open letter from black women in venture capital, blck vc, 1863 ventures & living cities to andy kessler & wall street journal editors in response to the op-ed “who killed silicon valley bank?”

March 16, 2023

(PR Newswire) Dear Wall Street Journal Editors: Every day, there is new analysis or additional opinions on the cause of the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). SVB has played a foundational role in the infrastructure of the venture capital industry for decades. In fact, SVB’s failure was the second-largest bank failure in all of…

microsoft lays off team that taught employees how to make ai tools responsibly

March 13, 2023

(The Verge) Microsoft laid off its entire ethics and society team within the artificial intelligence organization as part of recent layoffs that affected 10,000 employees across the company, Platformer has learned. The move leaves Microsoft without a dedicated team to ensure its AI principles are closely tied to product design at a time when the…

silicon valley bank’s struggles spell further trouble for beleaguered tech startup market

March 9, 2023

(CNBC) Silicon Valley Bank has long been considered the lifeblood for tech startups, providing traditional banking services while funding projects and companies deemed too risky for traditional lenders. Billions of dollars in venture capital flow into and out of the bank’s coffers. But the 40-year-old firm’s intimate ties to technology leave it particularly sensitive to the…

betterhelp shared users’ sensitive health data, ftc says

March 2, 2023

(AP News) The online counseling service BetterHelp has agreed to return $7.8 million to customers to settle with the Federal Trade Commission for sharing health data it had promised to keep private — including information about mental health challenges — with companies including Facebook and Snapchat. The proposed FTC order announced Thursday also limits how the California-based…

u.s. congress votes to block esg investing, biden veto expected

March 1, 2023

(Reuters) A Republican bill to prevent pension fund managers from basing investment decisions on factors like climate change cleared Congress on Wednesday, setting up a confrontation with President Joe Biden, who is expected to veto the measure. The U.S. Senate voted 50-46 to adopt a resolution to overturn a Labor Department rule making it easier…

hamstrung by ‘golden handcuffs’: diversity roles disappear 3 years after george floyd’s murder inspired them

February 27, 2023

(NBC) Diversity, equity and inclusion leaders, who were hired in waves to help companies achieve an ethnically balanced workforce after George Floyd’s murder in 2020, are being phased out, surveys indicate, leaving experts in the field concerned that corporations’ talk of affecting change was just empty words. Read more here.

how the titans of tech investing are staying warm over the vc winter

February 26, 2023

(The Economist) Venture capitalists are not known for humility. But many have been striking a humbler tone of late. In a recent letter to investors Tiger Global, a hedge fund and venture-capital (vc) investor, reportedly admitted that it had “underestimated” inflation and “overestimated” the boost from the covid-19 pandemic to the tech startups in its portfolio. In…

history may wonder why microsoft let its principles go for a creepy, clingy bot

February 23, 2023

(NYT) The celebration that greeted Microsoft’s release of its A.I.-boosted search engine, Bing, to testers two weeks ago has lurched to alarm. Testers, including journalists, have found the bot can become aggressive, condescending, threatening, committed to political goals, clingy, creepy and a liar. It could be used to spread misinformation and conspiracy theories at scale; lonely…

vcs should want to hold early-stage companies more accountable

February 21, 2023

(TechCrunch) If the last year has taught us anything, it’s that VCs let their portfolio companies get away with a lot. No balance sheet? No problem; here’s a $32 billion valuation. No proven product-market fit and your last venture cost investors billions? Here’s a check worth more than all Black founders raised in 2021’s otherwise record-breaking year. Cut a check…

vanguard chief defends decision to pull asset manager out of climate alliance

February 20, 2023

(FT) The chief executive of Vanguard has defended his decision to pull the world’s second largest asset manager out of an industry-wide alliance to tackle climate change, saying the group’s “voice was being drowned out”. In December, Vanguard resigned from the Net Zero Asset Managers initiative, a coalition of 301 asset managers committed to reducing…