of public market investors. Madrona, the firm is quick to note, was there from the start, writing seed and Series A checks that today range from $200,000 to upwards of $5 million to $7 million. (The firm has, on rare occasion, invested upwards of  $30 million in a single company over the life of its investment.) Yet those four now-public companies share another trait in common; they’re all based in the Pacific Northwest, which includes greater Seattle but also cities like Portland, Ore.; Vancouver, British Columbia; and Spokane, Wa. That’s no accident. About 90 percent of Madrona’s deals are local, where the startup scene has seemingly expanded dramatically in recent years. In addition to Madrona and other local venture shops, Google, Facebook, Alibaba and Snowflake Computing have each opened engineering offices. Meanwhile, the University of Washington Computer Science Department — last year renamed the Allen School — is finishing another major building to expand its ability to graduate more CSE students.

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EU parliament pushes for Zuckerberg hearing to be live-streamed

There’s confusion about whether a meeting between Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and the European Union’s parliament — which is due to take place next Tuesday — will go ahead as planned or not. The meeting was  confirmed by the EU parliament’s president this week, and is the latest stop on Zuckerberg’s contrition tour, following the Cambridge Analytics data misuse story that blew up into a major public scandal in mid March.  However, the discussion with MEPs that Facebook agreed to was due to take place behind closed doors. A private format that’s not only ripe with irony but was also unpalatable to a large number of MEPs. It even drew criticism from some in the EU’s unelected executive body, the European Commission, which further angered parliamentarians. Now, as the FT  reports, MEPs appear to have forced the parliament’s president, Antonio Tajani, to agree to live-streaming the event. Guy Verhofstadt — the leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats group of MEPs, who had said he would boycott the meeting if it took place in private — has also tweeted that a majority of the parliament’s groups have pushed for the event to be streamed online. EP President Tajani forced by five of the eight political groups – representing a majority of MEPs – to open the meeting with #Zuckerberg by webstreaming the hearing. — Guy Verhofstadt (@guyverhofstadt) May 18, 2018 And a Green Group MEP, Sven Giegold, who posted an online petition calling for the meeting not to be held in secret — has also tweeted that there is now a majority among the groups wanting to change the format. At the time of writing, Giegold’s petition has garnered more than 25,000 signatures. Das dürfen wir uns nicht bieten lassen! Die Anhörung von Mark #Zuckerberg im EU-Parlament soll im Geheimen stattfinden. #Facebook verspricht Transparenz, will sich aber der öffentlichen Verantwortung in Europa entziehen. Jetzt Petition unterschreiben: https://t.co/dU3dJixztd pic.twitter.com/hCcxgGHJGC — Sven Giegold (@sven_giegold) May 17, 2018 MEP Claude Moraes, chair of the EU parliament’s Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) committee — and one of the handful of parliamentarians set to question Zuckerberg (assuming the meeting goes ahead as planned) — told TechCrunch this morning that there were efforts afoot among political group leaders to try to open up the format. Though any changes would clearly depend on Facebook agreeing to them. After speaking to Moraes, we asked Facebook to confirm whether it’s open to Zuckerberg’s meeting being streamed online — say, via a Facebook Live

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Equifax breach exposed millions of driver’s licenses, phone numbers, emails

Enlarge (credit: Smith Collection Gado/Getty Images) On May 7, executives of Equifax submitted a "statement for the record" to the Securities and Exchange Commission detailing the extent of the consumer data breach the company first reported on September 7, 2017 . The data in the statement, which has also been shared with congressional committees investigating the breach, reveals to a fuller extent how much personal data was exposed in the breach. Millions of driver's license numbers, phone numbers, and email addresses were also exposed in connection with names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers—offering a gold mine of data for identity thieves and fraudsters. Equifax had already reported that the names, Social Security numbers, and dates of birth of 143 million US consumers had been exposed, along with driver's license numbers "in some instances," in addition to the credit card numbers of 209,000 individuals. The company's management had also reported "certain dispute documents" submitted by about 182,000 consumers contesting credit reports had been exposed as well, in addition to some information about British and Canadian consumers. But the exact details of the nature of these documents and information had not been revealed, in part because Equifax felt it did not have a legal obligation to disclose those details. "With respect to the data elements of gender, phone number, and email addresses, US state data breach notification laws generally do not require notification to consumers when these data elements are compromised, particularly when an email address is not stolen in combination with further credentials that would permit access," Equifax's management asserted in the SEC letter. Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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UK parliament’s call for Zuckerberg to testify goes next level

The UK parliament has issued an impressive ultimatum to Facebook in a last-ditch attempt to get Mark Zuckerberg to take its questions: Come and give evidence voluntarily or next time you fly to the UK you’ll get a formal summons to appear. “Following reports that he will be giving evidence to the European Parliament in May, we would like Mr Zuckerberg to come to London during his European trip. We would like the session here to place by 24 May,” the committee writes in its latest letter to the company, signed by its chair, Conservative MP Damian Collins. “It is worth noting that, while Mr Zuckerberg does not normally come under the jurisdiction of the UK Parliament, he will do so the next time he enters the country,” he adds. “We hope that he will respond positively to our request, but if not the Committee will resolve to issue a formal summons for him to appear when he is next in the UK.” BREAKING: This is pretty extraordinary. Parliament issues ultimatum to Facebook. Either Mark Zuckerberg comes voluntarily. Or, he'll face a summons next time he enters British territory. Facebook really couldn't have handled this much worse… pic.twitter.com/VFyJrHXWel — Carole Cadwalladr (@carolecadwalla) May 1, 2018 Facebook has repeatedly ignored the DCMS committee ‘s requests that its CEO and founder appear before it — preferring to send various minions to answer questions related to its enquiry into online disinformation and the role of social media in politics and democracy. The most recent Zuckerberg alternative to appear before it was also the most senior: Facebook’s CTO, Mike Schroepfer, who claimed he had personally volunteered to make the trip to London to give evidence. However for all Schroepfer’s sweating toil to try to stand in for the company’s chief exec, his answers failed to impress UK parliamentarians. And immediately following the hearing the committee issued a press release repeating their call for Zuckerberg to testify, noting that Schroepfer had failed to provide adequate answers to as many of 40 of its questions. Schroepfer did sit through around five hours of grilling on a wide range of topics with the Cambridge Analytica data misuse scandal front and center — the story having morphed into a major global scandal for the company after fresh revelations were published by the Guardian in March (although the newspaper actually published its first story about Facebook data misuse by the company all the way back in December 2015) — though in last week’s hearing Schroepfer frequently fell back on claiming he didn’t know the answer and would have to “follow up”. Yet the committee has been asking Facebook for straight answers for months

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Twitter confirms it is now pushing news links tweeted by your network into your home timeline and grouping tweets mentioning the link underneath it…

Alex Kantrowitz / BuzzFeed : Twitter confirms it is now pushing news links tweeted by your network into your home timeline and grouping tweets mentioning the link underneath it   —  Twitter is now pushing links tweeted by your network into your home timeline and grouping the tweets mentioning the link underneath it.

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Sources: T-Mobile-Sprint deal would value Sprint at $24B to $26B; Deutsche Telekom will receive 42% stake and 69% voting interest in the combined…

Bloomberg : Sources: T-Mobile-Sprint deal would value Sprint at $24B to $26B; Deutsche Telekom will receive 42% stake and 69% voting interest in the combined company   —  T-Mobile US Inc. and its German owners are advancing toward a deal that would value Sprint Corp. at about $24 billion, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

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Amazon’s late entry into Brazil has given rivals an opportunity to thrive, like local retailer Magazine Luiza, whose profit quadrupled last year (Brad…

Brad Haynes / Reuters : Amazon's late entry into Brazil has given rivals an opportunity to thrive, like local retailer Magazine Luiza, whose profit quadrupled last year   —  SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Claudia Maria de Oliveira is leery of online shopping.  But while browsing social media recently, the 49-year-old Brazilian spotted …

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Leica MP Terry OʼNeill Set

The new Leica MP Set is a limited edition collaboration with iconic portrait photographer Terry OʼNeill. Launching at this yearʼs Photo London, the Leica MP ʻTerry OʼNeillʼ Set will see the iconic Leica film camera reinvented in a classic combination of British racing green painted on its top cover and across the bottom plate. The camera will come equipped with a silver Summilux-M 50f/1.4 ASPH. and a matching cognac leather strap. A special engraving of Terry OʼNeillʼs signature has been added to the top plate for a finishing touch. Limited to only 35 sets, Leica MP ʻTerry OʼNeillʼ Set will be available from 17th May 2018 for £10,500 including VAT.

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