Bloomberg Beta to Focus on Startups

New fund's launch raises ethics questions

Bloomberg L.P., the parent company of Bloomberg News, has launched a $75 million venture capital fund on Wednesday. The fund, VentureBeat reports, is called Bloomberg Beta and will focus on startups that produce insights from data and make the experience of work better.

Bloomberg Beta has already invested in nine fledgling companies like Codecademy, a website that produces coding tutorials and Newsle, a social media news tool launched by two Harvard sophomores.

The fund will be led by Roy Bahat, chairman of videogame startup Ouya and the former head of News Corp's IGN Entertainment. He will partner with Karin Klein, ex-head of new initiatives at Bloomberg and James Cham, formerly of Trinity Ventures.

In response the Bloomberg Beta's launch, The New York Times raised the question of journalism ethics.

"This puts Bloomberg News's credibility at issue," Edward Wasserman, dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkley, told the paper. "Reporters will not only be held to standards of accuracy and the like, but scrutinized for evidence of self-dealing and self-interest, which can be toxic to a news organization."

A Bloomberg News official told the Times that they will adhere to the existing rules on conflicts of interest, which prevent self-promotion. Bloomberg's news arm is already under some legal heat and public scrutiny for monitoring the financial terminals Bloomberg owns.

Publish date: June 5, 2013 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT