Kleiner Perkins partner Ellen Pao, who made headlines last year for suing the company in a widely publicized gender discrimination suit, is gainfully employed once more. After reportedly being fired from KPCB in October 2012, she has now taken a gig at community site Reddit, where she’ll be “helping us build strategic partnerships that benefit the community.”
Power Literary Hire: Twitter cofounder Ev Williams’s new publishing tool, Medium, just added an impressive member to its team. Kate Lee, a former literary agent from International Creative Management (ICM), has joined Mr. Williams’s startup as the director of content. Ms. Lee was responsible for plucking several bloggers out of obscurity and giving them book deals. The Observer announced her leave from ICM back in April. In a blog post on the site, Mr. Williams described her job as “encouraging, soliciting, commissioning, and contextualizing interesting ideas, authors, and institutions” and noted that she would be building a small team in New York to help her do that.
Branch Finally Lets You Hang Out With Your Friends: Branch, the social conversations site, just launched a groups feature yesterday. In an email to Betabeat, Branch cofounder Josh Miller described it as “Branch’s equivalent of a Follow button.” The idea was inspired by the conversations that people have at dinner parties, in which smaller groups form to discuss topics that they care about. On Branch, these groups can be added into a conversation. Branch’s example site includes a group featuring Mr. Miller, Medium’s Ev Williams, John Borthwick from Betaworks, Michael Sippey from Twitter and Facebook’s Sam Lessin. These groups have a possibility to create Bloods and Crips-like warfare in tech. Choose sides wisely.
Sex in the Valley
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has filed a response to partner Ellen Pao’s allegations of gender discrimination and boy howdy, they did not hold back. We’ve obtained a copy, and here’s the meat and potatoes:
“KPCB generally denies each and every material allegation of the Complaint and further denies that Plaintiff has been damaged in the manner alleged, or in any manner or amount.”
The firm also “vigorously denies” that it discriminated or retaliated against Ms. Pao, as well as claiming that Ms. Pao never reported anything prior to 2011, and they also deny that she complained in 2007.
The response goes into great detail, refuting many of Ms. Pao’s accusations point-by-point:
Thomson Reuters Venture Capital Journal just released its list of top VCs and deals thus far this year, with First Round Capital and Draper Fisher Jurvetson joining the ranks of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sequoia Capital. First Round, from its New York outpost on Park Avenue, and Draper, from DFJ Gotham’s suite on West 31st St., both have a strong presence in New York City.
In total, peHUB says DFJ ‘s network is responsible for 28 deals from January to June, tying with Sequoia for the No. 3 slot. First Round’s network is responsible for 27 deals through June. Among First Round’s investments this year are homegrown start-ups like AdKeeper, GroupMe, and 33Across. DFJ Gotham plunked down cash for Made In NYC ventures like Seamless Receipts, Yipit, Altruik, and Solvate.
Betabeat asked First Round principal Charlie O’Donnell how much of its $130 million fund, raised in 2010, was geared towards New York companies. “As a seed/angel stage investor, we’re always on the most active lists and a lot of it is NYC, but a lot of it is our great SF office, too,” he responded, via email.