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  • Around the Web

  • Toyota’s First Venture Arm Gets $100M for AI, Robotics, Mobility Startups
    By Bernadette Tansey - Tuesday Jul 11, 2017

    Toyota Research Institute, the Toyota R&D unit that has parked branches near Stanford and two other top U.S. research universities, is now spinning out a corporate venture capital arm that will finance and incubate startups in artificial intelligence, robotics, and autonomous mobility. The research institute, also known as TRI, is devoting at least $100 million […]

    Source: Xconomy VC, Deals, & Startups Feed
  • Big Data tells mortgage traders an amazing amount about you
    By Matt Scully - Friday Jun 30, 2017

    The New York startup sucks in data from marketing firms, public loan filings, courthouses and dozens of other sources, and sells it to mortgage bond and loan traders.The vivid detail the company turns up — the types of stores borrowers tend to shop at and whether they rent out their homes on Airbnb, for example — may unsettle privacy advocates, but it’s a boon for investors trying to figure out how likely homeowners are to pay their obligations.Across the world of finance, startups are using big data to try to improve Wall Street’s success with everything from consumer lending to stock trading.The average fund manager can gain 0.4 to 0.7 percentage point of return by using more intelligent data when trading mortgages, at least for home loans that haven’t been bundled into securities, according to John Ardy, CEO of Resitrader, an institutional marketplace for home loans.“We’re concerned about how this information is shared, and how it can have adverse consequences for individuals without their even realizing it,” said Lee Tien, a senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a nonprofit focusing on civil liberties.[...] money managers using information they get from TheNumber could face accusations of discriminating against borrowers based on race or religion if it turns out the factors the company looks at tend to single out particular types of people, said Frank Pasquale, a professor at the University of Maryland’s Francis King Carey School of Law.Fund managers that use TheNumber are typically buying subprime mortgages, many of which have defaulted.TheNumber tries to determine how much pride a homeowner probably has in his or her property, based on information it gleans from third parties, such as whether the resident tends to click on online ads from home improvement and gardening stores.Experian, for example, tries to make sure investors can’t readily determine borrowers’ identities when it hands out mortgage data, said Michele Raneri, a vice president of analytics and new business development at Experian.Added information about borrowers could boost transparency in the mortgage bond market, where getting information about creditworthiness and prices can be much harder than in other debt markets.“Investors in every other market get to see what they are buying — but not mortgage bond investors,” said Adam Murphy, founder of Empirasign Strategies LLC, a trading data firm for mortgage bond professionals.

    Source: Business and Technology News
  • High-Net-Worth Michiganders: Time to “Get Off the Dime,” Brophy Says
    By Sarah Schmid Stevenson - Friday Jun 9, 2017

    When the Michigan Venture Capital Association (MVCA) unveiled the findings in its 2017 annual report at a public event in April, there was a lot to celebrate: a 48 percent increase in venture-backed startups over the past five years; every dollar invested by a Michigan firm attracting $4.61 in out-of-state capital; and a total of […]

    Source: Xconomy VC, Deals, & Startups Feed
  • Pioneering Napa Valley matriarch Margrit Mondavi dies at 91
    By Esther Mobley - Friday Sep 2, 2016

    Margrit Mondavi, the matriarch of the iconic Robert Mondavi Winery and a stalwart patron of the arts in Northern California, died on Friday.If her husband, Robert Mondavi, who died in 2008, deserves credit for revolutionizing Napa’s wine industry, Ms. Mondavi deserves just as much for transforming the valley into a paradise of cultural sophistication.Under her direction, Robert Mondavi Winery became something of an artistic hub in the valley, its Summer Music Festival drawing the likes of Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles and Tony Bennett and its Great Chefs Cooking School hosting Alice Waters, Daniel Boulud and — most notably — the Mondavis’ lifelong friend Julia Child, who co-founded with Robert the American Institute for Wine and Food.Other philanthropic efforts included patronage of the Napa art institution the Oxbow School; launching the now-defunct art and wine museum Copia; and, thanks to a $35 million gift in 2001, endowing a performing arts center and a wine and food science center at UC Davis.During World War II, she met U.S. Army Capt. Philip Biever, who was stationed near the finishing school where she was studying art, at Lake Geneva.[...] Robert Mondavi was married to Marjorie Declusin, his childhood sweetheart and the mother of their three children, Michael, Marcia and Tim.An accomplished artist and passionate gourmet, Ms. Mondavi wrote books including Annie and Margrit:Recipes and Stories From the Robert Mondavi Kitchen, with her daughter Annie Roberts, published in 2003.In lieu of flowers, the Mondavi family asks that donations be sent to the Oxbow School, 530 Third St., Napa, CA 94559 or the American Cancer Society, 860 Napa Valley Corporate Way, Suite E, Napa, CA 94558.

    Source: Wine
  • With new ecosystems, is the future bright for banking?
    By Ronald van Loon - Sunday Apr 2, 2017

    Next year is likely to be a game-changing year for the banking and finance sector. As the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Revised Payment Service Directive (PSD2) are implemented across the European Union, the exclusive control of banks and other financial institutions on financial data of their customers is about to end.These new regulations will open the door to almost any company interested in claiming a share, particularly the tech giants, such as Amazon, Facebook, Google.While this may look like a challenge to many, we, as journey science experts, view this as an...Read More

    Source: ReadWriteWeb
  • Charles King’s MACRO Raises Additional $150 Million for Film, TV Projects
    By Beatrice Verhoeven, provided by
    - Tuesday Oct 3, 2017

    Charles King’s multi-platform media company, MACRO, has raised an additional $150 million in equity and debt financing to produce and finance four to six film and TV projects annually, MACRO announced Tuesday.MACRO, founded in 2015 by the former William Morris Endeavor (WME) partner, closed its initial funding that year for an undisclosed eight-figure round.Equity includes financing from Emerson Collective, Ford Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Libra Foundation. MACRO’s existing investors, apart from Emerson, include Shanghai/Hong Kong based MNM Creative, MediaLink, Raymond J. McGuire of Citigroup, Anre D. Williams of American Express and other investors from Wall Street, Silicon Valley and the corporate world.

    Source: Daily Dish