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Accel-KKR invests in HighWire Press

Accel-KKR has acquired a majority stake in HighWire Press. No financial terms were disclosed. Stanford University, which founded HighWire Press in 1995, will retain its “significant” minority stake. Based in Redwood City, Calif., HighWire Press is a provider of tech solutions to scholarly publishers.

StartX Accelerator Receives $3.6M Grant for Stanford Entrepreneurs

Stanford University and Stanford Hospital & Clinics have pledged a three-year $1.2 million annual grant and created a new venture fund to invest in StartX companies. Stanford is also creating an uncapped fund to invest in companies that emerge from the program. StartX is a Palo Alto, Calif.-based student-run nonprofit that operates a startup accelerator for Stanford-affiliated entrepreneurs. StartX says that since it was launched in 2009, 10 startups that have gone through the program have been acquired, including seven in the past year.

SIPX Raises $4M From Mohr Davidow, XSeed, Stanford, Others

SIPX, Inc. said it raised $4 million of Series B financing in a deal led by Mohr Davidow Ventures and joined by XSeed Capital, Stanford University, Ulu Ventures and angel investors. The round was over subscribed, and Mohr Davidow General Partner Jon Feiber has joined the board.

Alpine Data Labs Names Joe Otto CEO

Alpine Data Labs, a San Mateo, Calif.-based maker of Web-based, collaborative workflow software, has named Joe Otto as president and CEO. Otto was most recently a senior vice president of sales and services for Greenplum, a company acquired by EMC in 2010. In 2011, Alpine raised $7.5 million in Series A funding from Sierra Ventures, Mission Ventures and Sumitomo Corporation Equity Asia. The company has also received funding from Stanford University.

Stanford Accelerator StartX Raises $400K

Palo Alto, Calif.-based StartX, which runs a startup accelerator program for students of Stanford University, announced today it raised $400,000 from Cisco, Founders Fund, AT&T, Groupon and Founder.org. The funding amount also includes a $100,000 grant from the Blackstone Charitable Foundation.

23andMe Seals CureTogether Deal

23andMe, a personal genetics company, has acquired CureTogether. CureTogether was launched in 2008 initially to help people who live in daily chronic pain. The business, like 23andMe, is supported by social web-based platforms and is committed to patient-driven research, having partnered with researchers at leading universities and research institutions including Carnegie Mellon University, Cornell University, […]

SmartDrive Raises $47 Mln in Funding

SmartDrive Systems has raised $47 million in additional venture funding led by Oak Investment Partners and New Enterprise Associates. Stanford University, a new investor, also participated. San Diego-based SmartDrive provides driving intelligence solutions that aim to improve safety, reduce collisions and improve fuel efficiency. PRESS RELEASE SmartDrive Systems, a market leader in driving intelligence solutions […]

RF Surgical Systems Raises $12M More

RF Surgical Systems, a Bellevue, Wash.-based company whose technology keeps track of surgical sponges during hospital procedures (so they won’t get lost in patients), has closed on a $12 million round led by the healthcare-focused venture capital firm Split Rock Partners. Previous investors Menlo Ventures, Stanford University and two of the company founders also participated […]

What Not to Do in a Crisis – Lessons from the Airbnb Fiasco

The CEO of hot VC-backed startup Airbnb today issued a public apology for how the online home rental service responded when one of its customers had her home trashed and identity stolen by another customer. Chief executive Brian Chesky also announced new safety measures and a $50,000 “guarantee” to any customers who suffer property damage.

But is Chesky’s mea culpa too little too, too late? It comes more than a month after a blog post from aggrieved Airbnb customer “EJ” went viral and earned the Twitter hashtag #ransackgate. During that time, Airbnb made a number of missteps, appearing uncaring and keeping the story alive. This morning, before Chesky’s apology, 10 media outlets had covered the story, including CNN, Reuters and the Washington Post. That’s in addition to previous stories from popular tech blog TechCrunch, which were widely retweeted.

“I think this is the right response [from Chesky], but it took them too long to get to it and they’ve done a lot of

Sudden Split Of Stanford CIO Raises Questions

With the unexpected exit of Ken Frier, Stanford Management Company’s chief investment officer, after less than a year in the job, the university has not yet revealed how the departure would affect the management of the school’s $13.8 billion endowment, the nation’s fourth largest, and its private equity program.

About 12 percent of Stanford’s endowment is allocated to private equity and venture capital, a portion that would amount to about $1.7 billion. According to Dow Jones, the venture-heavy endowment has investments with Greylock Partners, Highland Capital Partners and Oak Investment Partners. Its private equity holdings include investments with Oak Hill Capital Partners and China’s Hony Capital.

A Stanford spokeswoman, Lisa Lapin, said the endowment was “back to the status quo,” and that the chief executive of Stanford Management Company, John Powers, would remain in “day-to-day operational control.” She said she was unable to say whether Stanford planned to replace Frier or whether it planned to install an interim investment chief.

Amprius Closes on $25M for Battery Tech

Menlo Park, Calif.-based Amprius has raised $25 million in venture financing to support commercialization of its lithium ion batteries. New investors include China-based firms IPV Capital and Qian Neng Fund, as well as Silicon Valley’s Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Return backers include Trident Capital, VantagePoint Venture Partners and Stanford University.

Secondary Sales Signal a Coming Crisis?

At the end of 2009, Reuters Buyouts sought to answer whether primary fundraising would suffer as a result of secondary market investments in its “Secondary Market Threatens To Use Up All The Oxygen” piece.

It didn’t work out that way. During the credit crisis, limited partners faced few capital calls, and if anything, secondary sales froze up along with markets everywhere. But as secondary sales become increasingly common, the prospect of future fundraisings being impacted grew.

I got to thinking about this after New York secondaries firm Lexington Partners Inc. announced a deal Wednesday to buy a PE portfolio worth £470 million ($730 million) from Lloyds Banking Group.

Make Room, Stanford: Purdue is Coming to Silicon Valley

Later this month, Purdue University of West Lafayette, Indiana, a top-ranked engineering school, is formally planting a flag in Silicon Valley by opening a “partnership” office at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View. The idea? To bring Purdue’s expertise in engineering and technology to tech giants that might want to license it, investors who […]

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How to Tell When the CEO is Full of It

Trying to catch someone in the act of lying remains far more art than science, but that hasn’t stopped a long line of social psychologists, academics, and magazine editors from trying to boil it down to some universal basics. David Larcker, a professor of accounting at Stanford University, is the newest entrant into the field of lie […]

Stealth Startup Emerges in Frothy Cloud Market: Aryaka Networks

Yet another cloud-related startup has emerged from stealth and announced a hefty round of funding. Milpitas, Calif.-based Aryaka Networks this morning announced it raised a $14 million Series A round from Mohr Davidow Ventures, Trinity Ventures, Nexus Venture Partners and Stanford University. The WAN optimization provider, which already has 75 employees, aims to improve network […]

WSJ: Stanford Pulls Secondary Sale

(Reuters) – Stanford University has pulled $5 billion of private-partnership interests from the auction block due to a recovery in the stock and bond markets, the Wall Street Journal reported. During the recession top universities shored up their weakened finances by selling bonds and in September Stanford said it was shedding a further 60 positions […]

Stanford Bids Due Today; How Much Will Stanford Get?

“This is the transaction everybody is watching,” said Philip Yau, managing director of UBS Private Funds Group, at Buyouts West here in Beverly Hills, “and this trade is driven completely by the upcoming next couple of years of capital calls.”

Stanford’s capital calls haven’t happened yet, Yau says, and he estimates that the university needs to raise anywhere from $700 million to north of $1 billion, despite raising $1 billion in a bond offering last spring.

“These are big numbers, so they’ve set up a process (where) if you’re not a meaningful buyer it doesn’t make sense to participate. So secondary funds should be coming in — that’s probably what’s going to happen.

“The portfolio is a very good portfolio on the private equity side —

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