Selkoe’s Karmaloop seeks bankruptcy protection

Greg Selkoe, the Boston Internet entrepreneur who has tried to make the city more appealing to young professionals, is facing a financial crisis.

Selkoe’s online streetwear company, Karmaloop Inc., filed for bankruptcy protection on Monday, reporting assets of $10 million to $50 million and liabilities of $100 million to $500 million. Selkoe will now try to negotiate a deal with creditors to shed some of that debt or find an investor willing to pump money into the firm. Karmaloop owes Insight Venture Partners of New York $8 million and Google more than $1 million.

“We tried to do too many things,” said Selkoe, who founded the company in 2000 in the basement of his parents’ Jamaica Plain home. “We launched too many different sites in too short of a period of time.”

Selkoe is a rarity in Boston, a tech entrepreneur who also has a keen interest in civic life. Before starting his company, he worked three years as an urban planner at the Boston Redevelopment Authority. He founded the Boston Future Alliance in a bid to build support for efforts to make the city more attractive to young professionals. One of the group’s initiatives was a push for late-night service on the T.

Selkoe is characterizing the Karmaloop bankruptcy filing as little more than a speed bump on the company’s path back to success, but he has tried to minimize the company’s financial problems before. The New York Post reported on Monday that Karmaloop was scrambling to avoid a bankruptcy filing.

A company press release issued after the filing said Karmaloop is looking for investors and/or buyers. Selko said rapper Kanye West and hip-hop entrepreneur Dame Dash have expressed interest in buying a majority stake in the company and keeping him on as CEO.

–BRUCE MOHL

 

OLYMPICS

In a speech this morning to Boston business leaders, chief Olympics promoter John Fish said organizers want to hold a binding statewide referendum on hosting the Games in 2016, with Boston voters having veto power over the issue.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is going into campaign mode, rallying his political organization to mobilize on behalf of the Olympic bid.

State leaders are moving ahead with plans to hire an outside consultant to prepare a report on the financial impact hosting the Olympics would have.

MARATHON BOMBING TRIAL 

Prosecutors presented evidence they say shows the influence Al Qaeda had on admitted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

BEACON HILL

Attorney General Maura Healey calls it child abuse when a mother addicted to drugs gives birth to a child, State House News reports.

David Bernstein looks at the odd couple now helming the Legislature’s two branches, House Speaker Robert DeLeo, who seems to be tightening his grip on power, and Senate President Stan Rosenberg, who is “practically giving it away in the halls.”

DeLeo throws his support behind Gov. Charlie Baker’s proposed early retirement incentive plan.

Joan Vennochi says Baker needs to put his money where his mouth is when it comes to the troubled Department of Children and Families.

The state has not put in place regulations following passage of a law last summer that requires a  public comment period before a nursing home in closed.

Charles Chieppo calls plans to expand the state convention center “absurd” and a “case-study in special interest politics.”

MUNICIPAL MATTERS 

The city of Lawrence and Northern Essex Community College outline a proposal to build a $72 million public safety complex that would house the city’s police department and training facilities for the State Police, the Eagle-Tribune reports.

An unpaid New Bedford city councilor, who is also a culinary arts teacher at the Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical School, says he will not run for reelection if he can’t change an ethics law barring municipal employees from collecting two paychecks.

F.W. Webb, a plumbing, heating, and industrial supplies distributors, offers the city of Salem $990,000 for an empty lot where it wants to build a new showroom, the Salem News reports,

OLYMPICS

Gov. Charlie Baker and Attorney General Maura Healey say they would support a statewide referendum on hosting the Olympics, State House News reports.

Greater Boston has City Councilor Josh Zakim and United Independent Party founder Evan Falchuk on to discuss their respective pushes for Boston and statewide ballot questions on the Olympics bid.

WASHINGTON/NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL

President Obama is recruiting high-profile Democrats, including former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick, to build support for trade agreements with Asian countries. Many liberals, including US Sen. Elizabeth Warren, are skeptical of the pacts, the Associated Press reports.

No help from on high: The Globe’s Matt Viser reports that George W. Bush was stingy with disaster aid for Florida while his brother Jeb was governor there.

President Obama’s niece received a death threat; she is a freshman basketball player at Princeton.

ELECTIONS

Writing for the Jesuit weekly America, Robert David Sullivan makes the case for why Hillary Clinton is all but a shoo-in for the Democratic nomination (editorial page pining for Elizabeth Warren notwithstanding) and why Jeb Bush is only slightly less of a shoo-in to be the Republican’s man in 2016. CommonWealth’s Shawn Zeller made the same case for Clinton in the winter issue.

Keller@Large, the anti-Globe, says don’t run, Liz, don’t run.

EDUCATION

Salem State University scores Tom Brady for its speaker series, the Salem News reports.

HEALTH CARE

Writing in CommonWealth on the fifth anniversary of Obamacare, Harvard School of Public Health professor John McDonough takes stock of its limitations and big achievements.

With signs of early promise from a drug to slow the effects of Alzheimer’s disease, an investment manager who oversees Fidelity’s biotech portfolio tells the Globe’s Steven Syre that development of such treatments will be the “one of the biggest health challenges in the world for the next couple of decades.” And biggest potential pharmaceutical company jackpots.

More Massachusetts sheriffs are administering shots of a drug designed to block the euphoric effect of opioids to inmates being released.

TRANSPORTATION

Randal O’Toole, a senior fellow at the conservative Cato Institute, argues in U.S. News & World Report that the country’s infrastructure is not really in bad shape and user fees should be the funding source for repairs and maintenance instead of raising the gas tax.

ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT

A petition from dozens of scientists and environmental groups urges museums of science and natural history to cut ties with benefactors such as the Koch brothers and fossil fuel companies who deny the evidence of climate change.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE 

A WBUR-MassINC Polling Group poll indicates 62 percent of Boston residents believe Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole if he is convicted in the Marathon bombings.

The Supreme Judicial Court has ruled that juveniles convicted of murder have the right to public counsel when seeking parole.

The state’s congressional delegation is split over the prospect of cameras in federal courts.

MEDIA

Facebook is quietly nearing agreement with a handful of major media companies,including the New York Times, to host news content on the social media site rather than making users click links.