Posts Tagged ‘PayPal Inc.’

Article from SF Gate.

“Chamath Palihapitiya, a former executive at Facebook Inc., made the first two investments for his new venture fund, buying stakes in business-software maker Yammer Inc. and private-stock exchange SecondMarket Inc.

Palihapitiya’s fund, called the Social+Capital Partnership, led a $17 million investment in Yammer, a San Francisco company that makes social-networking programs for businesses.

The fund, which announced both deals separately Tuesday, bought its SecondMarket stake from existing investors. SecondMarket lets investors trade shares of closely held companies before they hold an initial public offering.

After a four-year career at Facebook, where he worked on mobile products and expanded the company internationally, Palihapitiya left this year to form Social+Capital.

The Palo Alto fund is raising about $300 million, with an eye to investing in Internet technology, health care, education and financial services. Before joining Facebook, Palihapitiya spent a year at venture-capital firm Mayfield Fund.

“The things I like tend to have very disruptive elements to an existing established infrastructure,” Palihapitiya, 35, said.

“SecondMarket disrupts the IPO process by giving you completely different alternatives. Yammer is highly disruptive to established enterprise software companies.”

With Tuesday’s investment, Yammer has now raised $57 million. The company, started by PayPal Inc. co-founder David Sacks, provides software to more than 100,000 businesses in 160 countries, serving clients such as Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Ford Motor Co. Existing investors include Charles River Ventures, Emergence Capital and U.S. Venture Partners.

“Social networking is destined to have as significant an impact on the enterprise as it has already had in our personal lives,” Palihapitiya said in a statement.

The SecondMarket deal, meanwhile, involving buying stock from employees and early investors, Chief Executive Officer Barry Silbert said in a blog posting.

Shareholders of the New York company sold about $13 million of stock at a valuation of about $160 million, in what the company expects to be an “annual liquidity event,” Silbert said.

SecondMarket helps investors in privately held companies buy and sell their stock. The company has handled transactions totaling almost $1 billion, Silbert said Tuesday. Shareholders of Facebook, Twitter Inc. and LinkedIn Corp. have sold stock on the exchange.

Palihapitiya was joined by Russian billionaire Yuri Milner and actor Ashton Kutcher in buying the SecondMarket shares.”

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Article from SFGate.

High School Memories, an application on Facebook, lets people share recollections of their teenage years. It might surprise those users to learn that the app’s creator isn’t old enough for high school himself.

Cyrus Pishevar, a 13-year-old from Palo Alto, developed High School Memories after seeing how popular it was for his friends to “tag” photos of one another on the social network.

“The big idea is to make memories a social thing to do,” said Cyrus, who learned entrepreneurship from his dad, the founder of five startups. “When you type in your memories, it speaks more than just pictures can, especially when your friends help you through.”

Cyrus is part of Silicon Valley’s second generation of Web innovators – teenagers who grew up with the Internet and witnessed the rapid ascent of Facebook Inc. and other nearby companies. Raised by technology workers and introduced to computers and business early on, many local youngsters have chosen to build their own apps or start whole companies in lieu of after-school sports or summer camps.

“I was surrounded by tech everyday for so long that I gained a natural interest for it,” said Daniel Brusilovsky, an 18-year-old from San Mateo, whose upbringing by a software-manager father and Oracle Corp. veteran mother led him to found two startups before he was old enough to vote.

Fewer skills needed

It’s easier for teens to become Web entrepreneurs these days because writing software is cheaper and simpler, said Daniel Gross, the 19-year-old founder of Internet-search startup Greplin Inc., based in San Francisco.

“The tools require less expert knowledge,” Gross said. “Building a Facebook app doesn’t require you to have four years of computer science.”

Mentoring programs also have sprung up to help young entrepreneurs build their companies. In September, Facebook investor Peter Thiel pledged to make 20 grants of as much as $100,000 apiece to teenagers with startup ideas. He says he wants teens to pursue their dreams, rather than college, because traditional education steers them away from entrepreneurship and into steady jobs.

“We need to encourage young Americans to take more risks,” Thiel, who co-founded PayPal Inc. and now runs the investment firm Clarium Capital Management, said at the time.

‘Child soldiers’

Such efforts have drawn criticism for encouraging students to drop out, in the same way that a dream of playing in the NBA might prevent some kids from staying in school.

Pursuing entrepreneurship shouldn’t come before an education, said Vivek Wadhwa, a visiting scholar at UC Berkeley’s School of Information.

“These are Silicon Valley’s child soldiers,” he said. “The vast majority of them will fail miserably. Then they’ve screwed up their careers.”

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg didn’t drop out of Harvard until his company was gaining traction, when he was 20. That’s a model that young people should heed, Wadhwa said.

“If by any chance you happen to achieve the success that Zuckerberg did, then drop out of school,” he said. “But don’t screw up your education until you’ve done that.”

Board meetings

For Cyrus, who was present at his dad’s company meetings since he was a toddler, inspiration came well before he had to make decisions about college.

“He used to crawl between board members’ legs when I had meetings at home,” said Pishevar, who helped found Web development software maker WebOS Inc., mobile-app startup Social Gaming Network and three other companies, all since 1997.

By the time he was 6, Cyrus was learning how to use a computer and giving feedback to his dad on apps. Last year, Pishevar introduced him to Zuckerberg, now 26, at a movie screening in Palo Alto. Around that time, the preteen was coming up with his idea for a Facebook app.

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