Lookiero closes $19M led by MMC Ventures to be the Stitch Fix for Europe

Lookiero, the online personal shopping service for clothes and accessories, has closed a $19 million funding round led by London-based VC MMC Ventures with support from existing investor All Iron Ventures, and new investors Bonsai Partners, 10x and Santander Smart. The company will use the backing to expand in its main markets of Spain, France and the UK. In June last year it closed a funding round of €4 million led by All Iron Ventures.

The startup applies algorithms to a database of personal stylists and customer profiles to thus provide a personalized online shopping experience to its customers. It then delivers a selection of five pieces of clothing or accessories curated by a personal shopper to fit the customer’s individual size, style, and preferences. Customers then decide which items to keep or return (at no additional cost), allowing Lookiero to learn more about the customer’s tase before starting the whole process again.

By generating look-a-like profiles and analyzing previous customer interactions with each item, Lookiero says it can predict how likely a user is going to keep a certain item from a range of more than 150 European brands from a warehousing system that will ship more than 3 million items of clothing this year to seven European countries.

It’s not unlike the well—worn Birchbox model. Lookiero’s main competitor is Stitch Fix (US), which has upwards of $1.5bn in annual revenues and IPO’d November 2017.

Founded in 2015 by Spanish entrepreneur Oier Urrutia, the company says it now has over 1 million registered users and has grown revenue by over 200% from 2017 to 2018.

In a statement Urrutia said: “This investment round provides us with the necessary capital to further increase the accuracy of our technology, which is really exciting. It will allow us to offer the best possible experience for our users and to continue expanding across Europe.”

Simon Menashy, Partner, MMC Ventures, said: “The migration of fashion brands online has improved consumers’ access to clothing, and there is now an almost overwhelming amount of choice. At the same time, it can still be really hard to find exactly what is right for you, especially with high street retail stores in decline. Lookiero provides the best of both worlds, giving every customer a hand-picked selection from their personal stylist.”

Ander Michelena, co-founding partner of All Iron Ventures, said: “Even if what Oier and his team have achieved to date is remarkable, we believe that Lookiero still has great potential to continue expanding internationally and to become a player of reference in a market segment where there is still a lot to do in terms of innovation and user satisfaction”.

via Click on the link for the full article

Vianai emerges with $50M seed and a mission to simplify machine learning tech

You don’t see a startup get a $50 million seed round all that often, but such was the case with Vianai, an early stage startup launched by Vishal Sikka, former Infosys managing director and SAP executive. The company launched recently with a big check and a vision to transform machine learning.

Just this week, the startup had a coming out party at Oracle Open World where Sikka delivered one of the keynotes and demoed the product for attendees. Over the last couple of years, since he left Infosys, Sikka has been thinking about the impact of AI and machine learning on society and the way it is being delivered today. He didn’t much like what he saw.

It’s worth noting that Sikka got his Ph.D. from Stanford with a specialty in AI in 1996, so this isn’t something that’s new to him. What’s changed, as he points out, is the growing compute power and increasing amounts of data, all fueling the current AI push inside business. What he saw when he began exploring how companies are implementing AI and machine learning today, was a lot of complex tooling, which in his view, was far more complex than it needed to be.

He saw dense Jupyter notebooks filled with code. He said that if you looked at a typical machine learning model, and stripped away all of the code, what you found was a series of mathematical expressions underlying the model He had a vision of making that model-building more about the math, while building a highly visual data science platform from the ground up.

The company has been iterating on a solution over the last year with two core principles in mind: explorability and explainability, which involves interacting with the data and presenting it in a way that helps the user attain their goal faster than the current crop of model-building tools.

“It is about making the system reactive to what the user is doing, making it completely explorable, while making it possible for the developer to experiment with what’s happening in a in a way that is that is incredibly easy. To make it explainable, means being able to go back and forth with the data and the model, using the model to understand the phenomenon that you’re trying to capture in the data,” Sikka told TechCrunch.

He says the tool isn’t just aimed at data scientists, it’s about business users and the data scientists sitting down together and iterating together to get the answers they are seeking, whether it’s finding a way to reduce user churn or discover fraud. These models do not live in a data science vacuum. They all have a business purpose, and he believes the only way to be successful with AI in the enterprise is to have both business users and data scientists sitting together at the same table working with the software to solve a specific problem, while taking advantage of one another’s expertise.

For Sikka, this means refining the actual problem you are trying to solve. “AI is about problem solving, but before you do the problem solving, there is also a [challenge around] finding and articulating a business problem that is relevant to businesses and that has a value to the organization,” he said.

He is very clear, that he isn’t looking to replace humans, but instead wants to use AI to augment human intelligence to solve actual human problems. He points out that this product is not automated machine learning (AutoML), which he considers a deeply flawed idea. “We are not here to automate the jobs of data science practitioners. We are here to augment them,” he said.

As for that massive seed round, Sikka knew it would take a big investment to build a vision like this, and with his reputation and connections, he felt it would be better to get one big investment up front, and he could concentrate on building the product and the company. He says that he was fortunate enough to have investors who believe in the vision, even though as he says, no early business plan survives the test of reality.

For now, the company has a new product and plenty of money in the bank to get to profitability, which he states is his ultimate goal. Sikka could have taken a job running a large organization, but like many startup founders, he saw a problem, and he had an idea how to solve it. That was a challenge he couldn’t resist pursuing.

via Click on the link for the full article

SD Times Open-Source Project of the Week: STL

The Microsoft Visual C++ compiler and libraries (MSVC) team announced this week that it would be releasing its implementation of the C++ Standard Library (STL) into open source. 

The project will include all product source code, a CMake build system, and a README for more information. 

“Working on the STL in GitHub will allow our customers to follow our development as it happens, try out our latest changes, and help improve our pull requests by reviewing them. As C++ Standardization accelerates, with more large features being voted in every year, we believe that accepting major features as open source contributions will be important,” the MSVC team wrote in a post.

The project will be distributed under the Apache License v2.0 with LLVM Exceptions. This is the same open-source license as libc++, which will make it easier to share code between the two libraries, the team explained. STL and lic__ will remain separate projects. 

“We’re going to spend some time overhauling our build system, test infrastructure, and issue tracking, which will delay some work on C++20 library features,” the team wrote. “This will allow us to work on the STL more efficiently and ultimately reach C++20 completeness faster.” 

The team is still in the process of migrating everything to GitHub. The code is done and the build system is in progress. Next, the team will work on migrating tests, continuous integration, contribution guidelines, issues and plans. 

The post SD Times Open-Source Project of the Week: STL appeared first on SD Times.

via Click on the link for the full article

Alchemist Accelerator is launching a European program

Enterprise-focused startup accelerator Alchemist is expanding its footprint this morning with the launch of an initiative focused on European startups.

While Alchemist was happy to accept European companies into their US program before — they tell me they’ve had about 25 European startups go through Alchemist already — it hasn’t been a focus.

With the aptly named Alchemist Europe, Alchemist will be opening up an office in Munich and bringing in its first Europe-focused cohort. Alchemist expects this first class of companies to debut with its first Europe Demo Day sometime in early 2020.

Like Alchemist US, Alchemist Europe will focus on enterprise companies and teams that make their money from corporations. More specifically, Alchemist says in its announcement of the program that the European base will specialize in “Industry 4.0, robotics, mobility, power generation and distribution, industrial artificial intelligence and virtual reality”

Ethan Prater, formerly the VP of Product for Castlight Health, will be heading up the Europe division as its Managing Director.

So why expand now? Alchemist US managing director Ravi Belani tells me its because they’ve now sufficiently built out their network and internal software to sufficiently support European companies “with the full experience of the US program, remotely.”

And it helps that they’ve found a pretty significant partner in the region. Alchemist is building out this European initiative in a partnership with Next47 — the VC/investing arm of European mega co. Siemens, which also happens to be headquartered in Munich.

I’m told Next47 has committed $2.5 million to Alchemist as part of the deal, and has reserved an additional $2.5 million for potential further investment.

Alchemist Accelerator in the US, meanwhile, is just about to wrap up its latest class. It’ll host its 22nd demo day today, with 23 companies launching in all. They’ll have a livestream of the event here, with presentations beginning at 3 PM Pacific.

via Click on the link for the full article

Google is investing $3.3B to build clean data centers in Europe

Google announced today that it was investing 3 billion euro (approximately $3.3 billion USD) to expand its data center presence in Europe. What’s more, the company pledged the data centers would be environmentally friendly.

This new investment is in addition to the $7 billion the company has invested since 2007 in the EU, but today’s announcement was focused on Google’s commitment to building data centers running on clean energy, as much as the data centers themselves.

In a blog post announcing the new investment, CEO Sundar Pichai, made it clear that the company was focusing on running these data centers on carbon-free fuels, pointing out that he was in Finland today to discuss building sustainable economic development in conjunction with a carbon-free future with prime minister Antti Rinne.

Of the 3 billion Euros, the company plans to spend, it will invest 600 million to expand its presence in Hamina, Finland, which he wrote “serves as a model of sustainability and energy efficiency for all of our data centers.” Further, the company already announced 18 new renewable energy deals earlier this week, which encompass a total of 1,600-megawatts in the US, South America and Europe.

In the blog post, Pichai outlined how the new data center projects in Europe would include some of these previously announced projects:

Today I’m announcing that nearly half of the megawatts produced will be here in Europe, through the launch of 10 renewable energy projects. These agreements will spur the construction of more than 1 billion euros in new energy infrastructure in the EU, ranging from a new offshore wind project in Belgium, to five solar energy projects in Denmark, and two wind energy projects in Sweden. In Finland, we are committing to two new wind energy projects that will more than double our renewable energy capacity in the country, and ensure we continue to match almost all of the electricity consumption at our Finnish data center with local carbon-free sources, even as we grow our operations.

The company is also helping by investing in new skills training, so people can have the tools to be able to handle the new types of jobs these data centers and other high tech jobs will require. The company claims it has previously trained 5 million people in Europe for free in crucial digital skills, and recently opened a Google skills hub in Helsinki.

It’s obviously not a coincidence that company is making an announcement related to clean energy on Global Climate Strike Day, a day when people from around the world are walking out of schools and off their jobs to encourage world leaders and businesses to take action on the climate crisis. Google is attempting to answer the call with these announcements.

via Click on the link for the full article

An Indian startup that uses WhatsApp to serve thousands with chronic disease raises $5.5M seed round

Another startup in India is cashing in on the popularity of WhatsApp, the most popular app in the country with more than 400 million users, to build a business around it.

Digi-Prex is a seven-month old startup that runs an eponymous online subscription pharmacy in Hyderabad and serves patients with chronic diseases. Patients share their prescription with Digi-Prex through WhatsApp and the startup’s workers then deliver the medication to them on a recurring cycle.

Delivery is not the only thing Digi-Prex is trying to provide. It helps patients better track when they need a new supply of medicine, and checks if they are seeing improvements. The startup has amassed thousands of customers in Hyderabad, Samarth Sindhi, founder of Digi-Prex, told TechCrunch in an interview.

Digi-Prex just closed its seed round from a range of highly-influential VC firms. It’s also one of the largest seed financing rounds for an Indian startup.

The startup has raised $5.5 million from Khosla Ventures, Vedanta Capital, Y Combinator, Quiet Capital, and SV Angel. Justin Mateen, a founder of Tinder, also participated in the round, said Sindhi.

“Instead of trying to acquire customers online, we work with physicians and pharmacies to serve customers,” said Sindhi, an alum of Brown University who worked with a healthcare firm in the U.S. before returning to India. The startup shares some margin with physicians and pharmacies, but more importantly, it says this arrangement works for everyone because it is able to serve customers who are living at distant neighborhoods.

Digi-Prex works directly with medicine distributors to secure supplies at lower costs. It then undercuts the pricing of over-the-top counters, providing medicines to its customers at discounted rates.

Sindhi said the startup will use the fresh capital to expand its business to 10 cities in India, and find ways to be more useful to the patients. Some of the things that Digi-Prex is working on includes providing patients with access to better physicians and offering them more information about their disease.

It’s not surprising why Digi-Prex is using WhatsApp as a distribution platform. “When I returned to India, I was fascinated by how nobody was texting anymore. Everyone was doing everything on WhatsApp,” he said.

WhatsApp, which is already the most popular app in India, is increasingly finding business applications in the country. Vahan, another Y Combinator-backed startup, is using WhatsApp to help white-collar workers find jobs with logistics companies.

via Click on the link for the full article

The cult of the founder and Silicon Valley’s lack of moral authority

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

This week Kate and Alex were back at TechCrunch’s San Francisco headquarters to chat the news with Kleiner Perkin’s Mamoon Hamid. Hamid is best known as a former member of the Social Capital team, and for driving generational change at Kleiner Perkins, a decades-old venture capital firm.

While we were prepping our notes, Airbnb announced that it is indeed going public next year. The firm’s terse statement launched 1,000 blog posts (here is one, here is another), while instigating a few jokes. After all, the IPO market is hot now. Saying that you are going to try your best to get out next year isn’t incredibly impressive from a firm with as many billions as Airbnb is today. It’s also not at all surprising.

Still, it’s a near-promise. And that means eventually we’ll get to see what the popular home-sharing and accommodations company spends all its gross margin on. Moving along, we discussed the recent WeWork revelations. If you haven’t read the Wall Street Journal’s piece on the matter, you must. It is chock-full of colorful anecdotes with WeWork’s co-founder and CEO Adam Neumann front and center.

Next, we got into the news concerning a split at Aspect Ventures, which TechCrunch covered here. We had heard rumors about the split, first reported by The WSJ, for a few weeks now and were interested to discuss what drives these sort of shake-ups with our guest.

Scooting ahead, we turned to the early-stage market where quite a few of you, our lovely friends, have asked us to spend more time. So, we talked at length about D2C startups, including the new, and we think cool Thingtesting business. You can check out their Instagram, the focal point of their business, here. Despite enjoying Thingtesting, Kate and Mamoon are bearish on the D2C movement.

All that and we had a good time. Sorry about the lack of donut continuity in the video. We’re back next week with more, and we’ll see everyone at Disrupt in two weeks!

Equity drops every Friday at 6:00 am PT, so subscribe to us on Apple PodcastsOvercastSpotify, and all the casts.

via Click on the link for the full article

Clutter acquires The Storage Fox for $152M to add self-storage to its on-demand platform

The world of on-demand storage has seen some ups and downs, with some of the biggest hopefuls pivoting into new areas, some as unrelated as cryptocurrency, in the search for better product-market fit. One that found its groove early on, however, is today announcing an acquisition to expand its existing business into a new market category. Clutter, the on-demand removals and storage company backed by SoftBank, is today announcing that it has acquired The Storage Fox, a startup that will spearhead Clutter’s expansion in to self-storage services in urban locations, starting first in the New York metro area where The Storage Fox is currently active.

The deal is valued at $152 million, Clutter said. Ari Mir, Clutter’s co-founder and CEO, added in an interview that  Clutter did not need to raise any extra funding to finance this acquisition, but said his company is likely to be taking on more financing in the future for growth.

To date, Clutter has raised $310 million, according to PitchBook, including a $200 million round earlier this year led by SoftBank that valued the company at $600 million post-money. Future financing is likely to come in the form of debt to acquire property, as well as equity to expand the business’s platform, hiring and more. It’s currently active in 1,000 cities and towns across the US and the plan will be to stay domestic until it has wider penetration, before exploring how to grow internationally. The deal will bring the total amount of space that Clutter leases and owns up to two million square feet.

“Expanding into self-storage is something we have been discussing since Clutter’s Series A pitch to Sequoia and we are excited to see it come to fruition,” said Omar Hamoui, partner at Sequoia Capital, in a statement. “The acquisition reinforces Clutter’s market leadership and expands Clutter services by offering a better experience for customers who need self-storage or on-demand storage.”

(Notably, too, is that Clutter had to actively bid for this business: “Portfolios like that of The Storage Fox are extremely rare, and this acquisition signals that Clutter is uniquely positioned to take on and succeed in the self-storage industry,” said Eliav Dan, Head of West Coast Real Estate Finance at Barclays, which acted as Clutter’s exclusive financial advisor, in a statement. “Clutter competed with multiple self-storage REITs throughout the bidding process to win the deal — a testament to the strength of the company’s management team and its ability to execute on an innovative business model.”)

Up to now, Clutter business has focused on extending the on-demand model — which has become a cornerstone for a huge wave of e-commerce startups that are tapping into new innovations for managing logistics, the rise of the gig-economy, the proliferation of smartphones, and consumer tastes for instant gratification — to the messy business of helping people move and store their worldly possessions, from which Clutter makes revenues by charging service fees.

Customers might typically be urban dwellers — for example moving to smaller digs or simply looking for a way to, yes, de-Clutter — but the storage centers themselves tend to be far outside city centers. On top of this, Clutter has largely operated on a long-term lease model with the facilities that it uses.

In that regard, this acquisition will be giving the company a couple of interesting new possessions of its own, to tap the self-storage market, estimated to be worth $40 billion annually.

The Storage Fox’s facilities, like other self-storage businesses, are located in areas that are much closer to urban centers, since the model is predicated more on people being able to dip in and out of their storage units quickly and potentially very regularly. In its case, its facilities today are in Yonkers, White Plains, Queens and Brooklyn.

It will also give Clutter a trove of real estate that it will now own: The Storage Fox didn’t appear to raise any traditional VC funding, but it did have large finance agreements in place in order to buy property. That is a pattern that Clutter is likely to continue, Mir said.

Now that there will be more accessible space on Clutter’s platform that it actually owns, it will also give the company a point of entry into a new potential range of business services alongside the self-storage. Could that extend into something like office space, potentially pitting Clutter against one of its portfolio neighbors, WeWork? Mir declined to answer specifically but we’ve seen some outlier cases — such as this guy who lived out of his storage unit — that, while not exactly okay for a number of reasons, does underscore that there is a lot of potential there.

“There are over 52,000 self-storage facilities in the US alone,” Mir said. “If you take all that and add it up, there are more square feet in those storage spaces than there are in McDonald’s and Starbucks in the US, combined. At the same time, inside of cities, we’re running out of space. So our vision is to apply all the technology that we’ve built in house to increase the value that these self-storage facilities provide across society.”

Clutter has already made some moves beyond simple storage in its existing business: it’s already actively advertising the option to rent, sell, donate and dispose of your items if you choose — although it seems that these four services are not yet actively live. Earlier this year, it acquired the storage business of Omni, which itself is currently focusing on rentals.

Storage over all has not been an easy area to tackle for a lot of reasons: on top of the usual issues of needing to ensure that the contractors — the face and engine of your business — are responsible and good at their jobs, the cargo can be unexpectedly large or fragile, and the movement of it might be tied up in all kinds of backstories that make getting from A to B and eventually back to the owner again very complicated.

Mir concedes that the customer satisfaction aspect has been challenging: it’s one of those areas that people are quick to publicly complain when something has gone awry. He also insists that its ratings and Clutter’s efforts are generally improving, and frankly it’s great to hear him be honest about this and not deny that criticism is a challenge and that the company is always working to make this better.

via Click on the link for the full article

Twitter discloses another 10,000 accounts suspended for fomenting political discord globally

Twitter’s ongoing, and possibly Sisyphean, effort of policing and removing nefarious content disseminated on its platform is taking another step forward today. The company’s safety team has disclosed the removal of another 10,112 accounts across six countries that were found to be actively spreading misinformation and encouraging unrest in politically sensitive climates.

The accounts noted today follow the same fault lines of unrest that you will find in the news at the moment: they include more than 4,000 each in United Arab Emirates and China, over 1,000 in Equador, and 259 in Spain. The full trove is being posted for researchers and others to parse and you can find it, and the wider archive — now numbering in the millions of Tweets and with one terabyte of media — here.

Today’s removals mark nearly one year of Twitter’s efforts to identify and remove accounts that are spreading political misinformation for the purposes of changing public sentiment — something that has wide-ranging impact beyond simply being annoyed on social media, including not least democratic processes like voting in elections or referendums. Today’s list is on par with some of the other notable disclosures Twitter has made every few months in the last year, such as its first removals process last October covering some 4,500 accounts out of Russia; but they are a far cry from its biggest removal effort to date, identifying and suspending some 200,000 accounts in China aimed at sowing discord in Hong Kong this past August.

Given that, if anything, Twitter is trying to make it easier, not harder, to open accounts and start using the service,  one could argue that trying to police the bad guys is a never-ending, and possibly impossible effort, since like the universe itself, Twitter just keeps expanding.

But on the other hand, it’s a necessary process, one that can help us learn about how social media is being misused (Twitter says that ‘thousands’ of researchers have accessed the data to date).

Those who are able can try to figure out ways to fix it, and we the public become smarter about spotting and passing over the bad stuff. Plus, in a climate where social networks are now getting increasingly scrutinised by governments for their role in aiding and abetting the bad actors, it also helps Twitter (and others that also identify and remove accounts, like Facebook) demonstrate that it is self-policing, making an effort and producing results, before states step in and do the policing for them. (Related sidenote: Just yesterday, Colin Crowell, Twitter’s VP of public policy for the last eight years, who had a big role in interfacing with the powers that be by overseeing lobbying efforts, announced yesterday that he would be stepping down.)

More details on the list announced today:

United Arab Emirates & Egypt: Twitter said it removed 267 accounts originating in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt. “These accounts were interconnected in their goals and tactics: a multi-faceted information operation primarily targeting Qatar, and other countries such as Iran. It also amplified messaging supportive of the Saudi government,” Twitter notes. Additionally, it identified that all these accounts came from one tech company called DotDev, which has also been permanently suspended (along with other accounts associated with it).

A separate group of 4,258 accounts operating from the UAE, mainly directed at Qatar and Yemen, were also removed. “These accounts were often employing false personae and tweeting about regional issues, such as the Yemeni Civil War and the Houthi Movement.”

Saudi Arabia: Just six accounts linked to Saudi Arabia’s state-run media apparatus were found to be “engaged in coordinated efforts to amplify messaging that was beneficial to the Saudi government.” The accounts presented themselves as journalists and media outlets.

Twitter also singled out the account of Saud al-Qahtani, a former media advisor to the King, for violations of its platform manipulation policies. (The account is not included in the archives disclosed today.)

Spain: Partido Popular — the Spanish political party founded by a former Franco minister that has been tied up in corruption scandals — was identified as operating some 259 accounts that were falsely boosting public sentiment online in Spain. The accounts were active for only a short time, Twitter notes.

Ecuador: There were 1,019 accounts removed this summer affiliated with the PAIS Alliance political party. The network of primarily fake accounts “was primarily engaged in spreading content about President Moreno’s administration, focusing on issues concerning Ecuadorian laws on freedom of speech, government censorship, and technology.”

China (PRC)/Hong Kong: It’s not 200,000 accounts as in August but still, another 4,302 accounts have been identified in helping to “sow discord about the protest movement in Hong Kong.”

As with previous datasets that Twitter has disclosed, the company notes that this is an ongoing effort that will see further announcements in the months ahead as more accounts are identified. But the question you have to ask is whether the company has been trying to figure out if there is a way of preventing these accounts from coming on to the platform in the first place.

via Click on the link for the full article

An explosive breach of contract lawsuit against former Sequoia Capital partner Michael Goguen has been dropped

Three-and-a-half years ago, a lawsuit hit the San Mateo, Ca. county courthouse that briefly attracted the attention of the worldwide venture capital community given its salacious nature. The defendant: longtime VC Michael Goguen, who’d spent 20 years with Sequoia Capital in Menlo Park, Ca. The plaintiff: a former girlfriend who described him through the filing as a “worse predator than the human traffickers.”She said in the filing that she would know, having become a “victim of human trafficking” at age 15 when she was “brought to America in 2001,” then “sold as a dancer to a strip club” in Texas, which is where she she says first encountered Goguen.

What she wanted from the lawsuit was money that she said was owed to her by Goguen: $40 million over four installments that the lawsuit stated were for “compensation for the sexual abuse and [a sexual] infection she contracted from him.” According to her suit, Goguen agreed to these terms, paying Baptiste a first installment of $10 million, but then refused to make further payments.

At the time, Goguen called the allegations “horrific” and suggested Baptiste was a spurned lover, saying they’d had a “10+ year romantic relationship that ended badly.” He also filed a cross complaint alleging extortion.

Today, that cross complaint lives on, while Baptiste’s case again Goguen was just quietly dismissed by arbitrator Read Ambler, a retired judge who served 20 years with the Santa Clara County Superior Court and who wrote in a ruling yesterday filed in San Mateo court that Baptiste’s failures to undergo medical examinations doomed her case, as did her failure to produce documents necessary in the discovery process.

“The record presented further establishes that Baptiste’s’ failures were willful,” Ambler writes. “Baptiste appears to believe that the information responsive to the discovery at issue is either not relevant, or with respect to the medical examinations, not permitted by law. While Baptiste is free to believe what she wants to believe, the orders are binding on Baptiste, and her failure to comply with the orders is unacceptable.”

Baptiste doesn’t currently have legal representation, though four sets of lawyers have represented her over time.

Patricia Glaser, a high-powered attorney who took on Baptiste’s case originally (and later agreed to represent Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein), asked to be relieved from the case five months later, citing “irreconcilable differences.” More recently, an L.A.-based couple that operates the Sherman Law Group in L.A. filed a motion to be relieved as Baptiste’s counsel, citing “irreconcilable differences and a breakdown in communication.”

Goguen’s attorneys say he will continue to pursue his counterclaims against Baptiste and looks forward to “complete vindication.”

Though Ambler never remarked on the merits or Baptiste’s claims, Goguen’s attorney Diane Doolittle further said today in a statement that: “Amber Laurel Baptiste’s sensationalized lawsuit against Silicon Valley venture capitalist Michael Goguen collapsed under the weight of its own falsehood yesterday, when a judge dismissed the case because of Baptiste’s repeated, egregious and willful misconduct. Over the course of this case, Baptiste perjured herself, concealed, destroyed and falsified key evidence, and demonstrated her contempt for the legal system by systematically violating numerous court orders.”

Baptiste could not be reached for comment.

Baptiste’s lawsuit against Goguen prompted Sequoia to part ways with him almost immediately. Later the very day that TechCrunch broke news of the suit in 2016, a Sequoia spokesman told us that while the firm understood “these allegations of serious improprieties” to be “unproven and unrelated to Sequoia” its management committee had nevertheless “decided that Mike’s departure was the appropriate course of action.”

Goguen, who sold an $11 million home in Atherton, Ca., in 2017, has spent much of his time in recent years at another home in Whitefish, Montana, where he has seemingly been wooing locals. An August story about Goguen in The Missoulian about a separate case describes him “known locally for philanthropic ventures.”

Continues the story: “Such donations have funded Montana’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and a Flathead group teaching girls to code. Two Bear Air, his northwestern Montana search and rescue outfit free to anyone who has needed it, has performed well over 500 missions and 400 rescues, according to executive director and chief pilot Jim Pierce. Goguen has personally completed 30 rescues, the Daily Inter Lake reported in February. The Flathead Beacon reports he was honored with the Great Whitefish Award earlier this year.”

via Click on the link for the full article