News & Analysis

  1. JustFab Team - Goldenberg, Ressler, Simmons

    JustFab raises $85M at what sources say is a $1B valuation

    JustFab has closed an $85 million round of funding, the company’s co-founder and co-CEO Adam Goldenberg confirmed to Pando today. The round was led by new investor Passport Special Opportunity Fund, and included participation from existing investors Shining Capital, Matrix Partners, and Technology Crossover Ventures. The latest funding, which was entirely primary capital, brings the company’s total capitalization to $250 million and, while Goldenberg declined to specify JustFab’s latest valuation, sources close to the company tell Pando that the…
  3. Google

    Google says it did not ask Code Club to order board members to refrain from criticism

    Yesterday, Linda Sandvik, one of the founding members of children’s coding education group Code Club, resigned because she was ordered not to say negative things about the organization’s sponsors, including Google. Former board member Aral Balkan revealed he had resigned for the same reason, calling out Code Club for “institutional corruption.” What wasn’t clear was if Google had asked Code Club to request that its board members refrain from criticizing the search giant. Now, according to an email sent to Pando from a…
  4. Screen Shot 2014-08-28 at 12.14.06 PM

    Silicon Valley favorite Ron Paul secretly paid a state senator $73k to buy his support

    The free market strikes again! A former Iowa state senator has pled guilty to receiving (and concealing) a $73,000 payment from Ron Paul, Silicon Valley’s favorite libertarian, to switch his support away from Michele Bachmann in the last presidential election. Kent Sorenson originally explained his sudden change of heart came because Ron Paul was “the most conservative [candidate] of this group.”  Which is true, if you take “conservative” to mean “most willing to drop 73 grand.” It’s unclear if, when making an absolute mockery…
  5. Uber

    SoCal Uber drivers align with the Teamsters in search of better working conditions

    Weeks after San Francisco cab drivers formed a union in hopes that solidarity would offer a solution to the onslaught of on-demand transportation startups, Uber drivers in Southern California are taking their own steps toward organization in the hopes of earning better treatment from their contract employer. According to a press release issued yesterday by the California App-Based Drivers’ Association (CADA), the recently formed group has formalized an affiliation with the Teamsters Local 986 chapter based in…
  7. beyonce

    As Apple tries to save the album, why do new releases still come out on Tuesdays?

    Today, Apple announced the lineup of its eighth iTunes Festival, which will feature Deadmau5, Kasabian, Ed Sheeran, Pharrell Williams and Kylie Minogue. The annual concert, which will be streamed to more than 100 countries, has become an important tool in Apple’s attempts to preserve the all-holy album which, ironically, the company helped kill when it launched the iTunes Store in 2003, forever severing individual songs from albums. Now Spotify is doing to iTunes what iTunes did to CDs as digital downloads…
  8. IT Network

    T-Mobile’s “Music Freedom” plan subsidizes data plans without (really) threatening net neutrality

    T-Mobile has announced that its Music Freedom program, which allows some customers to stream music without the requisite data counting against their monthly limit, will expand to include Rdio, Grooveshark, and a number of other services by the end of the year. It already offered a similar deal to people using Pandora, Spotify, and a few other streaming services. This isn’t the first time a wireless carrier has offered to subsidize data usage. GoSmart said last year that its customers…
  9. beats-I-mean-level-headphones

    This Is My Jam unveils new features to help solve music’s social problem

    The social Web has turned us into over-sharing monsters that broadcast every action, thought, or emotion to everyone we’ve ever known. Facebook said last year that its users can encounter more than 1,500 stories every day. More than 500 million tweets are shared to Twitter in that time. Combined with the social features included in everything from Spotify to Goodreads, it’s amazing that any of us find time to do something besides browse these all-too-social networks. This Is My…
  11. Bitcoin lock

    Coinbase surprises with news of a year-old deposit insurance program, but what of its cold storage?

    Coinbase dropped a bombshell on the bitcoin world yesterday by revealing that not only are its bitcoin deposits insured, but they have been so for more than a year. This after months of competitors listing insurance as a differentiating feature. The company wrote in a blog post: We’re proud to publicly announce that Coinbase holds insurance against theft or loss of its bitcoin.  We’ve been insured for almost a year, but given the recent claims of insurance in…
  12. smart-watches-are-dumb

    Samsung has finally announced a smartwatch worthy of the moniker

    Samsung might have finally announced a smartwatch people want to wear. The company’s Galaxy Gear S was announced last night, and it’s compelling for at least one reason: it doesn’t become a clunky wristwatch or glorified paperweight when it’s not paired with a smartphone. The Gear S follows a series of smartwatches that Samsung literally couldn’t give away. The company’s first attempt at introducing a mass-market smartwatch was so bad that I wrote last year that calling it a smartwatch would…
  13. foxnas

    “Yo, have you heard of Silicon Valley?” Ben Horowitz hosts Nas in Redwood City

    Hip hop was born sometime in the 70’s, probably in New York, and grew up over the course of block parties in that city’s toughest neighborhoods. Last night, it was presented to a seated crowd at the Fox Theater in Redwood City, at an event hosted by venture firm Andreessen Horowitz*. The occasion featured a private screening of a new documentary about the rapper Nas, Time is Illmatic. Nas was on stage along with Andreessen Horowitz partner Ben Horowitz.…
  15. google

    UPDATED: Code Club cofounder resigns after being ordered not to criticize Google

    [Update: A Google spokesperson reached out to say. "We have not asked Code Club or its board to refrain from criticisng us." Code Club also published a blog post stating, "We are not under any obligation to endorse any of the products or services of our corporate funders."] One of the founding members of Code Club, a volunteer-led organization that teaches programming to kids in the UK, has resigned after being told by its board not to criticize Google or any of…
  16. friends-and-business

    Startups Anonymous: I didn’t have a contract with my friend and my business tore us apart

    [This is a weekly series that brings you raw, first-hand experiences from founders and investors in the trenches. Their story submissions are anonymous, allowing them to share openly without fear of retribution. Every Wednesday, we'll run one new story chosen by Dana Severson, who operates StartupsAnonymous, a place for startups to share, ask questions, and  answer them in story-length posts, all anonymously. You can share your own story here.] The first year of my business…
  17. safari amazon

    After ditching Amazon, this publisher posted record revenues. Should others follow suit?

    Amazon, which sells more books than every other seller combined, isn’t afraid to push publishers around to get what it wants. Earlier this year, the ecommerce giant removed pre-order buttons, increased shipping times, and reduced discounts on books published by the Hachette Book Group as part of a contract dispute between the two companies. Beyond working to the detriment of Hachette, this hurts customers who, at least on paper, have always been Amazon’s number one priority. As the world’s top…
  19. Jelly Beans

    Loyalty leader Belly expands its footprint by rolling out to 2,600 7-Eleven locations

    Digital loyalty startup Belly is extending its already impressive market lead today with the announcement that 7-Eleven, one of the company’s strategic investors, will roll-out the iPad-based platform in 2,600 of its convenience stores by the end of the year. The roll-out will be spread across the Northeastern US as well as in Vancouver, British Columbia, marking Belly’s first official international launch (the company had beta tested a number of independent locations in the city earlier this summer).…
  20. coolest

    Coolest replaces Pebble as the most-funded Kickstarter campaign

    Kickstarter has long contested the idea that its crowdfunding platform is a marketplace. It’s supposed to be used to support artistic endeavors; everything else is just a byproduct of the platform’s willingness to host essentially anything imaginable, not its founding purpose. But that idea has always been indefensible, especially with gadgets like the Pebble smartwatch or the OUYA videogame console remaining the most well-funded projects on the entire platform. That holds true even now that the Pebble smartwatch’s
  21. Casino chips

    PayPal reconsiders online gambling, enters talks to process payments for NJ virtual casinos

    PayPal has been in the news of late for its possible spinout from Ebay and its ongoing search for a new CEO, but there’s another largely overlooked storyline that could have an equally big impact on its future. According to reports from across the casino world, PayPal is considering (re)entering the online gambling market and could be in line for a contract to process payments on behalf of the state of New Jersey. The news comes…

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