Google Shuts Down Google+ After Breach; LinkedIn Acquires Glint; Microsoft Invests In Grab

The Water Coolest

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In what will undoubtedly go down as Alphabet’s “Fire Phone,” Google+ was finally taken out back and given the Old Yeller treatment after reports of a data breach which exposed the information of some 500k users.

A bug in Google’s developer platform left user’s names, email addresses, occupations, genders, and ages vulnerable. The data was readily available from 2015 through early-2018, but Google claims that the data was never improperly accessed or abused. Being outed as a Google+ user may be the only thing more damning than being named in the Ashley Madison leak.

Leadership took a no harm-no foul approach to the breach, keeping the leak on the DL since it didn’t warrant any intervention. Whether hackers accessed user info or not, this could be a black eye for Google in the post-Cambridge Analytica era. Shares of Alphabet were down 1% on the news.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “Even Larry Page couldn’t believe half a million users signed up for Google+.”



linkedin glint


LinkedIn, the professional social network and hotbed for DMs from a recruiter who is “very impressed with your background,” is purchasing a survey company called Glint for a reported $400M. Glint works with companies to survey employees and provide feedback on things like corporate culture, compensation, and management effectiveness.

Microsoft owned LinkedIn, on the other hand, is looking for ways to monetize its 600M user base. It already offers technical training to help employees boost skills, but need to develop more for businesses on the platform.

With Glint comes the potential for businesses to engage their employees via LinkedIn and continue to develop programs that ultimately save time and money in the onboarding and recruiting processes. Glint’s current clients include Waymo, Dish Network, and United Airlines.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “If LinkedIn isn’t interested in pursuing any other acquisition opportunities right now they should feel free to put their local recruiter in touch with other companies who are in the market.”




Microsoft is breaking out its checkbook and investing in the Singapore-based ride-hailing app, Grab, as part of a new strategic partnership. For $200M, Grab will be switching over to use Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing service as a way to improve the functionality of its app.

Microsoft’s investment in Grab is part of the ride-sharing company’s stated fundraising goal of $3B, which it hopes to reach by the end of 2018. In addition to Mr. Softee’s check, a $500M investment from Softbank and a $2B injection from Toyota and other institutional investors bring Grab’s fundraising efforts to $6B at an $11B valuation.

This isn’t Microsoft’s first app-hailed rodeo, either. Bill Gates brainchild also invested in Uber in 2015 and partnered with India’s Ola last year. The move is part of an effort by Microsoft to partner with companies in regions where it’s hoping to do even more business.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “Does this mean that if I order a ride in Singapore, they’re going to make me listen to music on a Zune?”





  • Facebook is launching a pair of video-conferencing devicesbecause who wouldn’t want the stalwarts of data security over at Facebook to have access to a live stream of their home? The $199 Portal and the $349 Portal+ will facilitate video chat via FB apps and come pre-loaded with Amazon Alexa. This will come as a relief to hundreds of millions of smartphone and tablet owners who yearned for access to an HD camera …



  • Forerunner, an e-commerce focused VC that counts investments in Dollar Shave Club, Warby Parker and Glossier as early wins, has closed another $360M fund. An oddity in the Valley, Forerunner is led by Kirsten Green, a unicorn in her own right.


  • Former White House communications director Hope Hicks will take on a new role as the Chief Communications Officer for the new Fox (read: assets not purchased by Disney). And Starbucks has a new a new CFO, tapping Hyatt’s Patrick Grismer to replace the coffee chain’s retiring head of finance.


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