As each day in the month of May goes by, we move closer to what will surely be a historical day not only in the day of public trading, but also in the technology community. This week, it’s being said that the long-awaited Facebook IPO is set to go forward–or you could subscribe to the other side of the coin that says it’s going to be delayed. All the players are moving into position in what many say could help the social network raise close to $100 billion in capital. The asking price is rumored to be between $28-35 and Bloomberg is reporting that Facebook will stop taking orders tomorrow for the IPO–two days ahead of schedule. It’s being said that the potential investment could have Facebook have a market value that would surpass that of UPS as the “most valuable company in history to go public in the United States” (based on market capitalization). Not bad for a site that is mainly geared at helping folks communicate with each other.
All in all, one of the missing pieces has just come into play–since their IPO announcement months ago, Facebook has been waiting on approval from the NASDAQ stock exchange in order to be listed for their IPO. Today, Facebook filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) documentation which stated that their stock has been registered and approved for listing with the NASDAQ. So sometime this week, the world’s largest social network will begin trading under the ticker symbol “FB” (how fitting).
CNN Money reports that Facebook is on track to begin trading publicly starting on Friday, May 18 and in what may seem to be more of a common occurrence, Facebook founder & CEO, Mark Zuckerberg will not be in New York City to ring the opening bell, instead opting to remain at Facebook’s Menlo Park headquarters to do the honors. There is precedent to doing this, as Zynga pulled the same stunt in December by ringing the bell from their San Francisco headquarters. Perhaps Mr. Zuckerberg doesn’t want to get that famous photo opening the market or travel to New York? Or maybe he just cares too much about Facebook and wants to continue focusing on building out the social network’s mobile strategy (because obviously they’re scared of the mobile space). It could also just backfire on the company since there are some investors who have come to question Mr. Zuckerberg’s demeanor throughout the investor road show. Regardless, one thing is for sure, whether it’s this week or next week or however long, Facebook is sure to go public and the employees will soon realize their dream fulfilled, and find themselves a lot richer too.
There are a lot of different mashups of technology and startups over the past few months and years and it’s definitely the year of the API. It all starts off with an idea and then by leveraging the API of that startup, others can build their own vision of a product. It usually happens with one of the more popular startups and today, one of them happens to be Instagram. Naturally, startups are going to try and “ride their coattails” (in a good way) to find ways to improve the service or come up with a great product. Launching this week, Scan-to-gram just happens to be one of them.
Started from nothing more than a mashup of ideas during a Scan company hackathon event, Scan-to-gram is the outcome of Scan team members mashing up their popular QR code generator and Instagram in order to create a fun new way for companies and others to have a web presence and increase their following on the photo-sharing social network. Not a bad idea from the company that produced one of the top downloaded QR code scanners in the Apple marketplace. According to TechCrunch, Scan is in the business of “creating apps that extend the potential application of QR code tech…” and they’re doing a pretty interesting job of trying to make QR codes less boring and more valuable. For many people, the thought of using a QR codes probably seems a bit far-fetched–some might even speculate that they’re dead. After all, it wasn’ t as if they’re a new thing in the marketplace. The QR code was first invented in 1994 and was designed to enable tracking of vehicles during the manufacturing process. But it’s only been recently since QR codes have hit their stride, somewhat, and have become more mainstream–but there’s a long ways to go. And that’s just what Scan seems to be trying to do, but they have a long way to go.
Recent statistics show that in June 2011, there were 14 million US smartphones that scanned a QR code, but when you compare it to the entire US smartphone population (82.2 million), it’s not that impressive. But now when you look at all the emerging startups making names for themselves and getting acquired, they’re all mobile-based and rely solely on the smartphone. Take Instagram, Path, Highlight, Foursquare, Flipboard, Evernote, etc. for example–these are all mobile-based startups that people with smartphones are rapidly downloading. The camera on the smartphones have become even better too. So the environment is there eagerly awaiting for a really great startup to put it all together. Scan just managed to find the right deal–make it easy for people to find their friends and great photographers on the number one photo-sharing app. That’s what you get with Scan-to-gram.
Who says that Silicon Valley doesn’t give back? In a huge act of generosity by one of the leading venture capital firms in the San Francisco Bay Area and most likely the technology industry, powerhouse Andreessen Horowitz announced earlier this week that the six General Partners are all committing to donate at least half of the income from their respective venture capital careers to philanthropic causes. While you might be thinking that this is just something cool and nice of VCs to do, think about how much this can represent to any number of non-profit organizations who
would will benefit from this enormous act of kindness. For those who do know venture capitalists, the amount of money that just the partners could stand to get as a result of any number of acquisitions or exits from their portfolio companies can be enormous–more so now simply because in this situation, it’s the firm of Andreessen Horowitz.
As CNN Money reports, here’s how this “bold philanthropic pledge” will work:
Each of Andreessen Horowitz’s six general partners — Marc Andreessen, Ben Horowitz, Jeff Jordan, Peter Levine, Jon O’Farrell and Scott Weiss — will donate at least half of all management fee and carried interest income they earn for the rest of their venture capital careers. It is up to each individual partner to determine where the money goes.
We all know by now that Facebook is pretty huge and will be getting even bigger in the near future. And we also know how rich the company is (as evident by their $1 billion acquisition of Instagram). But now, another piece of their financial puzzle has been revealed that shows that in the immediate future, both the world’s largest social network and its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, is set to become even richer! Yes, that’s right, D-day has arrived…multiple sources have told TechCrunch’s co-editor Alexia Tsotsis that Facebook is set to go for their IPO on May 17 (in about a month!).
But don’t start trying to find all that loose change in your sofa in an attempt at going after a piece of the IPO–the May 17 date is apparently still in flux and depends on whether the SEC filing holds muster and gets approved. But the signs seemed to be there. Ms. Tsotsis reported that there was news that Facebook would be making its debut on the NASDAQ stock exchange in the third week of May and cited another source telling CNBC that the public date was going to be either May 17 or 24.
Perhaps one of the hottest companies to go public in 2012, or maybe even in this decade, Facebook is rumored to be gunning for a $100 billion valuation and people are reporting they wish to raise $10 billion in capital. With the historic Instagram purchase by Facebook, it will be interesting to see how their stock price skyrockets. One can only speculate that once Facebook goes public, those lucky enough to get in on the IPO will certainly buy the stock (because you can’t exactly sell stocks you don’t have) and hold onto it until the next day and then sell it soon after and make out on millions of dollars. Sure, that’s all a guess, but you can’t tell me that it’s never happened. Or, perhaps the stock price difference could be a sign of the investors thoughts at the Instagram acquisition–were investors happy with the $1 billion buy or would they withhold simply because they wanted to voice their displeasure? It’s probably highly improbable to think that investors would withhold money from an IPO just because they weren’t happy with the deal…I mean, who would pass up on money?
We will wait and see whether this May 17 date is true or not. If it is, within a month, we’ll most likely see some very brand new and happy millionaires coming out of Menlo Park. Oh to be at Facebook headquarters when Mark Zuckerberg and his team ring the bell to open morning trading. I’m sure there’s going to be lots of “likes”.
Image Credit: “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?” via Zap2It.com
Okay, someone must have made the joke.
Announced today, private social network, Path, revealed that it has raised $40 million in funds in their series B round, that includes great investors like Greylock Partners, Redpoint Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Index Ventures, and other notable individuals like Zynga’s Mark Pincus, Yuri Milner, Jerry Murdock, and Sir Richard Branson. All Things D reported the funding report last night and stated that the $40 million round was led by Redpoint Ventures. This investment by some of the Valley’s most noted and prestigious firms is a clear indication that there’s definitely a great deal of interest in watching Path succeed. In a statement, Path CEO, Dave Morin, referenced that the investors’ commitment to building Path was “for the long term”.
When asked what the $40 million would be used for, Mr. Morin stated that it would be used to help fund “international growth and expansion as well as user adoption.” As it appears, Path is looking to quickly grow its existing offerings while also funding ways to get more users. At last count, it seemed that the service had over 300,000 users on a network where the pride and joy rested on the fact that a user could only have 150 friends and thus make their social media experience more intimate. So it would seem that after their relaunch, Path has finally found the momentum it needs to be a success.