Last August, we told you
about Laura Deming, a New Zealand native who was home schooled before moving halfway around the world as a 12-year-old to work alongside Cynthia Kenyon
a renowned molecular biologist who specializes in the genetics of aging.
At age 14, she began studying at M.I.T. When she turned 16, she dropped out to join Peter Thiel’s
two-year-old Thiel Fellowship
program, which gives $100,000 to young people “who want to build new things.” By last August, when we profiled Deming, she had closed on $22 million in commitments for her second venture fund, which supports aging-related startups. She was 23.
Because Deming has always had an intriguing relationship with time, we weren’t all that surprised when she reached out to us late last week to let us know her San Francisco-based venture firm, The Longevity Fund
, has now established a new
Continue reading "One of the youngest fund managers in the U.S. just launched her own accelerator, too"
Andrew Nix, the CEO of the London-based voter profiling company Cambridge Analytica
— which harvested private information from more than 50 million Facebook users without their permission to analyze their voter behavior — has been suspended from his job. In an announcement posted to the company’s cite, the board said the suspension was effective immediately.
Nix’s suspension ties directly to footage that was filmed over the last year by Britain’s Channel 4 News and which surfaced yesterday. The video comes on the heels of investigative reporting by the Guardian, The Observer and the New York Times that has shown how the company used data to target groups and design messages that appealed to their interests.
In one minute-long clip, Nix boasts of entrapping politicians to meet its clients’ needs. Nix can be overheard saying in one recording, “It sounds a dreadful thing to say, but these are things that don’t necessarily need to
Continue reading "Cambridge Analytica CEO Andrew Nix has been suspended"
It’s not every day that Oracle’s billionaire founder, chairman and CTO Larry Ellison launches a new business, but such is the case today. That new company? Sensei
, a new L.A.-based wellness brand that will focus first on developing hydroponic farms and later . . . well, details are scant, but they’re coming soon, we’re told.
Ellison, who we presume is funding the effort, co-founded the company with his longtime friend, David Agus, a prolific author
and professor of medicine at USC where he is, notably, the founding director of the Lawrence J. Ellison Institute for Transformative Medicine.
According to Sensei’s president, Dan Gruneberg, Ellison and Agus came up with the idea of starting a wellness company when a close mutual friend of the two was dying and they were spending more time together. In fact, as they watched their friend’s health deteriorate, they decided there was more they could, and should,
Continue reading "Billionaire Larry Ellison has a new consumer wellness company called Sensei"
There’s no shortage of ideas being backed when it comes to direct-to-consumer e-commerce companies that are cultivating their own brands. We’ve seen everything from slippers
to, perhaps most famously, razor blades
Among the newer frontiers being funded right now: ingredient-conscious perfumes. For example, the New York-based, venture-backed cosmetics company Glossier
began marketing a proprietary perfume called You
last October that’s designed to change in character on the skin over time. (“You” complete the product, it says.)
Late last year, an L.A. based called Skylar
that uses only natural ingredients raised also attracted venture funding: $3 million
from Upfront Ventures and serial entrepreneur Brian Lee, who also founded The Honest Company
. (Skylar’s founder previously worked at Honest.)
Now another new entrant, Austin, Tex.-based Phlur
, appears to be shaking the trees for venture capital. The company — which was launched publicly less than two years
Continue reading "Phlur, a fragrance startup launched by a former Ralph Lauren exec, is raising fresh funding"
In a recent appearance by YouTube
CEO Susan Wojcicki at the South by Southwest Festival, she suggested that YouTube is countering the conspiracy-related videos that have been spreading like wildfire on the platform — including videos telling viewers that high school senior and Parkland, Fl. survivor David Hogg is an actor.
Specifically, Wojcicki outlined YouTube’s plans to add “information cues,” including links to Wikipedia pages that debunk garbage content for viewers if they choose to learn more. (Somewhat strangely, no one had told Wikipedia
about this plan.)
Either way, the platform is going to have do much better than that, suggests a new Business Insider report
that says YouTube Kids has a huge problem with conspiracy videos, too. To wit, the three-year-old, ostensibly kid-friendly version of YouTube is showing its young viewers videos that preach the nonsensical, including “that the world is flat, that the moon landing was faked,
Continue reading "YouTube is reportedly introducing your kids to conspiracy theories, too"
, a young, Bay Area-based startup, is trying to make it easier for users to send bitcoin and litecoin to each other without the costly and time-consuming process of settling their transactions on the blockchain.
It has investors excited about its work, too. The company is announcing today that it has raised $2.5 million in seed funding to date from a kind of list of big names in payments and beyond, including Square and Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey,
Square exec Jacqueline Reses, serial-founder-turned investor David Sacks, Litecoin creator Charlie Lee, Eventbrite co-founder Kevin Hartz, BitGo CTO Ben Davenport and Robinhood co-founder Vlad Tenev, along with The Hive, Digital Currency Group and others.
In an enthusiastic tweet
earlier today, Sacks characterized the company as “one of the most important projects in crypto overall.”
Why is it notable, exactly? For starters, Lightning Labs works off Lightning Network, a protocol
Continue reading "Lightning Labs just raised millions from Jack Dorsey and others to supercharge blockchain transactions"