Serena Saitto, The Information

Serena Saitto

The Information

San Francisco, CA, United States

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  • The Information
  • Bloomberg

Past articles by Serena:

In One VC Sector, Women Are Gaining Ground —

While women still represent only about 15% of decision makers at Silicon Valley’s major venture capital firms, another subset of the industry, corporate venture capital, has a higher proportion of women calling the shots.At least four of the 20 biggest corporate venture capital funds, including ... → Read More

Briefing: SoftBank May Not Sell Flipkart Stake in Walmart Deal —

Despite widespread reports that SoftBank would unload its stake in Flipkart as part of the Walmart deal, the investment firm hasn’t yet decided whether to sell, say people familiar with the situation. SoftBank has about 10 days to decide whether to sell its stake and if so, how much. It may decide to stay in Flipkart, where it would become the second largest shareholder, one of the people said.… → Read More

Why Uber and Airbnb Should Copy Spotify with a Direct Listing —

A month after debuting on the New York Stock Exchange by going public without selling new shares—an unprecedented direct listing—it is clear that Spotify’s experiment was a success. The Swedish music streaming company is trading 21% higher than where its stock traded in the private market ... → Read More

Lessons From Silicon Valley’s Latest Female VC Partners —

Eight of the biggest venture capital firms, including Benchmark Capital, Union Square Ventures and General Catalyst, named their first female partners in the past 16 months. Those hires helped slightly increase women’s representation in the upper ranks of venture capital, as The Information ... → Read More

Silicon Valley’s Most and Least Diverse Investors —

The proportion of women in decision-making positions at the most prominent venture capital firms inched up to nearly 15% last year from roughly 11% in 2016. Black representation rose marginally. That’s according to the results of a survey conducted by The Information and VC firm Social Capital, ... → Read More

How John Chambers Looks at Deals —

When John Chambers ran Cisco Systems, acquisitions were one of his favorite ways to grow the company. By his own estimate, Cisco did 180 deals in his time there. But as he said in an interview with The Information this week, Cisco executives expected that one third would not succeed.It was a ... → Read More

Can Warby Parker Sustain Investors’ High Expectations? —

Warby Parker has become a major e-commerce success story since launching eight years ago. Investors seem to be banking on big growth from the trendy eyewear retailer, judging by a recent fundraising. But revenue figures suggest the company has its work cut out for it if it is going to continue ... → Read More

Briefing: Naspers Plans to Sell $10 Billion Stake in Tencent to Reinvest in Growth —

South Africa’s Naspers plans to sell $10 billion worth of shares in Tencent to raise money for other investments, it said on Thursday. This is the first time Naspers is selling shares in Tencent since it made its original $32 million investment in the Chinese social media giant in 2001. That investment turned into a home run. Naspers remains Tencent’s biggest shareholder even after the sale,… → Read More

For a Key Uber Investor, Lessons in Corporate Governance —

Shawn Carolan, who co-led Menlo Ventures’ investment in Uber, says his firm made $1 billion selling almost half of its stake in Uber to SoftBank. That eye-popping return, which Menlo hadn’t previously confirmed, on an original investment of $26 million in 2011, marks the firm’s largest ... → Read More

Draper Says VCs Are ‘Missing Out’ on Crypto Opportunities —

Prominent Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper says initial coin offerings are both a “challenge and an opportunity” for venture capitalists, noting that more than one-third of the companies he looks at nowadays are “tied to bitcoin or crypto in some way.”In an interview with The ... → Read More

The Biggest Tech Investor Silicon Valley Ignores —

You might think the biggest shareholder in China’s largest tech company Tencent was the Chinese government or a local venture capitalist. Instead, it’s a South Africa-based newspaper publisher called Naspers, which parlayed a $32 million investment in Tencent 17 years ago into a stake now worth ... → Read More

VCs Step Up Investing in Mental Health Startups —

Venture capitalists are paying more attention to mental health.Venture investment in mental health startups has nearly quadrupled since 2014, thanks in part to a 2008 federal law that required health insurers to treat mental health equally to other kinds of health care.In 2017, VCs invested ... → Read More

Smart Doorbell Maker Ring Raising Money at Close to $1 Billion Value —

Ring, a maker of camera-enabled doorbell products, is raising $160 million at a valuation of nearly $1 billion, nearly double from only a year ago, according to a securities filing and investors.The rapid rise reflects investor interest in smart home products, particularly doorbell cameras, ... → Read More

How SoftBank’s Interest Cost One Startup Other Potential Investors —

Late last year Wag, an app that helps people find dog walkers, was in talks to raise $100 million. SoftBank took a look but would only invest if the round was $300 million. Other investors, including NEA and Kleiner Perkins, felt that was too much money for the startup to raise and dropped out, ... → Read More

Boards Stay Silent on Sexual Harassment —

Only 23% of company boards have discussed sexual harassment or gender discrimination in recent months, according to a survey of 600 company directors done in August. And only 12% of boards have taken any action to address the issues in their companies. The findings suggest that an onslaught of ... → Read More

The People Behind SoftBank’s Global Deal Spree —

SoftBank is synonymous with Masayoshi Son, the charismatic founder of the Japanese telecom and internet giant that is reshaping global tech with its colossal $93 billion Vision Fund. But behind Japan’s richest man is a team of trusted company veterans, recent banking hires and Silicon Valley ... → Read More

Uber Tender Gives Employees Chance to Realize Profits —

Uber is expected to sign an agreement with SoftBank later Wednesday paving the way for the start of a tender offer for Uber shares that could be worth $8.5 billion.The offer is a big deal for Uber investors, including some of its 16,000 employees. While private tech firms often run tender offers ... → Read More

Goldman-Backed Symphony to Raise $100M to Expand Beyond Banking —

Symphony Communication Services, the bank-backed messaging startup taking on Bloomberg LP in a key part of its business, is in talks to raise at least $100 million from new investors. The company plans to use the money to finance an expansion into health care, government, insurance and ... → Read More

Tech IPO Hopes Turn to 2018 —

This hasn’t turned out to be the boom year for tech IPOs that some expected, so bankers and investors are turning their attention to 2018. At least a couple of high profile U.S. unicorns are expected to go public next year, including Dropbox and Peleton and maybe Airbnb. Less likely is Lyft, ... → Read More

Kalanick Believes He Still Has Right to Appoint New Uber Directors —

Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick plans to dispute a claim by Benchmark Capital in a lawsuit filed Thursday that he agreed in June to give up the right to name two new directors to the board, according to a person familiar with the situation. And he may soon try and name additional directors to ... → Read More