Author: Jonathan Shieber

Tesla lost nearly $8 billion in shareholder value this week and its board should be ashamed

TECHCRUNCH Over the last five days, Tesla shareholders have watched the value of their stock decline by roughly 16% and seen nearly $8 billion in value erased, as the company’s celebrity chief executive, Elon Musk, has what amounts to a very public breakdown. However, Musk is not the only person responsible for the collapse of Tesla’s stock price. As The New York Times article which precipitated the latest slide in Tesla’s value on the public markets makes clear, the company’s board is also to blame. For months, Musk has been showing signs of strain (generously speaking), and has been accused of...

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Sino-U.S. investment firms are targeting over $4 billion for new funds launched this year

TECHCRUNCH As limited partners increasingly demand greater exposure to emerging market opportunities, venture capital firms with a focus on Asia are bulking up their funds and chasing deals in an increasingly competitive race to own stakes in the next generation of local startups with global aspirations. Over the last year, firms including DCM Ventures, GGV Capital, Matrix Partners China, and Qiming Venture Partners have all significantly increased the targets for their new funds. If each firm hits their targets, there’s roughly $4.4 billion in new capital that could be flooding into an already scorching market for investment into Chinese startups,...

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Tesla shares tumble in early trading, after another Elon Musk-powered PR blunder

TECHCRUNCH Elon Musk, the embattled chief executive of electric automaker and sustainable energy company Tesla, tried to “set the record straight” about his recent behavior in an hour-long exclusive interview with the New York Times. Instead, it only served to further underscore how out-of-touch the billionaire chief executive seems from the ongoing operations at his company. The fallout has already begun with shares falling in early trading. His erratic behavior could cost investors billions and potentially destroy a company that has, in fact, revolutionized the automotive industry in America. In the wide-ranging interview, Musk acknowledged the personal and physical...

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A new foreign investment bill will impact venture capital and the U.S. startup ecosystem

TECHCRUNCH Bobby Franklin Contributor More posts by this contributor Ensuring foreign-born founders can grow their startups in the U.S. Finally, legislation to support startups President Trump’s time in office has been punctuated by rising tension with China on a host of economic issues. He’s received bipartisan criticism for the impact of tariffs on Chinese goods and the resulting retaliation against American exports. Democrats and Republicans have also unified over concerns about how Chinese state-associated actors are using minority investments in critical technology companies to gain sensitive information — like IP and know-how — about startups, many of them VC-backed. ...

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Update: New whistleblower claims against Tesla allege drug trafficking, theft and phone hacking coverup

TECHCRUNCH This post has been updated with a comment from Tesla.  Employees at Tesla’s Nevada gigafactory were allegedly involved in a massive drug ring, stole $37 million worth of precious metals and equipment, and illegally spied on former employees at the behest of chief executive Elon Musk, according to a new whistleblower complaint filed against the company. First reported by Jalopnik, the complaint is only the latest in a string of damaging news stories that have erased millions in value for Tesla shareholders and could cast the future of the company’s celebrity chief executive, Elon Musk, into doubt. It’s...

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Facebook is going back to college

TECHCRUNCH Ryan Craig Contributor More posts by this contributor Broadening education investments to full-stack solutions College for the 21st century Kids these days take a greater interest in practical things than we give them credit for. For example, this summer my 12-year-old son Leo was at sleepaway camp in Canada. When we received his first letter home, among camp platitudes, the two notable items reported were that one of his counselors was discharged from the Israeli Army a week before camp, while another was recently “mugged by three guys (one had a gun!) and got stabbed in the arm.”...

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Powered by $25 million, Arcadia Power looks to expand its distributed renewable energy services

TECHCRUNCH As renewable energy use surges in the U.S. and the effects of global climate change become more visible, companies like Arcadia Power are pitching a nationwide service to make renewable energy available to residential customers. While states like New York, California and regions across the upper midwest have access to renewable energy through their utilities and competitive marketplaces, not all states in the country have utilities that are building renewable power generation to offset coal and natural gas energy production. Enter, Arcadia Power and its new $25 million in financing, which will be used to redouble its marketing efforts and expand its array of services in the U.S. Right now, renewable energy is the fastest growing component of the U.S. energy mix. It’s grown from 15% to 18% of all power generation in the country, according to a 2018 report from Business Council for Sustainable Energy and Bloomberg New Energy Finance. And while Arcadia Power is only accounting for 120 megawatts of the 2.9 gigawatts of new renewable energy projects initiated since 2017, it’s new $25 million in financing will help power new projects. When we first wrote about the company in 2016, it was just developing solar projects that would generate power for the grid to offset electricity usage from its customers. Now the company is expanding its array of services. All customers are automatically enrolled in...

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Reports indicate that Tesla has been subpoenaed over Elon Musk’s tweets

TECHCRUNCH The long week for Tesla is getting even longer as the company has now been subpoenaed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to multiple reports. First reported by the Fox Business Network and confirmed by The New York Times, federal regulators appear to be interested in Elon Musk’s August 7 tweet regarding his plans for privatizing the electric car manufacturer and his claims to have found investors committed to finance the transaction. From later statements it has become clear that Musk had not actually secured financing, and has only had preliminary talks with investors. Federal securities regulators have served Tesla with a subpoena, according to a person familiar with the investigation, increasing pressure on the electric car company, as it deals with the fallout from several recent actions by its chief executive, Elon Musk. For Musk, the ill-advised tweet was either a drug-induced bit of foolishness or a short-sighted attempt to address the hordes of short-sellers who have swarmed over the stock, angling to make millions of dollars off of any perceived misfortune in the market. Tesla declined to comment for this article. According to the Times, regulators were interested in Tesla even before Musk began his erratic tweeting. They were already questioning Tesla whistleblower Martin Tripp (according to the Times), who has claimed that the company knowingly manufactured batteries with punctured holes, which could impact hundreds of cars; misled the...

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