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Marriage blues among market's most dangerous

Sunday, 1 Sep 2013 | 1:00 PM ET
Sergey Brin  and Anne Wojcicki in Sun Valley, Idaho, last year.
Getty Images
Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki in Sun Valley, Idaho, last year.

News on the CNBC Disruptor 50 companies upending the status quo in the markets:

Start-ups shutdown marriages

It's been a week of romantic turmoil for some of the market's most high-profile start-ups. From headlines about their valuations on Page One of the business section, cutting-edge businesses have come made it onto the gossip pages.

23andMe co-founder Anne Wojcicki has split with her husband. The husband: Google co-founder Sergey Brin. The Silicon Valley power couple have "been living apart for several months. They remain good friends and partners," a spokesman said this week, after AllThingsD reported the breakup.

The two have been married for six years and have two kids. According to the AllThingsD report, Brin has become romantically involved with a Google employee, who had also been involved with another Googler at one point.

Meanwhile, Jennifer Hyman, CEO of the fashion retail site Rent the Runway, suddenly called off her big wedding.

Hyman was set to marry former Starwood Hotel executive Peter Mack in a lavish ceremony on Aug. 31 at a horse ranch in Aspen, Colo., which The New York Post reported was expected to have a tab of almost $1 million.

Twitter TV

In its ongoing effort to prove its relevance to television, Twitter acquired Trendrr, a start-up that analyzes the real-time conversation on Twitter, Facebook and other social media for television channels seeking a read on audience engagement and reaction.

In February, Twitter acquired Bluefin Labs, its first purchase in the TV social media analysis category. The company has since ramped up its Amplify program, which works with advertisers and TV channels to create parallels between on-air commercials during programs and Twitter ads.

Twitter is also gearing up for the launch of its online ratings service in conjunction with Nielsen for the fall television season.

(Read more: Can Twitter explain Sharknado TV appeal?)

Palantir takes on SEC

Big data company Palantir Technologies has its friends in Washington D.C. (the CIA namely,) with whom it helps track the country's enemies. But it turns out Palantir is viewing one entity within the federal government as an enemy in its midst: the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Joe Lonsdale, co-founder of Palantir Technologies, filed a letter with the SEC this week opposing the government's proposed new crowd-funding rules.

General partner at San Francisco-based venture firm Formation 8, he wrote that he knows firsthand the problems that would be caused if the SEC's proposed changes in start-up funding solicitation rules are adopted.

"Given this background, I fundamentally disagree with the proposed changes to Regulation D. These changes place unrealistic pre-filing requirements on early stage companies, a policy which shows a total lack of understanding on how young companies operate," Lonsdale wrote in his SEC comment letter.

(Read more: Big Data's cure for the Edward Snowden era)

Shadow Banking: Peer-to-peer lending increasing
Renaud Laplanche, CEO of Lending Club, discusses the growing trend among some consumers to bypass banks and borrow money directly from individuals.

Microsoft picks a fight over Foursquare

Microsoft and American Express are locked in a battle for an equity stake in Foursquare, according to a report this week. While the two companies are not said to be considering a joint investment, there is no guarantee a deal will be done with either, or that, in the end, Foursquare will follow through on an investment with any larger company at this time, according to the report.

Audax raises another $20 million

Audax Health has raised $20 million in Series B funding, led by new investor Navigy Holdings, a subsidiary of Florida's largest health insurer. Another investor taking part in the fundraising round was Dan Rose, vice president of partnerships at Facebook. The health IT start-up plans to put the cash toward product development, expansions of Audax Health's mobile and engineering teams in Washington and San Francisco, and strategic partnerships with the nation's leading health-care insurers and providers.

(Read more: Health care needs a dose of social)

In news of interest to the CNBC Disruptor 50 companies:

The serial killer-sharing economy link

Thinking of using Airbnb instead of a hotel? Afraid you might end up being hosted by Norman Bates? You are alone. In fact, a professor of crime claims that the rise of the sharing economy and companies like Airbnb can be correlated to less concern about serial killers in our society.

A 2011 study, "Extreme Killing: Understanding Serial and Mass Murder," found that the number of serial killers in the United States began rising in the 1960s, peaked in the 1980s and has been falling ever since.

"There is definitely an intriguing connection between the decline of serial killers and the rise of this sharing culture. These start-ups reflect how much our anxieties have eased," Harold Schecter, a professor at Queens College, said in an article posted by The Verge.

Hugs for everybody!

World-famous performance artist Marina Abramovic has completed a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for a long-duration performance art center. She hoped to raise $600,000 and ended up bringing in $661,454 from 4,765 contributors.

Abramovic has promised to hug every person who has contributed.

Her works include walking the Great Wall of China from one end while her boyfriend (whom she was in the process of breaking up with) walked from the other end, so they could meet in the middle and say goodbye; laying naked on the floor of an art gallery surrounded by tools and letting any visitor do whatever they wanted to her; and, most recently, a career retrospective in New York during which Ambramovic invited visitors of the show to meet her personally, without speaking one word.

—By Eric Rosenbaum, CNBC.com

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