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A VC’s Amazon Review, and a Quirky Approach to Disclosure; Is it ethical for a venture capital investor to praise a product put out by a company he’s invested in without disclosing his financial interest?

Jul 9, 2014

A VC’s Amazon Review, and a Quirky Approach to Disclosure

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TOM GARA

Is it ethical for a venture capital investor to praise a product put out by a company he’s invested in without disclosing his financial interest?

James D. Robinson IV, a founder of RRE Ventures in New York City,  which is currently investing from a $280 million fund raised this year, did just that. RRE  is an investor in Quirky Inc., Palantir Technologies Inc. and OnDeck Capital Inc.

In a review on Amazon.com AMZN +1.90%, Robinson praised Aros, an air conditioner introduced in May by Quirky Inc. and General Electric GE -0.19%rating it a high five out of five stars.

“Beautiful, functional, smart,” he wrote. “As for cooling, seems to do a great job, and unlike some, it just doesn’t seem any louder to me.”  The loudness remark was a response to some critics who had cited the “noise” in their own Amazon reviews.

http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2014/07/09/an-amazon-review-and-a-quirky-approach-to-disclosure/

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About bambooinnovator
KB Kee is the Managing Editor of the Moat Report Asia (www.moatreport.com), a research service focused exclusively on highlighting undervalued wide-moat businesses in Asia; subscribers from North America, Europe, the Oceania and Asia include professional value investors with over $20 billion in asset under management in equities, some of the world’s biggest secretive global hedge fund giants, and savvy private individual investors who are lifelong learners in the art of value investing. KB has been rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as an analyst in Asian capital markets. He was head of research and fund manager at a Singapore-based value investment firm. As a member of the investment committee, he helped the firm’s Asia-focused equity funds significantly outperform the benchmark index. He was previously the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. KB has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy, value investing, macroeconomic and industry trends, and detecting accounting frauds in Singapore, HK and China. KB was a faculty (accounting) at SMU teaching accounting courses. KB is currently the Chief Investment Officer at an ASX-listed investment holdings company since September 2015, helping to manage the listed Asian equities investments in the Hidden Champions Fund. Disclaimer: This article is for discussion purposes only and does not constitute an offer, recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell any investments, securities, futures or options. All articles in the website reflect the personal opinions of the writer.

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