News 

Kleiner Perkins says it has raised a $600M fund, its first since the departure of Mary Meeker, focusing on seed, Series A, and Series B financings

“With the explosion of early-stage funds, competition for the best deals is cutthroat” reports techcrunch.com. 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.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. Source: techcrunch.com

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Selling fake followers and likes is illegal, landmark settlement finds

“This is the first time a law enforcement agency has found that selling fake social media engagement and using stolen identities is illegal” writes Alfred Ng for cnet.com. Some fake accounts stole real people’s photos on social media, the attorney general’s office said.Faking social media engagement, the attorney general’s office found, could affect what followers choose to buy and who advertisers choose to sponsor.The company sold fraudulent social media engagement to celebrities, musicians and athletes, it added. Source: cnet.com

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Facebook removed hundreds of accounts and pages linked to Iran

“The accounts, included 262 Facebook pages, 356 Facebook accounts, 162 Instagram accounts, and three Facebook groups, which primarily targeted people in the European Union and Middle East” writes Karissa Bell for mashable.com. The company removed hundreds of accounts last August, and removed another 82 pages and accounts, which were targeting the U.S and UK in October.Facebook has removed nearly 800 fake accounts, pages and groups its security researchers say were linked to Iran.Facebook discovered the accounts, some of which dated back to 2010, thanks in part to work with Twitter. Source:…

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Heads-up News 

Tokyo Trading Session Heads Up Thursday, January 31, 2019

Tokyo opening news digest Markets Have Recovered, But Charts Look Like Niagara Falls Investors should remain cautious; longer-term interest rates have refused to rise in the face of rising stock prices.   How Significant Are The Fed’s Recent Moves? The Fed has changed course over the past several months, but how big is their move and what prompted it?   After A Brutal Year, Are Despegar.com’s Undervalued Shares Finally Ready For Take Off? Depegar.com shares, down 50% over the past twelve months, appear attractively priced at $15 per share. As…

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Twitter froze suspicious accounts linked to Iran, Russia, and Venezuela ahead of 2018 U.S. midterms

“Twitter also said that it had removed 418 suspicious accounts with ties to Russia, the majority of which were suspended prior to the 2018 midterms” writes Anna Hensel for venturebeat.com. Today, Twitter released a report dealing some of the unusual activity and disinformation campaigns it spotted before and after the 2018 U.S. midterms.Those accounts sent more Tweets about U.S. politics compared to the other two batches of suspicious accounts, tweeting the #MAGA hashtag (which refers to President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign slogan) 38,000 times.Twitter, along with Facebook and Google, had…

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Apple restores Facebook’s enterprise certificate after revoking it for more than 24 hours

“Facebook got around that by creating the Facebook Research app through the enterprise certificate Apple had granted them” writes Anna Hensel for venturebeat.com. Apple revoked Facebook’s access on Tuesday after violating its policies on who can access apps developed using the certificate.On Thursday, Apple restored Facebook’s access to an enterprise certificate that enables internal testing of apps.Google also had its enterprise certificate briefly revoked after TechCrunch found one of its research apps similarly violated Apple’s policies.Facebook tried to get ahead of the problem by saying it was proactively pulling the Facebook…

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Apple says it is working with Google after employees’ access to internal iOS apps was disrupted

“Apple quickly responded by revoking Facebook’s so-called enterprise certificates, effectively shutting down internal iOS apps used by Facebook employees” writes Nick Bastone for businessinsider.com. Apple and Google are working together to restore Google employees’ ability to use iPhone apps internally, following an abrupt disruption on Thursday that caused speculation of strained relations between the two tech giants.But shortly after news of the disruption at Google surfaced, Apple and Google appeared to be trying to patch over the situation.Google acknowledged and apologized for creating an iPhone app that collected user data,…

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Markets News 

Treasury yields log largest daily drop in 4 weeks as Fed’s dovish turn fuels bond market bulls

“The 30-year bond yield TMUBMUSD30Y, -1.16% fell 4.9 basis points to 3.003%, leaving it down 1.7 basis points for the month” writes Sunny Oh for marketwatch.com. The 2-year note yield TMUBMUSD02Y, -2.24% slipped 6.6 basis points to 2.458%, leading to a 3.8 basis point drop in January.The 10-year Treasury note yield TMUBMUSD10Y, -1.97% tumbled 6.3 basis points to 2.631%, its lowest since Jan. 3, contributing to a monthlong drop of 5.3 basis points.When debt rolls off a bond fund portfolio, the average maturity of the portfolio will fall, drifting away…

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Yum China shares rise after earnings beat

“YUMC, +1.56% shares rose 3.8% in the extended session Thursday after the company beat Wall Street earnings expectations” writes Tech Reporter for marketwatch.com. Analysts surveyed by FactSet had estimated adjusted earnings of 9 cents a share on revenue of $1.92 billion.For the first quarter, analysts model adjusted earnings of 54 cents on sales of $2.29 billion.Adjusted for changes to the U.S. tax code and acquisition costs, earnings were 12 cents a share. Source: marketwatch.com

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