New lawsuit accuses SoFi of tolerating sexual harassment | Database startup MongoDB files for IPO | Zenefits pulling out of insurance brokerage business
September 22, 2017
NVCA SmartBrief
News for the startup ecosystem
The Lead
New lawsuit accuses SoFi of tolerating sexual harassment
A lawsuit filed by a female former employee of Social Finance claims the company allowed a "hostile work environment where sexually inappropriate behavior became widely accepted and laudable by upper management." The legal action, coming a week after the sudden resignation of CEO Michael Cagney, raises further questions about the treatment of women at the company.
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (9/21) 
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5 Cures for Business Growing Pains
A growing business is a successful business, but it comes with its own set of complications. Growing pains can arise from new employees, added roles and responsibilities, and a premium on office space. Read this informative e-book for five practical tips to managing your growing office space.
Capital Call
Database startup MongoDB files for IPO
MongoDB, a startup that sells open-source database software, has filed for an initial public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The filing says the company intends to raise as much as $100 million -- an amount often used as a placeholder and subject to change.
TechCrunch (9/21) 
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Zenefits pulling out of insurance brokerage business
Software startup Zenefits, having been hit with fines for improprieties in its insurance brokerage operation, says it will get out of the brokerage business and sell its software to brokers instead. CEO Jay Fulcher says the company's real expertise is in software.
Reuters (9/21) 
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London agency won't renew Uber's operating license
London agency won't renew Uber's operating license
(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Regulatory agency Transport for London won't renew Uber's expiring operating license for the city due to "a lack of corporate responsibility" on matters that have "potential public safety and security implications." The license expires Sept. 30, but Uber can continue to operate during a 21-day window for an appeal.
The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (9/22) 
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Inside the Beltway
Washington reconsiders its hands-off approach to big tech firms
Lawmakers in Washington have largely refrained from regulating global internet giants, but their mood is changing, with some talking openly about the need to limit the power of the biggest tech firms. Talk of rewriting antitrust and election advertising laws has heated up after revelations that fake accounts tied to Russia bought political ads on Facebook during the 2016 presidential campaign.
The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (9/20),  The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (9/21) 
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View from Abroad
China making major investments in mobile payments
China has an overwhelming lead over Silicon Valley in the race to dominate the mobile payments business in some of the world's fastest-growing markets, and backing startups is crucial to its strategy. Most of the $2.7 billion in new investment obtained by Asian financial-technology startups in this year's second quarter came from Chinese investors.
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (9/22) 
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Ofo co-founder: Next funding round could bring in more than $1B
Ofo, a Chinese bike-sharing startup, is discussing a new financing round that could raise more than $1 billion, co-founder Yang Pinjie says. He made the statement after a presentation in Moscow.
Reuters (9/22) 
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Macron's election has been a shot in the arm for Parisian startups
French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to propose a new visa program to attract foreign tech workers and reportedly will back lower taxes on investment -- all good news for the startups clustered in Paris. Joao Medeiros reviews what some of the city's startups are doing.
Wired online (U.K.) (9/21) 
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Venture Capital Culture
NVCA, PitchBook celebrate first year of their partnership
To mark the first anniversary of NVCA's partnership with the PitchBook Platform, the NVCA Blog highlights their work together over the past 12 months.
NVCA Blog (9/21) 
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NVCA recommends Volcker Rule changes
NVCA submitted to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) recommendations for key changes to the Volcker Rule that will support venture capital investment into startups in emerging ecosystems across the US. NVCA outlined how the scope of the Volcker Rule is too broad, while demonstrating that it was never Congress' intent to include venture capital funds in the covered funds provision of the rule. NVCA proposes that the OCC, in conjunction with the Securities and Exchange Commission, approve an exemption for venture capital funds from the definition of "covered fund," which governs a prohibition on a banking institution's ability to contribute capital to private funds. Learn more about NVCA's recommendations.
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Join NVCA today to impact policy
Joining NVCA is the best way to advance public policy that fosters a healthy environment for high-growth startups and to engage on the policy and industry issues that are important to VCs and your portfolio companies, including: immigration reform that welcomes qualified immigrant entrepreneurs; tax reform that promotes entrepreneurship and capital formation; making public markets work for small cap companies again; and smarter regulations for the startup economy. Become a member today.
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It is a thing of no great difficulty to raise objections against another man's oration -- nay, it is a very easy matter -- but to produce a better in its place is a work extremely troublesome.
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