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Founders Fund and Andreessen Horowitz leads Series A round for AltSchool

AltSchool said Tuesday that it has closed $33 million in Series A financing. Founders Fund and Andreessen Horowitz led the round with participation from investors that included First Round Capital, Harrison Metal, Learn Capital and Omidyar Network. Headquartered in San Francisco, AltSchool is a network of micro-schools that offers personalized education for children.

Omidyar Names Kubzansky VP Of Intellectual Capital

Omidyar Network said Mike Kubzansky has joined the philanthropic firm in the newly created role of vice president, intellectual capital. Kubzansky will be based in Washington D.C. and lead efforts to analyze trends in philanthropy and impact investing. He was formerly a partner at the Monitor Group.

CouchSurfing Raises $15M From General Catalyst, Menlo, Benchmark, Omidyar

CouchSurfing said it raised $15 million in a Series B round led by General Catalyst Partners and joined by Menlo Ventures and existing investors Benchmark Capital and Omidyar Network. The company has raised a total of $22.6 million in the past year. PRESS RELEASE CouchSurfing Raises $15 Million in Series B, Led by General Catalyst […]

Aspiring Minds Closes Series A

India’s Aspiring Minds has closed on an undisclosed amount of Series A financing from Omidyar Network. Jayant Sinha, a partner at Omidyar, will join the company’s board. The company provides tests to help employers to evaluate students for effective job placement.

Subtext Inks $3M from Google Ventures, Mayfield, Others

Digital reading company Subtext has inked $3 million from Google Ventures, Mayfield Fund, New Enterprise Associates and Omidyar Network. The company’s first product is a reading app for the iPad, designed to include social networking features that lay over standard ebooks.

Prosper Adds $17M, New Backers DFJ & Crosslink

Social lending website Prosper.com has added $17 million in new funding from new investors Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Crosslink Capital, as well as return backers Accel Partners, CompuCredit, Omidyar Network, TomorrowVentures, and Volition Capital. As a result of the round, Tim Draper, founder and managing director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and Crosslink General Partner Jerome Contro will join the Prosper board. To date, Prosper has raised $74.85 million in venture capital.

India’s Quikr Inks $8M from Nokia, Norwest, eBay

Indian online and mobile classifieds platform Quikr has closed on $8 million in equity financing. New investor Nokia Growth Partners led the round, which included participation from Norwest Venture Partners and eBay Inc. The company’s classified ad platform operates in 40 cities across India, and sees more than 10 million visitors per month, the company said in a statement. Quikr has also raised money from Matrix Partners India and Omidyar Network.

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Facebook Co-Founder Chris Hughes on Gladwell, Palin, ‘The Social Network’ and His New Startup, Jumo

Last week, the New Yorker published a piece by Malcolm Gladwell, in which “The Tipping Point” author argued that “social media evangelists” vastly overstate the value of social media in activism. I disagreed with much of the piece, but more interesting is the perspective of Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, who led most of the company’s product […]

Enthusiasm High, Numbers Still Murky for Socially Concious VC

Will it become a “real” asset class? Or will it remain merely something that well-intentioned people aspire to turn into one? That’s been the long-running debate around the sector broadly known as socially-conscious venture capital, or double- and triple-bottom line investing. And while adherents may argue that a plethora of dedicated funds, endowments and family […]

D.light Design Raises $5.5 Million

D.light Design, a maker of solar-powered consumer products for families without access to reliable electricity, has raised $5.5 million in Series B funding. Omidyar Network led the round, and was joined by return backers Acumen Fund, Nexus Venture Partners, Gray Matters Capital, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Garage Technology Ventures.

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Layoffs at Omidyar Network

Omidyar Network, the philanthropic venture capital firm formed by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, has laid off several staffers, including members of its investment team. In an email to friends and colleagues, one investor wrote:

“The organization has gone through some restructuring to better reflect current market conditions and support its evolving investment model. Several positions have been eliminated, including my own.”

I’ve left a message for Omidyar Network’s spokeswoman, in order to get more details. Specifically, I’m interested in how the group views the “current market conditions,” given that it hired six new staffers just seven months ago.

Goodmail Adds $5 Million

Goodmail Systems Inc., a Mountain View, Calif.-based provider of an email certification platform, has raised $5 million in additional Series C funding led by Omidyar Network. The company had previously held a $20 million close, from Bessemer Venture Partners, SoftBank Capital, DCM and Emergence Capital Partners. The company has now raised over $49 million.

Omidyar Network Staffs Up

Omidyar Network has made several new hires: Mark Halprin as a partner, after serving as VP of global safety and trust for eBay; Sal Giambanco as a partner in charge of human capital, after previously serving as VP of HR for PayPal and eBay; Stephen King as an investment director, after serving as a director with the BBC World Service Trust; Chris Bishko as an investment director, after spending 16 years as an I-banker with J.P. Morgan Chase; Sophie Bromberg as an investment director, after having been a senior director of global safety and trust for eBay; and Stacy Donohue as an investment director, after spending nine years in various roles with HP.

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