After heroically negotiating “Action” Jack Barker’s release from the Chinese factory where he was held hostage, Gavin Belson has pulled off another coup closer to home, reclaiming the CEO spot he lost to Barker only months ago. The Hooli Board announced that they are “thrilled to have the talents of our founder back at the helm.” Belson added, “And it’s good to be back. I’m also returning as the Chairman of the Board, so I wrote that last statement.”
After a thrilling day of booths, talks, panels and demos, Hooli-Con culminated in a show-stopping keynote by CEO “Action” Jack Barker – but it may not have been quite the kind of show-stopping Barker was hoping for. In his first ever Hooli-Con keynote, Hooli’s new CEO told the audience to turn on the newly installed HooliVR in their HooliPhones, and audience members across the auditorium jumped up – not with excitement, but panic – as their phones exploded in their pants, hands, and for a select few, in their cell phone holsters. Yes, they still make those.
In a true Valley twist, Hooli disrupted the VR market this week when they made the surprise purchase of Keenan Feldspar’s VR startup, Retinabyte, for a cool $2 billion. The deal consists of $1.3 billion in cash, and the remainder in Hooli stock. Rumor has it there are additional millions in potential earn-out in cash and stock if the tech meets certain benchmarks.
As lead partner at Raviga Capital Management, Laurie Bream ran a tight ship and was known for her supreme logic, attention to detail, and aversion to eye contact except when absolutely necessary. Now the savvy venture capitalist has created her own fund, Bream-Hall. As the name would indicate, she brings with her Raviga’s Monica Hall, who worked under Bream as an associate partner. Hall was long known as a driving force at Raviga, and she’s said to be one of the very few to work closely with late founding partner, Peter Gregory.
He’s currently the king of the frothiest space in the Valley. His VR headset is the new standard in fully immersive, 3D technology. And his name is Keenan Feldspar. Could he be the next Mark Zuckerberg?
Belson and Hendricks expect to launch a Pied Piper product soon
Moments ago, an excited Richard Hendricks spoke to me over the phone regarding his newest – and perhaps most controversial – business move: partnering with previous rival and tech giant Gavin Belson. In a Code/Rag exclusive, we spoke about comebacks, innovation, and making the world a better place through middle-out compression algorithms.
Every so often an app comes along that really makes you think. This one makes you think, “Why did they make that?” Founder Jian-Yang tells me it’s because investor Erlich Bachman is a “dumb man with dumb ideas.” In any case, “Not Hotdog” uses advanced machine learning to tell you if the food you’re eating is a hotdog. I took it for a test spin just to find out how well it can do that.
The interface proved intuitive and easy to use (thankfully, can you imagine if an app like this wasn’t intuitive?): just snap a picture and wait for the machine learning to tell you what you’re looking at. Here we go:
“Action” Jack Barker to succeed
Founder of Hooli Gavin Belson has come to the end of his tenure as CEO and chief innovator. Belson, who also founded the company, announced his resignation via Hooli press release today, stating he would be focusing on “spiritual wellness and family.” He went on to say, “The Hooli corporation is exceptionally well positioned to continue its growth as an industry leader. While a difficult personal decision, this is the right choice for me at this time. I will always cherish my time at Hooli and look forward to future challenges and opportunities.”
Dinesh Chugtai has barely launched PiperChat, and the startup is already looking like the Valley’s newest unicorn. The ingenious video chat continues to have strong user numbers with over 140,000 daily active users, high quality video across even weak cell connections, and an impressive interface designed by the CEO himself. The company has clearly benefitted from Chugtai’s decision to part ways with its predecessor Pied Piper, which also meant a separation from fraught Pied Piper CEO, Richard Hendricks.
When he was a lowly Senior Programmer slaving away on an internal communication tool for Pied Piper, Dinesh Chugtai could never have known his humble video chat would become something even greater than the compression company itself. As announced by Pied Piper Founder and CEO Richard Hendricks, PiperChat is now its own company with Dinesh Chugtai as CEO.