PE-backed ProQuest acquires SIPX

ProQuest, which is backed by ABRY Partners and Goldman Sachs, has bought SIPX. No financial terms were disclosed. Based in Palo Alto, California, SIPX is a provider of digital course materials that addresses copyright and costs concerns for universities. SIPX’s backers included Mohr Davidow Ventures, XSeed Capital, Stanford University and Ulu Ventures.


peHUB First Read

First Read ushers in your morning with news of McDonald’s planning on hiking up wages by more than 10 percent, the EU lays the groundwork for antitrust charges against Google and Airbnb is now available in Cuba. Happy Easter and Passover!


Formation 8’s Lonsdale named in sexual assault suit: report

Joe Lonsdale, the co-founder of Palantir and a founding member of Formation 8, came under fire Thursday as news of a sexual assault and harassment suit became public. According to a story on Tech Crunch, the suit was filed last month in U.S. District Court in San Francisco by former Formation 8 intern and Stanford University student Elise Clougherty.

Jim Breyer LPGPS closeup

The remarkably busy life of Jim Breyer: VCJ

There’s something to be said for sticking with a job. It certainly has worked out for Jim Breyer, who joined Accel Partners as a newly minted MBA graduate in 1987. It was a good call, Venture Capital Journal reports.

Chrysalix EVC appoints to advisory board

Chrysalix EVC has appointed former McKinsey director and consulting professor at Stanford University Stefan Heck to join the firm’s industry advisory board. Chrysalix EVC is a clean energy venture capital firm.


Metanautix racks up $7 mln Series A

Metanautix said Tuesday that it has closed $7 million in Series A funding. The investors included Sequoia Capital, the Stanford University endowment fund and Shiva Shivakumar, former VP of engineering at Google. Based in Palo Alto, Calif., Metanautix is a big data analytics firm.


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.

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