The Daily Startup: Sandra Kurtzig Steps Down as CEO of Kenandy

dailystartup_D_20090806101628.jpgArt by Mike Lucas

Silicon Valley pioneer Sandra Kurtzig is stepping down from the day-to-day duties at her business software company Kenandy Inc., Deborah Gage reports for Dow Jones VentureWire. Ms. Kurtzig started her first company, ASK Computer Systems, which made manufacturing management software, in 1972, with $2,000 of her own money. Ms. Kurtzig retired twice from ASK, in 1989 and again in 1993, but she came out of retirement to start Kenandy. Chuck Berger, who previously was CEO at Extreme Networks Inc., will take over as chief executive. Ms. Kurtzig will become executive chairman.

ALSO IN TODAY’S VENTUREWIRE (subscription required):

Stemcentrx Inc., which is developing drugs to treat cancer by killing cancer stem cells, has raised nearly $250 million in financing at a valuation of $5 billion, according to people familiar with the matter. Stemcentrx investors include Artis Ventures and Founders Fund.

Goldman Sachs Leads Million Round for Online Thrift Store ThredUp. Online consignment store ThreadUp has raised $81 million in a round led by Goldman Sachs, Lizette Chapman reports. Existing ThredUp investors Highland Capital Partners, Redpoint Ventures, Trinity Ventures and Upfront Ventures also participated in the round.

Vizzuality Inc., a startup that goes by the name CartoDB and helps businesses visualize and glean information from location data, has raised a $23 million Series B round. Accel Partners led the round, which included Salesforce Ventures, Earlybird Ventures and Kibo Ventures.

INRIX Inc. has acquired ParkMe Inc., adding ParkMe’s smart parking services to Inrix’s traffic information services as cars continue to become smarter and more automated. Terms of the acquisition weren’t disclosed.

(VentureWire is a daily newsletter with comprehensive analysis of all the investments, deals and personnel moves involving startups and their venture backers. For a two-week trial, visit, scroll to the bottom and click “try for free.”)


RadiumOne Worked to Save IPO Amid Scandal. A prominent venture capitalist worked to resolve a domestic-violence case against RadiumOne‘s former Chief Executive Gurbaksh Chahal so the company’s planned initial public offering could move forward, The Wall Street Journal’s Jeff Elder reports. Mr. Chahal was arrested and charged with 45 felony counts after San Francisco prosecutors alleged he struck his girlfriend more than 100 times over a 30-minute period in his apartment. Mr. Chahal. who has maintained his innocence, pleased guilty to two misdemeanor charges after it was ruled that a home-security video of the incident was seized without a warrant and thus inadmissible as evidence. Documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal show that Steve Westly, who joined RadiumOne’s board in November 2013, suggested in a Dec. 3, 2013, email to Mr. Chahal that lawyer Willie Brown, former San Francisco mayor and State Assembly speaker, “believes that he can help you.” Mr. Chahal later wrote to Mr. Westly: “Just met him. Wants $1 million if he can make this go away. Just gave him a $250K retainer. If you meet him tomorrow. Apply some pressure on him to make this go away in 2013.” Mr. Chahal, RadiumOne, Mr. Brown and Mr. Westly declined to comment.

Daily Fantasy-Sports Operators Await Reality Check. The coming NFL season, which kicks off this week, will be a test for the fantasy sports startups FanDuel Inc. and DraftKings Inc., the WSJ’s Kate O’Keeffe reports. Both of the venture-baked companies are valued at more than $1 billion but neither is profitable. The NFL season is when fantasy-sports activity peaks.

Visa , Nasdaq , Others Invest $30 Million in Bitcoin-Related Startup. Bitcoin-related startup Chain Inc. has raised $30 million in a funding round that included Visa Inc., Nasdaq Inc., Citi Ventures , Capital One Financial Corp., Fiserv Inc. and Orange SA, the WSJ’s Bradley hope reports. The startup uses blockchain technology to help banks and other institutions trade and transfer financial assets.

Write to Mike Billings at Follow him on Twitter at @mbillings