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“KP used to be a small team doing hands-on company building. We’re moving away from being this institution with multiple products and really just focusing on early-stage venture capital,” Kleiner Perkins partner Ilya Fushman tells me. Indeed, 47 years after its founding, the storied venture fund is going “back to the future” with today’s announcement of an 18th fund — a $600 million fund for seed, Series A and Series B financings. It’s investing across consumer, enterprise, hard tech and fintech, looking for high-potential teams to help mold into unicorns.
“We went out to market to LPs. We got a lot of interest. We were significantly oversubscribed,” Fushman says of the firm’s raise.
Kleiner Perkins was recently rocked by the departure of legendary investor Mary Meeker. She took Kleiner partners Mood Rowghani, Noah Knauf and Juliet de Baubigny, and they’re reportedly raising a $1.25 billion growth fund called Bond. Fushman explained that with Kleiner refocusing on early-stage, their funds will be well-differentiated. “They’re going to focus on very late-stage growth,” while he described Kleiner fund 18 as a place where partners can “collaborate and create” alongside new startups.
Other trends Kleiner is seeking to invest in include better distributed work tools, infrastructure for technology businesses, shifts in the urban and economic landscape and security and identity tools to protect the software-enabled future. Recent early-stage investments from the firm have included tax and insurance safety net Catch and food stamps app Propel.
With the explosion of early-stage funds, competition for the best deals is cutthroat. Kleiner will have to trade on its reputation, the expertise of its founders and its extensive connections to lure in founders. If entrepreneurs think Kleiner can fund their mid-stage rounds like some seed funds can’t, or hook them up with potential acquirers whether things go peachy or pear-shaped, they’ll open their cap table.
Source: Tech Crunch Startups | Kleiner Perkins gets back to early-stage with its 0M 18th fund
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A reader contacted TechCrunch on Thursday with a copy of an email sent by the company. It doesn’t say much — such as when the breach happened, or if a hacker is to blame or if it was a data exposure that the company could’ve prevented.
Houzz spokesperson Gabriela Hebert would not comment beyond an FAQ posted on the company’s website, citing an ongoing investigation.
In that FAQ, the company said it “recently learned that a file containing some of our user data was obtained by an unauthorized third party.” It added: “We immediately launched an investigation and engaged with a leading forensics firm to assist in our investigation, containment, and remediation efforts.”
The company said it was notifying all of its users who may have been affected.
Houzz said some publicly visible information from a user’s Houzz profile could be affected, such as name, city, state, country and profile description, along with internal identifiers and fields “that have no discernible meaning to anyone outside of Houzz,” such as the region and location of the user and if they have a profile image, for example, the company said.
The company also said that usernames and scrambled passwords were also taken.
Houzz said that the passwords were scrambled and salted using a one-way hashing algorithm, but did not provide specifics on what kind of hashing algorithm was used. Some algorithms, like MD5, are old and outdated but still in use, while newer hashing algorithms — like bcrypt — are stronger and can be more difficult to crack, depending on the number of rounds the passwords go through.
Regardless, the company recommended users change their passwords.
No financial information was taken, according to the FAQ.
The company last year was among many mocked for sending out emails to users alerting them of mandatory changes to their privacy policies ahead of the 2018-introduced EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) law, saying it “value[s]” its customers privacy. “Their opening lines offer a glimpse of the way legal policy and user experience are colliding under the new regulations,” said Fast Company.
But it’s not clear if the company will face penalties — up to four percent of its global revenue — as a result of the regulation, only that the company “notified EU authorities within the statutory period,” said the spokesperson.
Another day, another breach.
Source: Tech Crunch Startups | Houzz resets user passwords after data breach
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