Starboard's Yahoo Push Is Fund's Biggest Target — and Challenge (Bloomberg)
To win, Starboard Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Smith must convince shareholders he has a compelling plan that Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and the current regime can’t execute. The bid to oust the board comes even after the company acceded to some of the vacillating investor demands and put almost everything on the table, from spinning off its valuable stakes in Asian Internet companies to selling its main Web businesses.
Yellen Takes Control of Fed Message to Stress Gradual Approach (Bloomberg)
While the Fed chair steered clear of telegraphing an April or June rate hike, that was probably intentional. Neither she nor anyone else on the FOMC knows if the global climate for growth will have improved enough by then to warrant action. For that reason, Yellen also drove home the message that when officials don’t know, they either don’t change policy at all, or only move gradually. That means making progress in the current tightening cycle isn’t about the Fed following a pre-set course of rate hikes, but acting when conditions are right.
Investors Pull Cash From Hedge Funds as Returns Lag Market (WSJ)
From New Mexico to New York, big investors are dramatically reducing their commitments and opting for cheaper imitations. Investors globally asked for more money back from hedge funds than they contributed in the fourth quarter of 2015, according to HFR Inc.—the first net quarterly withdrawal in four years. They pulled an additional $15.3 billion in this year’s first two months, according to eVestment.
Polish company to brew beer from Czech model's vagina bacteria (UPI)
A Poland-based company is crowdfunding to raise money for its latest venture: beer brewed using lactic acid bacteria from the vagina of a Czech model. Warsaw-based The Order of Yoni -- "Yoni" being a Sanskrit word for "vagina" -- is seeking to raise about $170,000 with an IndieGoGo campaign for Bottled Instinct, a beer brewed using lactic acid bacteria collected from the vagina of Alexandra Brendlova. "We have discovered a process of transmission of her essence of her femininity, her instincts by isolation of lactic acid bacteria from her vagina," the company says in a YouTube video promoting the campaign. "Our laboratory isolates and multiplies the bacteria in a safe way."
Venture-Capital Firms Draw a Rush of New Money (WSJ)
Venture-capital firms are raising money at the highest rate in more than 15 years, even as the values of some once-hot startups have begun to cool. With the quarter nearly over, U.S. venture funds have collected about $13 billion, which would be the largest total since the dot-com boom in 2000, according to preliminary data from Dow Jones VentureSource.
Fidelity boosted Snapchat stake in February (Reuters)
Fidelity Investments disclosed on Wednesday it boosted its stake in free mobile messaging app Snapchat in February, despite recent concerns the company is struggling to gain traction with advertisers. Fidelity mutual funds, which have become one of the largest investors in pre-IPO companies, reported holding larger stakes in Snapchat in monthly holdings updates disclosed on Wednesday. Fidelity funds invested more money in Snapchat as part of an extension of the company's original Series F funding round.
Music streaming company Spotify raises $1 billion in convertible debt (Reuters)
Spotify has raised $1 billion in convertible debt from private equity firm TPG Capital and hedge fund Dragoneer Investment Group, a spokeswoman for the music streaming service said.
Man turns 3,344 Rubik's cubes into marriage proposal artwork (UPI)
A Rubik's cube enthusiast in China used 3,344 of the puzzles to create the image of his girlfriend's face and a message of love for his marriage proposal. Video of the March 7 proposal in Xiamen, Fujian Province, shows Lin Yucheng, 27, a Rubik's cube expert and teacher, unveiling his artwork for his girlfriend and an assembled crowd. Lin's artwork shows his girlfriend's face created from Rubik's cubes along with the messages "love you" and "forever together" spelled out in English.