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tv   Bloomberg West  Bloomberg  May 15, 2015 10:30pm-11:01pm EDT

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i feel like i've been here before. switch now and get the fastest wifi everywhere. comcast business. built for business. top story, carl icahn making
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waves in silicon valley and investing in huber's archrival lift. the billion-dollar activist investor adding $1 billion to weather's -- $1 million to lift things wave of funding -- lyft's wave of funding. how will that help them catch up to uber? lift is only valued at a little over $2.5 billion. then there is the reach, uber has expanded over 250 series -- 250 cities worldwide lyft only operates and 65 cities. for more on what this means, i want to bring in the bloomberg news reporter who left this story, leslie picker from new york. erin newcomer was here from the set in san francisco. corey, i want to start with you because this is a very different investment for carl.
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why is he investing in lyft over uber? >> let's think of all the reasons. he is investing in it to make money. for much of his career, he has been a moneymaker, but not a company builder by any stretch of the imagination. he looks at what he can make better and where he can make money. 30 years ago, he has borrowed money to become one of the world's preeminent corporate raiders, taking over twa and breaking it up into little pieces selling it off. the company did not want to go through this. there were a lunch of complaints about this all quarter. he broke up the company to pay off the debt so that twa could be a very different kind of company going forward. that title has stuck with him even 30 years later. this was an unbelievably different investment. emily: so here is the question
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eric, how much will their investment help lyft? and will it help them compete with huber? >> -- huber -- uber? >> i think it is a fair raise. obviously, any amount of money helps. lyft is focused on the united states, unlike uber, so it can spend that money and a much more targeted fashion. i think it will help. i think since we have yet to see how carl icahn will help the company he is not a typical silicon valley investor. if you think about value-added investors, it is not all about what it will bring to the table, but i guess we will see. emily: you got your hands on a company presentation weeks ago to investors. what is your take on how much this investment to icon is going to help in the grand scheme of things? >> corey's point earlier, this
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is a man who looks at companies who are a value investment. if you look at lyft, valued at $2.5 billion, you have to wonder what makes that a valued investment. you saw that this company was on track to eight -- to make 800 million dollars this year, on track to be $1 billion next year. compare that to huber bang -- compare that to ube and you can see howr he would get that perspective. he is looking at this is an ever structure play. one area where you can make lyft to be a delivery service, for example. emily: cory, what do you think of the idea that icon could eventually use this investment as leverage? >> this is a strange investment. i start to wonder if something
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may be more involved. he's investment in companies even in the rare time it has been in contact -- in technology, the case of ebay and apple, he was expressing financial engineering. do a share buyback, do a dividend. get back to the shareholders now that i am going to be one. any ebay he talked about how crummy the board was specifically citing market injuries -- market injuries. this is the kind of investments that were typical for ichan. emily: it is interesting to see carl ichan putting himself in bed with andreessen. collin: right, we have one of
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the biggest voices in wall street and searching himself into lyft. it will be interesting to see how those two protests. mark is not on the board yet one of his partners is. emily: leslie, you have talked to other investors, what are they saying? >> they see it as one of two things. it could be a way for cargill to build his own empire. when carl comes in he already has steak and public companies. how is that strategic for his investments, and ebay for example, or other investments to build the icon empire? another thing's management. kara was known to come in and shake up management and find out what doesn't work and replace it with people who may be better suited for the job. those are two thing things to look out for. emily: leslie picker, and cory johnson. of course, we are anxious to see
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how this ichan investment plays out. into a's edition of "drive," google self driving cars are about to hit the road. check out this video of a prototype that will be on the road of mountain view, california. here's the catch -- they cannot drive faster than 25 miles per hour, and a human driver will always be on board. these cars have lost almost $1 million -- one million autonomous miles since google started the project. there have been some fender vendors from human error. -- fender vendors. -- fender benders. coming up netflix may be on the brink of finally cracking the chinese market. that story next. ♪
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emily: netflix wants a piece of the chinese market, and it may have finally found its way in. according to people familiar with the matter, netflix is holding talks, including wasu, a media company that is similar to comcast. wasu is also partially owned by jack ma. netflix's chief content officer said "china is too big to have an asterisk next to it. he says if that is the cost of
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doing business in china, we will figure that out. joining us now is the executive vice president of screen media and our bloomberg news at her -- bloomberg news reporter leslie picker. what do you know about these and how this deal might work? leslie: we know wasu is one of seven companies who has the ability to stream internet tv in -- ability to distribute internet tv in china. this is a company where jack ma took a 20% stake last year in order to get more into the media business. this is a company that said they want to get more into data, big data, media services. this would fit very well into their strategy. emily: david, i want to ask you because you actually make content deals and sell content abroad, just how difficult is it going to be for netflix to break into the chinese market? there are so many different challenges. david: it is a difficult market to crack into, and by partnering the way they're doing, it is alleviating a lot of those
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concerns. netflix learned a lot on their troubles with germany and france. those were not successful launch es.\ by partnering with somebody who knows the culture, understands the bureaucracy, they are getting a step ahead of the marketplace. emily: i lived in china for many years. piracy is a huge problem there. you can buy dvd's of any show you want, full movies before they are released for, like, $1. why bother, david? david: that has always been a question with china. unless they start giving owners of contents copyright protection that everywhere else in the ball -- in the world is getting, no one will want to do business in china. i think by this deal, partnering with the companies that they are partnering, it gives a little more oomph to what they are doing, and i think it will give more strength and government weight behind copyright protection. one of the popular shows in china is the netflix series "house of cards." it is very popular there, and i
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think what doing by building -- i think what netflix is doing by building these international programs is going to hit big in the chinese market. emily: certainly the goal here will be for netflix to show its original content in china. we spoke to the ceo of sohu last year, a rival of wasu, and it is considered to be like the netflix of china. he talked to us about how difficult content regulation can be. take a listen to what he had to >> -- to what he had to say. >> china is being performed, and policy in a few years probably will not be the policy, so it is very hard to find exactly what is legal and what is not legal. emily: leslie, how does netflix and potentially wasu here, how do they circumvent these challenges? leslie: it is difficult. last year, they put a cap on only 30% of that streamed online
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-- of the amount of video that can be streamed online for foreign content providers, so when you look at tv shows like "the good wife," and "the big bang theory," words were taken away from the chinese content viewers, and then you look at something like "orange is the new black" and have to wonder how the censorship would impact a show like that, it brings home a whole different set of issues in terms of what netflix can really do to acquire more users in china with the censorship laws. emily: what are the chances, david, you give of netflix succeeding in china? do you think they can do this? this is a company that has created a whole new model for viewing contents, worldwide, except in china. what are the chances? david: if they were going it alone, i would say 5% or 10% but because they partnered with wasu, i will say 80%. emily: 80%? david: it will have a lot of chinese content it will not all , be original u.s. content
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wasu is going to bring it in. that is what they would do. that is where they fumbled in the past. they have learned their mistakes. you cannot going to a foreign language market into the same -- and do the same thing you do in an english market. by partnering with such a powerful partner and giving up some of their control, i think they have a strong chance of succeeding. emily: leslie, we have seen so many interesting deals from jack ma. what is next? leslie: this would fit into that category that he wants to make the chinese consumers healthier and happier in the next 10 years than they are today. this media strategy has come from the horse's mouth. he has said this is a big part of alibaba's expansion platform as is buying a soccer team in china to then make the chinese people happier and healthier. it'll be interesting, of course as is he does these types of -- as he does these types of acquisitions and investments,
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how he entangles himself than with the regulators, who again are involved in these types of businesses just as they are with his financial assets. emily: all right, leslie picker of bloomberg news, david fannon of screen media, we will continue to follow the progress between netflix and wasu. it is time now for digital you. while netflix has its eye on expanding music companies like rdio and spotify want consumers to understand their business. here is rdio ceo anthony bay. anthony: people are try to figure out different customer offers, and we cannot have that -- we really haven't had that netflix moment where everybody gets what netflix is, we have not had that in music is of the -- we have not had that in music. the big question is -- how does that happen? if you look at the broad-based subscription, most people do not understand it. people are like, i get behind the tv, i understand downloading a song, what is the subscription streaming thing, what does it mean?
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the first thing is -- how do you help people understand what is going on, what the choices are? the second thing is when it comes to spending money, people historically, both on tv's and -- on cds and on downloads in the u.s. emily: rdio just announced a $3.99 streaming plan to announce a broader stream of customers, hoping to attract customers who do not want to pay $9.99 for unlimited streaming but want more than free services packed with ads. spotify, tidal, google play beats music. all of them start at that price. rdio offers less expensive options. pandora, sparta five -- spotify, and songza provides its services for free. we are expecting apple to revamp and may get into video in the next few months. so what is it like to live like a digital pirate king? mega upload founder kim dotcom the target of the biggest copyright case in history,
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recently showed me around his new zealand mansion. he is currently they are under -- he is currently they are -- t here under house arrest. take a look at the home he calls his castle. how long have you been living in this mansion? kim: six years, but i'm stuck here 3.5 years now. emily: ever since the raid, you have not left? kim: that is right. emily: so the kitchen, you designed this yourself? kim: yes, i like it wide and -- i did the interior design. i like fish. emily: this is where the helicopters landed? kim: yeah, right here in the courtyard, and another one right here where the cars are parked. emily: do you worry that you could lose this? kim: a man's home is his castle and i think it would be a significant victory for the u.s.
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government if i lost this, so i do not want to give that to them. emily: who are your neighbors? kim: recently, the alibaba ceo has purchased a property next door. emily: have you said hello? kim: yes. i said hi. emily: are you going to have an ali-empire? kim: i will have an ali-baby. [laughter] emily: alibaby, baby. you can watch my full interview with kim dotcom on up next, to entrepreneurs -- two entrepreneurs working to break up the venture capital boys club, and where they are looking for the next big thing. that is next. ♪
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emily: aspect ventures just raised its first investment
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fund, $150 million. it is one of the most high-profile vc firms in the valley run by women. in the old boys' club world of venture capital, women have a long way to go. last year, just 6% of vc partners were women, down from 10% in 1999. the issue was front and center this year when ellen pao sued her employer, kleiner perkins, for discrimination. a partner testified that it is too hard for women entrepreneurs to get funding, and that may be why there are very few female vc's. here with me to discuss is one of the founding partners of aspect ventures theresia gouw , and joyus founder sukhinder singh cassidy. thank you for being here. you have big news about this fund. how difficult was it to raise the money, and where do you plan to do it? theresia: we were fortunate. our plan was phase one, founder funded, which we did.
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we had about a dozen investments. when that happens, we said ok, now time to raise a find so we -- raise a fund so we can build a new find and hire people. -- a new fund and hire people. it was a combination of between the two of us having 15 plus year track record each with six ipo's, 26 m&a's, and a dozen portfolio companies people could look at. it was very straightforward. we were fortunate to hit the top end of our target range. emily: you guys came on the show to talk about it when you started the firm, and it is a shame that you guys are the rarity here. that is one thing that was brought to the floor in a letter that you wrote this week talking about this issue of women in technology, but you had a different take on it. i want to read a quote from your letter, where you said, "all tech entrepreneurs," encountered -- "not just female ones,
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encounter bias. be it gender, age or business model, people make judgments about us as we pitch our vision long before we have data. beyond biases, we face mixed data signals every day as we keep iterating between vision and reality over months and years. were we to yield to stats or all the negative signaling, no one would ever start a company. but as a startup community, our most universal bias is toward possibility." what do you mean by that? sukhinder: at the end of the day, women face discrimination by us. 67% of women we surveyed said that they encounter that, but when you try to change any ecosystem, particularly ones in the valley, you start with what is possible. entrepreneurship drives on the idea of possibility. so yes, have we faced fires? yes. have men faced fires who are older than the young men, they have, too. if we want to make progress on this issue, we need to show what is possible. the returned to possibility is one of the ways to enable change, so it is important to amplify what is possible in the women entrepreneurs who are successful every day. emily: theresia, you worked at excel partners for a long time.
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where there are a lot of male partners. was it more difficult to raise money as a woman, going out on your own with jennifer? theresia: it is certainly different to be a first-time fund versus raising funds 9 10, oh 11 and but as i said, we 12. were fortunate to have great support first from the entrepreneurial community including companies like stephanie's, and then as a result, we were able to have great support from the investor community, including investor entrepreneurs. i should mention sukhinder is an investor in aspect as well. emily: what did you see in the ellen pao trial? sukhinder: the fact that ellen was able to step out on an issue such as discrimination elevated the conversation, and regardless of the outcome, her stepping out brought into the water cooler conversation between men and
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women, what is really happening. it brought forward the idea of unconscious bias for sure. theresia: the unconscious bias piece is a big part of it. what it underlines is the culture and how it is important in people's ability to succeed or not succeed in a particular environment, and having the culture discussion is important, and that is why what sukhinder wrote is important for two -- is important. one is the fastest way to make change is to start something new. the second thing is to bring a positive narrative for people who are succeeding and killing it and starting things in silicon valley. emily: like both of you. this is a conversation that will go on much more than four minutes, but we have to leave it there for the purpose of today. theresia gouw, congratulations on the fund, and sukhinder singh cassidy. it is time now for the daily byte, one number that tells a whole lot, and the byte today is one million. that is the number of free miles you could get from united if you are a talented hacker.
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the airline just launched a program to reward security that find bugs -- security experts that find bugs in the system, but do not try hacking a plane while you're are on board. that is it today from san francisco. have a great weekend. ♪
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mark: i'm mark halperin. john: and i'm john heilemann. with all due respect, t.g.i.f. ♪ john: happy national pizza party day, sports fans. in our lineup tonight, a dinner and a show. first the dinner. tomorrow in des moines, 11 republican presidential candidates or would-be candidates are attending the iowa lincoln day dinner. catch it all live and i promise -- live


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