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The latest on Brexit

WeWork gets worse

SoftBank takes over WeWork. The board of the shared office company chose the Japanese conglomerate over a competing offer from JP Morgan, the Wall Street Journal reports. Co-founder Adam Neumann will lose control of WeWork—but get a $1.7 billion payout.

Neumann to Get Up to $1.7 Billion to Exit WeWork as SoftBank Takes Control

Being a big fan of WeWork’s service, it is sad to see the devaluation hitting this level. Moreover, the payout to Adam N is beyond silly for a company that is going to need a major structural face lift.

WeWork is really a true unicorn: a creature that only was viable in the mind of Adam Neumann...

While I believe it might be possible to make the business model work through a greater focus on corporate customers, the governance and hubris on the company’s leadership and greedy backers quickly contributed

WeWork is really a true unicorn: a creature that only was viable in the mind of Adam Neumann...

While I believe it might be possible to make the business model work through a greater focus on corporate customers, the governance and hubris on the company’s leadership and greedy backers quickly contributed to unrealistic valuations.

And now SoftBank will have to live with the creature it helped create...

Marking 30 years of the web

China's new place in the world

India's coal addiction

India’s hard push on renewables isn’t about climate change—yet. Quartz explores how India is meeting the challenge of providing increasing amounts of energy to its people while trying to lower its dependence on fossil fuels. ✦

India’s hard push on renewables isn’t about climate change—yet

Unlike the rest of the anglophilic world—Canada, the US, Australia, and the UK—India has never encountered a significant culture of climate-change denial. But the awareness of climate change in India hasn’t been high either. So the rise of renewables in India, which has been nothing short of spectacular

Unlike the rest of the anglophilic world—Canada, the US, Australia, and the UK—India has never encountered a significant culture of climate-change denial. But the awareness of climate change in India hasn’t been high either. So the rise of renewables in India, which has been nothing short of spectacular, has other motivations: from energy security to soft power.

Lebanon protests inequality

Making immigration work

Shifting Middle East

Team Trump is heading to Davos in the Desert. The administration has apparently gotten over its outrage at the killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, so now senior adviser Jared Kushner and Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin are heading to Saudi Arabia for a major business conference.

Trump admin apparently over Khashoggi killing, will attend Saudi’s ‘Davos in the Desert’

By scouring contract solicitations, Justin was able to piece together the fact that high level Trump administration officials are heading to Saudi Arabia to talk business at Davos in the Desert. The only problem with that? It's extremely unseemly. Saudi Arabia brutally killed an American journalist last

By scouring contract solicitations, Justin was able to piece together the fact that high level Trump administration officials are heading to Saudi Arabia to talk business at Davos in the Desert. The only problem with that? It's extremely unseemly. Saudi Arabia brutally killed an American journalist last year, and brushing aside his cruel murder signals US indifference to the crime.

A bit of news buried in a haystack's worth of State Department contract solicitations, confirming the attendance of Jared Kushner and Steven Mnuchin at Saudi Arabia's version of Davos later this month. Interestingly, the Saudi Arabian government "did not authorize" the US delegation to stay at the Riyadh

A bit of news buried in a haystack's worth of State Department contract solicitations, confirming the attendance of Jared Kushner and Steven Mnuchin at Saudi Arabia's version of Davos later this month. Interestingly, the Saudi Arabian government "did not authorize" the US delegation to stay at the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton, where the event is being held. So they booked 45 rooms at the nearby Burj Rafal, instead.

Biased agendas

Class bias creeps into the hiring process in just a matter of seconds. A Yale study shows hiring managers' decisions are influenced in ways that perpetuate wealth inequality.

Yale study shows class bias creeps into the hiring process in just a matter of seconds

This is such an interesting study and story. Kind of chilling too, especially for those of us who like to think we're operating in egalitarian settings. Read it and weep, or at least cringe, like I did, when you get to this part about cultural fit. “It’s going to seem like the person just has this vibe

This is such an interesting study and story. Kind of chilling too, especially for those of us who like to think we're operating in egalitarian settings. Read it and weep, or at least cringe, like I did, when you get to this part about cultural fit. “It’s going to seem like the person just has this vibe, right? But it might be class,” Kraus says.

Improving culture at work

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Bain Capital Ventures closes $1 billion fund amid venture fund-raising frenzy

Bain Capital Ventures closes $1 billion fund amid venture fund-raising frenzy

Read more on Reuters

From Our Members

  • $1B is becoming the new “table stakes” for Venture funds in part driven by SoftBank, companies staying private longer and need for bigger teams to scout broader geographies.

  • More capital is poured into fewer funds. Do the LPs ask how many women GPs and diverse fund managers receive meaningful Carry from the funds they back? If not the disastrous trend of only 2% of venture funding trickling down to women entrepreneurs will continue to prevail. Businesspersons of America

    More capital is poured into fewer funds. Do the LPs ask how many women GPs and diverse fund managers receive meaningful Carry from the funds they back? If not the disastrous trend of only 2% of venture funding trickling down to women entrepreneurs will continue to prevail. Businesspersons of America, we have to ask the hard questions : where does this capital originate AND to whom will it ultimately serve as investment dollars? It’s not hard for LPs to demand that 50% of their capital fund female entrepreneurs as we are 51% of the population in America alone. #allraise

  • Silicon Valley startups continue to attract enormous amounts of investor money, with US VC funds raising $32 billion so far this year that will go to invest in those sorts of companies. It's easy to see this as a sort of unsustainable bubble—which it probably is—but it's also great that entrepreneurs

    Silicon Valley startups continue to attract enormous amounts of investor money, with US VC funds raising $32 billion so far this year that will go to invest in those sorts of companies. It's easy to see this as a sort of unsustainable bubble—which it probably is—but it's also great that entrepreneurs have such easy access to funding to pursue their ideas. We'd be wringing our hands if the opposite were true.

  • It’s that time of the cycle: raise big funds as long as money is easy to get and the economy is still chugging. An optimist might say that entrepreneurs will benefit since there will be capital available for years. A cynic might say that the VCs will benefit because there will be management fees paid

    It’s that time of the cycle: raise big funds as long as money is easy to get and the economy is still chugging. An optimist might say that entrepreneurs will benefit since there will be capital available for years. A cynic might say that the VCs will benefit because there will be management fees paid out for years even as they pull back in deploying capital once the economy inevitably turns.

  • Important to note is that we are actually now seeing the concentration of capital going to fewer large funds. This has been a pervasive trend in 2018 versus 2016/2017 when it was much easier for first-time funds to raise.

    On the one hand, we may prefer for capital to be concentrated at only the “best

    Important to note is that we are actually now seeing the concentration of capital going to fewer large funds. This has been a pervasive trend in 2018 versus 2016/2017 when it was much easier for first-time funds to raise.

    On the one hand, we may prefer for capital to be concentrated at only the “best” funds with successful track records like BCV or SoftBank or Sequoia. On the other hand, we might argue it’s better to support a more diverse capital ecosystem (like new funds founded by women or those investing in non-tech verticals).

  • With so many storied VC firms raising relatively monsterous funds ($100MM, $300MM, $600MM, $1B!!), three big points rise:

    1. Check sizes are getting even larger from them

    2. These firms will take more equity/control of companies

    3. These firms will invest in almost every stage of the company's lifetime

    With so many storied VC firms raising relatively monsterous funds ($100MM, $300MM, $600MM, $1B!!), three big points rise:

    1. Check sizes are getting even larger from them

    2. These firms will take more equity/control of companies

    3. These firms will invest in almost every stage of the company's lifetime, from pre-seed to pre-IPO, boxing out major later stage investors like private equity firms.

    It's a natural progression for the early stage investing world, but I don't think it's right for all founders.

  • Bain Capital was the largest shareholder of a Japanese research company until last year.

    $1 billion amid is surprised…

  • We’re staying tiny and bootstrapped for now. I think I’d rather take us down the route of Mailchimp and other companies... something tells me the VC route might not be all it’s cut out to be. To be fair, it’s VERY tempting to spawn a company that would be VC bait, but we’re on a mission (like Quartz

    We’re staying tiny and bootstrapped for now. I think I’d rather take us down the route of Mailchimp and other companies... something tells me the VC route might not be all it’s cut out to be. To be fair, it’s VERY tempting to spawn a company that would be VC bait, but we’re on a mission (like Quartz) to build sustainable communities, and I’m not sure VCs would ever go for that.

  • This is another early sign of Silicon Valley heading for a major disruption. SV is more like Hollywood than ever before with a few marquee names getting enormous funds and choosing which start ups get to “win”. But innovation is going global and local, where funding is difficult, unicorns are rare and

    This is another early sign of Silicon Valley heading for a major disruption. SV is more like Hollywood than ever before with a few marquee names getting enormous funds and choosing which start ups get to “win”. But innovation is going global and local, where funding is difficult, unicorns are rare and impact is real. And SV is in danger of becoming less and less relevant.