Tag Archives: IPO

I love this video

I’ve always gotten a kick out of it, especially given the hype in the social media market until the Facebook IPO flamed out. Now, it’s great for nostalgia.

I have to admit – sometimes, I really do miss running Inside IPO (which is no more …). Also, I’m guilty of “I have an amazing team” – specifically the folks at my last gig.

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How Facebook Screwed It up for Spectators

The social media market used to be fun to watch. A palpable excitement pervaded it, as rapid growth turned the likes of Facebook, Twitter and many others into household names. Enormous venture capital deals were cut – not that the recipients need the money. It looks like many were taking periodic cash-outs instead of having to wait for the big day.

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What’s Cooler Than a Million Dollars?

Facebook employees are about to find out what turned their boss on about a billion dollars. The company is looking to unload around $1 billion in employee-owned stock, as the worker bees who have sacrificed cash for years look for a bit of upside. And, Facebook is doing it in style.

The social media company is looking to help its devoted employees cash out of some shares at a valuation of $60 billion … that’s “cool” 60 times over. It’s also a 20 percent jump over the company’s previous valuation of $50 billion.

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Facebook Worth $25 Billion? Really?

Chart via TechCrunch

Private company valuations on SecondMarket (and other similar “exchanges”) make for great blog fodder, but I’m not sure I buy into the hype. The latest result for Facebook is a $25 billion valuation … for a company that celebrated being cash flow positive a year ago and has yet to turn a profit.

Queue the sock puppets and launch a black rocket. It’s 1999 all over again.

Let’s compare it to the actual values of public companies like AOL ($2.3 billion) and Yahoo! ($21 billion), as reported by TechCrunch today. Facebook at $25 billion without any real liquidity? I’m having trouble stomaching that one. Of course, I’m something of a skeptic, so take my opinions with a grain of salt.

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IPO Watch: TeleNav

TeleNav filed with the SEC Friday to go public. The Silicon Valley-based company hopes to raise up to $75 million in its IPO. The company’s largest venture capital backer is Menlo Ventures, which must have high hopes for the transaction. The IPO is being managed by JP Morgan and Deutsche Bank Securities. No date has been announced.

TeleNav has more than 11 million paying users (as of the end of September) and provides its services through Sprint Nextel and AT&T.

[Via Reuters]

Facebook at Century 21 Prices

If you’ve never been to a Century 21 store, you’re missing an experience. I picked up an Armani suit there on the cheap (leftover, damaged, some-damn-thing), not to mention a Ted Baker shirt for around $50. It’s where you go in Manhattan for discounts. Where do you go in Silicon Valley? Apparently, Facebook.

As I mentioned yesterday, Facebook has put together a deal to allow employees to cash out of some of their pre-IPO shares. It’s generous, and from a business perspective, it makes sense. The only problem is that it has called Facebook’s claimed (and probably bullshit) valuation into question. They are allowing employees to sell shares based on a $15 billion valuation, which is based on the last equity investment made in the company.

Today, ValleyWag has reported that many Facebook employees agree with my assessment of the company’s valuation. Plenty of employees are trying to dump their holdings, several at a third of the company’s “perceived” value. Some could look at this cynically, perhaps as a lack of faith in Facebook. I get this. A year ago, we were talking about the invulnerability of MySpace, and now, the war appears to be long won.

But, I don’t think anything that jaded is at play.

Instead, I think employees want to take advantage of an opportunity to cash out, which is unsurprising when you figure that these guys probably have a shitload of compensation tied up in their equity holdings. And, I think they are being realistic about the value of the company. $15 billion is absurd; $5 billion is a thrid less absurd.

Again, I can’t shake my CMGi visions when I read this shit. It’s all coming back. At least I’ll have something to cover for a while.

Party Like It’s 1999? Maybe at Facebook, DailyCandy, LinkedIn

Just when I thought we’d all learned our lessons about “irrational exuberance,” it seems that Facebook is allowing an early stock deal for employees. For all those die-hards who took crazy option and stock grant deals in lieu of cash, Santa’s coming in September. In a one-time deal, employees will be able to sell some of their shares in the privately held company. Some employees will also be able to buy stock in this transaction. Pretty interesting.

This brings back fond memories of the ol’ internet days, when CMGi (remember them?) mattered, and working for one of their companies mattered. Well, I worked for one (Virtual Ink) for about 10 minutes, and I now reside in a space with less than 700 sqft. Maybe Facebook isn’t heading the way of my old gig, but I always get suspicious when I see these sorts of transactions.

But, the Facebook deal may make some sense. In fact, it can help the employees make some money now instead of holding out hope for an IPO or acquisition. They can take this opportunity to recapture some of the cash they sacrificed by taking equity, and they can diversify their portfolios. That’s reasonable. Also, there’s a cool employee retention angle here. Cash in pockets keeps employees from looking for higher-paying jobs.

The guys at LinkedIn– the social networking site for grown-up people– are getting in on this action, too. ValleyWag reported today that employees could sell up to 20 percent of their vested shares … based on an astronomical company valuation of $500 million! Of course, this compares to 2008 revenues (projected) of $100 million, making this deal crazier than Penthouse’s acquisition of Various, Inc.

If you want to see some real insanity, check out Comcast’s acquisition of DailyCandy. Comcast wanted to spend $75 million, but some how dropped $125 million on a fucking e-mail newsletter company. It’s absolutely absurd. More proof that I shouldn’t have majored in philosophy …