FROM RUSSIA WITH CAPITAL. Once upon a time Betabeat reported that RTP Ventures, the
$750 $700 million Russia-based fund, was establishing a U.S. office with venture capitalist Kirill Sheynkman based in New York. Less than five months later, sources say the fund will no longer be a one-man show. If all goes according to plan, RTP will be bringing on two splashy-name hires in the next month to six weeks, we’re told.
GO IPO YOURSELF. A young coworker in our newsroom has quit Facebook, she says, because she doesn’t want the company and its shareholders making bank off her data in an IPO. And she’s not the only one! When she told a friend, the friend said she’d done the same thing for the same reason. Just one more and it makes a trend! Meanwhile, that high school senior who wrote a florid New York Post editorial which said, among other things, that “Lost in the hype of the company’s stock-market debut this year is that while Facebook is ubiquitous, it may also be a fad,” merely quit because the site was making him feel bad.
KHOSLA KLEARED IN KIOR KONSPIRACY. Dan Primack gives Sand Hill fund Khosla Ventures his blessing with a debunking of some nasty rumors. “A source told me that a notable VC firm had been propping up one of its larger portfolio company’s valuations in order to raise a big new fund,” Mr. Primack wrote today. “Since then, however, I’ve heard the exact same theory from two other, independent sources. And then came news that the SEC was inquiring about PE firms boosting portfolio valuations while fundraising. So I revisited. And found compelling evidence that the ‘conspiracy’ was unfounded… I’m talking about Khosla Ventures and portfolio company is KiOR (KIOR)—a renewable fuels company developing technology to convert biomass into renewable crude oil.” Sounds salacious! But the timing of the conspiracy theory didn’t work; Khosla closed its fund before KIOR went public.
SCROOGLED. No story on Betabeat has had more theories around it that the borking of Scroogle, a privacy-friendly search engine that returns Google results without the attendant Big Brother data. The story hit Techmeme and Google was quick to write in, in the wake of its most recent privacy kerfuffles, to deny it had targeted the little nonprofit. We also got notes from Scroogle fans and enemies of Daniel Brandt—that dude has pissed off many people, we can confirm—and a note from the man himself, who suspects suspected LulzSec-associated hacker Ryan Cleary or maybe his girlfriend or friends of being behind DDOS attacks that borked the poor SCROOG. “Just Google Daniel Brandt+blackmail to see what the Internet thinks about him,” one commenter wrote. Everyone keeps directing us to http://thereisajosephevers.blogspot.com/2011/09/official-online-review-daniel-brandts.html. If you want to go down a hacker feud wormhole, there’s your Friday night.
BUZZFEED SEEKS TWIT TO FEED TWITTER BUZZ. BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith (@buzzfeedben) is looking for a Twitter writer, via Twitter.
Job listing: I’m looking for a twitter savant to write @buzzfeed, plus some other stuff, but primarily that. firstname.lastname@example.org
— Ben Smith (@BuzzFeedBen) February 14, 2012
Ooh, whoever gets that will have a distinctive advantage in the World’s Most Deadly Game.