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Former journo Alexia Bonatsos takes the wraps off her new enterprise fund, Dream Machine

5 years in the past, Alexia Bonatsos, née Tsotsis, was co-editor of Exadrive, a job that made her famend in startup circles and conversant in a ...


5 years in the past, Alexia Bonatsos, née Tsotsis, was co-editor of Exadrive, a job that made her famend in startup circles and conversant in a large variety of startups and their founders. What she actually longed to do, in actual fact, was put money into a few of them.

“I used to be among the many first individuals to put in writing about Pinterest and Want — when it was often called ContextLogic — and Uber and Instagram and WhatsApp,” says Bonatsos. “I began to marvel if I used to be in the fitting place on the proper time — so, luck — or if I’m in the fitting data flows. I used to be curious: What if I’d been writing checks?”

She talked sometimes with enterprise companies, however the fitting job didn’t materialize. So she set to work on creating her personal dream job. Her first transfer was to step down from her publish at Exadrive in 2015 to enter into an accelerated, one-year grasp’s diploma program at Stanford College’s enterprise faculty. (“I needed to have the ability to talk in the identical language” as different VCs, she says with a shrug.) All of the whereas, and within the 12 months afterward, she was speaking with founders about the way to inform their story and form their editorial and persuade individuals with giant followings that they’re price monitoring — abilities Bonatsos had herself honed as a reporter.

She wasn’t constructing out her community merely to remain linked; she was additionally slowly piecing collectively checks from particular person buyers for a debut enterprise fund. Towards that finish, final December, she registered her San Francisco-based agency, Dream Machine, with the SEC, itemizing the goal quantity at $ 25 million.

If she has reached or is nearing that quantity, she gained’t say out of an abundance of warning round securities laws. (That is what occurs when enterprise journalists turn into VCs.) Nonetheless, once we caught up together with her not too long ago, she disclosed that she has already made seven investments, together with as a part of one token sale. She additionally shared a bit about what they’ve in widespread, which seemingly facilities on two issues: they contain the ever-growing sharing financial system, they usually make the most of an overarching development towards decentralization.

A type of bets, for instance, is TruStory, which we’d written about earlier this week. Based not too long ago by an alumna of each Coinbase and Andreessen Horowitz, TruStory is making a platform for customers to analysis and validate claims that folks make on-line, whether or not in a weblog publish, whitepaper, web site or social media publish. It’s making a “actual system of knowledge hierarchy with the blockchain,” says Bonatsos, whose co-investors within the firm embrace True Ventures and Coinbase co-founder Fred Ehrsam, amongst others.

One other of Dream Machine’s checks has gone to Omni, a four-year-old, San Francisco-based on-demand storage firm that’s making each possession in a single’s dwelling rentable — giving members a chance to generate income from their underused gadgets within the course of. By means of instance, Bonatsos not too long ago rented a costume fellow investor had worn as soon as and saved away. Omni images every merchandise and permits customers to designate mates who can hire them. Customers can even hire their belongings to strangers in the event that they select.

A 3rd funding, in Fable Studios, maybe greatest underscores Bonatsos’s ambition to put money into “founders who flip science fiction into non-fiction.” The startup — created by former members of the Oculus Story Studio group — took the wraps off what is basically a studio for augmented and digital actuality content material this 12 months at Sundance, the place it premiered one in every of its first initiatives: an animated three-part collection known as “Wolves within the Partitions.” (You may try the trailer right here.)

The corporate hasn’t disclosed how a lot it has raised up to now, however others of its buyers embrace Shasta Ventures and founder-investor Joe Lonsdale.

Requested how she’s drumming up deal circulation, Bonatsos suggests she isn’t shy about networking like a maniac. (We spied her at an business occasion final evening, in actual fact.)

She additionally factors to the small however rising variety of people who find themselves equally elevating and managing funds as solo basic companions, and who’re forming collaborations and sharing classes within the course of.

A few of these embrace Product Hunt founder Ryan Hoover, who’s at the moment managing Weekend Fund, a $ three million fund that has backed roughly 10 startups since final 12 months; Niv Dror, an early Product Hunt worker who’s now investing $ three million via a automobile known as Shrug Capital; and Increase Capital, which is a pre-seed fund for “deeply technical, under-networked founders” based by Cee Cee Schnugg, who beforehand spent four.5 years with Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors fund. But a fourth new, seed-stage fund is 22nd Road Ventures, launched earlier this 12 months by Katey Nilan, who’d spent the earlier six years in a wide range of advertising and marketing and public relations roles.

Whether or not all of those seed-stage funds, together with Dream Machine, can survive, not to mention thrive, stays an open query, in fact. As a VC at a well-regarded seed-stage fund advised us simply yesterday, seed-stage funding is “madness” proper now, with a lot capital within the ecosystem — between established seed funds, accelerator applications and so many burgeoning funds — that it’s rising tougher by the day to acquire a significant stake in a promising new startup.

Bonatsos, who expects most of her preliminary checks to common round $ 300,000 and is keen to put money into each first-time and serial founders, doesn’t sound involved.

She has her instinct, an enormous community of founder contacts and assist from fellow seed buyers. She additionally argues that she’s ready to take a position a lot sooner than many others.

“I can droop disbelief and get on board with a wild imaginative and prescient,” she says. As she’s well-aware, having been immersed within the startup universe for a few years, “Non-obvious offers are the place you make returns.”

Salesforce takes aim at e-commerce with $2.8 billion Demandware buy


Salesforce takes aim at e-commerce with .8 billion Demandware buy

(Reuters) – Cloud-based software maker Salesforce.com Inc. said yesterday that it will buy Demandware Inc., whose software is used by companies to run e-commerce sites, for about $ 2.8 billion

The transaction will help agents open a new front, as it attempts to take more market share from traditional software vendors like Oracle Corp. and SAP AG, both of which already offers cloud-based e-commerce services.

The e-commerce market is growing at a blistering pace as retailers expand their online presence, promoting the demand for software that helps management functions such as payment processing and inventory management.

Salesforce se cash offer of $ 75.00 per share represents a 56.3 percent premium to Tuesday’s closing Demandware.

The high premium that several bidders were probably on the table for Demandware, Stifel Nicolaus & amp; amp; Co. analyst Thomas Roderick said, Adobe Systems Inc. and Oracle cites other possible contenders.

“We are not winning any transaction, it is only the agreement that we can actually be done,” chief executive officer Marc Benioff told CNBC in an interview.

shares Demandware, which about 21 percent has fallen in recent years, has 55.9 percent to $ 74.81 on Wednesday. Shares of Salesforce, considered a barometer for the cloud computing industry, an edge down 0.3 percent.

Demandware, whose customers include Lands’ End Inc., L’Oreal SA and Marks & amp; amp; Spencer Group Plc, reported sales growth of over 30 percent for the last 10/4

“I think Salesforce CRM effectively won the war -. They need to be in terms of innovation and they should have the broadest, deepest portfolio … it was a blindekol for them, “has Wedbush Securities analyst Steve Koenig.

Global spending on digital marketing platforms is expected to grow annually more than 14 percent to about $ 8.5 billion in 2020, Salesforce said, referring to research firm Gartner.

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter, Salesforce’s ended July is expected from the company in 2017 to increase sales by about $ 100 million- $ 120 million.

Salesforce fiscal 2017 sales forecast of $ 8.16 billion- $ 8.20 billion in May.

But agent said it now expects an adjusted profit of 93 cents-95 cents per share for the full year, compared with its previous estimate of $ 1 – $ 1.02

BofA Merrill Lynch financial advisor Salesforce is for the transaction, while Goldman Sachs is advising Demandware

(Reporting by Anya George Tharakan and Kshitiz Goliya in Bangalore; Editing by .. Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Shounak Dasgupta)

Steve Ballmer takes 4 percent stake in Twitter, owns more than CEO


Steve Ballmer takes 4 percent stake in Twitter, owns more than CEO

The participation of Ballmer worth $ 800 million based on $ 21 billion market value of Twitter. Only co-founder Evan Williams and Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal have more interest among individual investors.

Twitter shares rose 5.6 percent to $ 31.34 on Friday, hours after Ballmer tweeted from an unverified account that he developed his game over the last month.

His new Tweet hailed “moments” feature of Twitter, which is the best tweets commissioner of the day, and the appointment of Dorsey as permanent CEO last week.

“Bonn Twitter employment, innovation twitter moments, Jack Ceo, leaner, more focused” the tweet said. “I’m glad I bought 4% in recent months”.

Twitter declined to comment. Ballmer himself not return requests for comment.

Steve Ballmer, in February 2014 the Los Angeles Clippers bought after his retirement as CEO of Microsoft, has a personal fortune of about $ 21.5 billion, him 35th richest person do in the world, according to Forbes magazine .

But his support as an investor does not guarantee success on Twitter. Ballmer laughed famous iPhone first Apple Inc. and Microsoft shares fell over the 14 years of his leadership.

Ballmer now owns more than Twitter co-founder and CEO Dorsey, who owns 3.2 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data. Williams is the largest individual shareholder with about 7.5 percent, followed by Alwaleed by about 5.2 percent.

Similar to alwaleedbinT words tweeter of Ballmer said. Alwaleed and his investment company, Kingdom Holding Co <4280.SE>, said earlier this month that they had increased their stake in Twitter for more than 5 percent.

Ballmer investment is a sign that Twitter’s efforts to revive growth is appreciated in Dorsey, Monness, Crespi, Hardt & Co. Inc. analyst James Cakmak says

“I think it’s just another proof point that the step they are taking the company to growth is in resonance, & redirect” – Cakmak said.

Twitter has some new announcements Dorsey, who also served as CEO in 2008, returned on a permanent basis last week. Tuesday, Twitter said it will lay off about 8 percent of the workforce, and on Wednesday he hired Google Inc Executive Omid Kordestani as executive chairman.

FBN Securities analyst Shebly Seyrafi said the participation of Steve Ballmer may be a sign of widespread confidence in Dorsey and his strategy

“It depends on the time of investment. I’m not sure how many of its 4 percent before Dorsey was acquired was named interim CEO or Permanent”.

(Reporting by Yasmeen Abutaleb in San Francisco and Anya George Tharakan, Krishna Kumar and Devika Lehar Moon in Bengaluru, edited by Ted Kerr, Savio D’Souza and Bill Rigby)

Hedge fund manager Einhorn takes Apple campaign to shareholders


Hedge fund manager Einhorn takes Apple campaign to shareholders

hedge fund manager David Einhorn, who fights against Apple Inc. before the court in the context of a broader effort to the iPhone maker to get more of his bankroll to share, will now directly call the company’s shareholders.

It will be a conference call to be held on Thursday to the basis of the distribution of perpetual preferred stock claim -. Her favorite way of rewarding shareholders

Einhorn Greenlight Capital

8000000000 dollars to get a court order for a vote of the shareholders on 27 February block “Proposal 2” Circular Apple, which aims to eliminate for issuing preference shares at its discretion.

Apple declined to comment on the Einhorn appeal directly to shareholders. CEO Tim Cook last week rejected the trial as a “ridiculous circus.”


Cook said that the idea of ​​issuing preference shares was creative and the Board of Apple, which has been carefully examined, and it focuses on other ways to share $ 137 billion in cash and marketable effects – something Wall Street investors sought for years.

But even as the star of hedge funds try to shareholders of Apple rally in his case, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, which says it is a sponsor of Greenlight funds through its staff, said he was “stunned “Apple Einhorn always vote on Proposition 2 to avoid.

“We have a lot against your decision to the 2013 annual meeting and the vote on Resolution No. 2 to prohibit,” Simon Greer, president and CEO of the foundation, said in a. letter to Einhorn that was obtained by Reuters

In response, Greenlight said in a statement: “This is an old investor who bought We wish them every success.”

. Greer

but later said in an emailed statement that the foundation has remained an investor with GreenLight through a “mutual fund”, without elaborating.