In today’s Bulldog wrapup of technology news:
- Durham venture capital firm A.M. Pappas files suit against unknown critic
- The COO of the research Triangle Foundation is retiring
- Taco bikes are coming to Raleigh via entrepreneur Justin Miller
- Microsoft makes a big mobile apps play
- Softbank invests $1 billion in an ecommerce firm
- A.M. Pappas VC firm sues
Durham-based venture capital firm A.M. Pappas & Associates has filed a suit against an unknown critic for libel.
According to David Ranii of The News and Observer, the firm is seeking to find out who is criticizing the firm via email, alleging “financial improprieties.”
The suit is against an “unknown ‘John Doe or Jane Doe.'”
“Ford Worthy, a partner and chief financial officer at the firm, said the lawsuit is aimed at halting the emails and, by exercising the subpoena power that comes with filing a complaint in court, uncovering the identity of the anonymous emailer,” Ranii reported.
Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/news/business/article23123580.html#storylink=cpy
- Research Triangle Foundation COO retiring
After 25 years on the job, Liz Rooks plans to retire as the chief operating officer of the Research Triangle Foundation.
Rooks will step down in December.
“Liz Rooks is an institution,” says Bob Geolas, President and CEO of the Research Triangle Foundation of NC. “Her guidance throughout my first few years with The Foundation has been incredibly beneficial. Without her insight, the RTP would not be on the path forward that it is today.”
Vice President of Business Development Mason Ailstock is now COO, having assumed that role June 1.
- Taco bikes in Raleigh
Justin Miller, CEO of fast-growing WedPics, is branching out as an entrepreneur. He plans to launch “taco bikes” in Raleigh to deliver tacos.
Miller is working with William & Company Bar downtown and investing some $5,000 in a fleet of specially built bikes.
“El Taco Cartel” is the name of the service.
Miller hopes to launch delivery in July.
- Microsoft’s mobile apps play
Looking for a new app for making “to-do” lists on your Apple or Android phone? You could use Apple’s Reminders or Google’s Keep. But Microsoft is hoping you’ll try Wunderlist, created by a German tech startup that Microsoft bought this week.
Microsoft’s acquisition of German firm 6Wunderkinder this week for an undisclosed sum is part of its broader effort to win friends in the mobile world. It is still promoting its Windows operating software for smartphones, but relatively few consumers are buying Windows phones. So the company is also building a stable of apps for devices that run on Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android platforms.
That includes Android and iOS versions of Microsoft’s Office programs, which the Redmond, Washington, company created in-house and released earlier this year. Then there’s a mobile calendar called Sunrise, made by a company Microsoft bought in February. Microsoft Corp. also bought the startup behind an email app called Accompli, which — like Sunrise and Wunderlist — has won praise from tech reviewers for its clean design and useful features.
Microsoft has since rebranded the Accompli app as “Outlook” for mobile devices. But it’s still offering the Sunrise calendar and Wunderlist apps under their original names, while planning to use some of their features in other services. All the apps have a free version.Microsoft hopes they’ll eventually win people over to services that make money from subscriptions or ads.
- Softbank invests $1B in SKorean e-commerce firm Coupang
Coupang, a South Korean online shopping site, has secured a $1 billion investment from Japanese Internet company Softbank Corp.
Coupang said Wednesday that Softbank founder Masayoshi Son decided to backCoupang because of the South Korean company’s delivery system and its market dominance in online shopping via smartphones.
It is the latest foreign bet on Coupang. Overseas investors are seeking ways to tap South Korea’s fast growth in smartphone users, new mobile services and the population’s willingness to spend money via mobile and Web services.
Coupang received a $100 million investment from Sequoia Capital in May last year and $300 million from BlackRock Private Equity Partners in November.