Tag Archives: facebook

2014 Was an M&A Bonanza for the Ad Tech World

Consolidation has long been predicted in the advertising technology market, and based on the M&A activity of 2014, the deal-making appears to be well under way.

In January, Facebook snapped up video ad firm LiveRail for an estimated $400 million. Yahoo spent more than $200 million on mobile ad firm Flurry in July and then agreed to acquire video ad network BrightRoll for $640 million.

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Silicon Valley Nerds Seek Revenge on NSA Spies With Coding

According to Bloomberg,

Silicon Valley Nerds Seek Revenge on NSA Spies With Super Coding (Bloomberg)

Silicon Valley Nerds Seek Revenge on NSA Spies With Super Coding (Bloomberg)

Google Inc., Facebook Inc. and Yahoo! Inc. are fighting back against the National Security Agency by using harder-to-crack code to shield their networks and online customer data from unauthorized U.S. spying.

The companies, burned by disclosures they’ve cooperated with U.S. surveillance programs, are protecting user e-mail and social-media posts with strengthened encryption that the U.S. government says won’t be easily broken until 2030.

While the NSA may find ways around the barriers, the companies say they have to assure users their online connections are secure and data can’t be grabbed when transmitted over fiber-optic networks or digitally stored.

Microsoft Corp. is convinced it must “invest in protecting customers’ information from a wide range of threats, which if the allegations are true, include governments,” Matt Thomlinson, general manager of trustworthy computing, said in an e-mail. He didn’t provide details.

Internet companies including Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Microsoft and Apple Inc. are trying to distance themselves from news reports that they gave the agency data on electronic communications of Americans and foreigners or have lax security.

While the companies are trying to prevent the NSA from gaining unauthorized access to their data, they say they comply with legal court orders compelling them to provide the government information.

The NSA has tapped fiber-optic cables abroad in order to siphon off data from Google and Yahoo, circumvented or cracked encryption, and covertly introduced weaknesses and back doors into coding, according to reports in the Washington Post, the New York Times and the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper based on documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

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Twitter’s IPO May Value It at $11.1 Billion

Source: Bloomberg News

Source: Bloomberg News

According to The Wall Street Journal, Twitter Inc. on Thursday said it would price its shares at $17 to $20 in an initial public offering, valuing the messaging service at up to $11.1 billion, a number seen as conservative even for a company facing widening losses.

The proposed market value would makeTwitter worth nearly twice as much asGroupon Inc., GRPN +3.11% the daily deals company, but less than one-tenth of social-networking rival Facebook Inc.

As proposed, Twitter’s IPO could raise as much as $1.6 billion for the company, whose service has grown to more than 230 million monthly active users since the first “tweet” was sent in 2006.

Analysts said the company might yet raise the target price. If the offering is well received, it could signal that investors are willing to wager on a big future for social-media companies even in the absence of profits, which Twitter doesn’t have. The deal comes amid the best year for U.S.-listed IPOs since 2007 based on number of deals.

With a price range established, Twitter can now begin to pitch investors who would have access to the starting IPO price. The company is expected to settle on a final price on Nov. 6, according to a marketing document reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. Twitter shares would then begin trading the next day on the New York Stock Exchange NYX -0.12% under the symbol TWTR.

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BOOK REVIEW: Trading firms would do well to heed lessons in testing and crisis management from Knightmare on Wall Street

Trading firms would do well to heed lessons in testing and crisis management

Trading firms would do well to heed lessons in testing and crisis management

What a book! Who knew that a trading error at a Jersey City firm could end up being so interesting? One year ago, the mother of all electronic trading debacles scared Wall Street, when sophisticated trading outfit Knight Capital erroneously launched thousands of orders that led it to accumulate an impossible $7 billion position.

After catastrophic incidents like the Flash Crash, the failed Facebook IPO led by Nasdaq OMX, and BATS, the IPO that just couldn’t get off the ground despite all the brainpower behind, this time was supposed to be different. Yet, as author Edgar Perez details, hubris and failed crisis management procedures made this incident particularly painful to shareholders and employees, who didn’t know if the company could survive.

It is interesting to read about the true reasons for top executives not to take decisive action when their CEOs are not present. It was less and less about investors and shareholders, and more about fear, egos, fees and prestige. Nasdaq? Knight? Next?

If the reader is not intensely interested in financial markets, he or she will likely not make it through this book. If the reader skips CNBC or FOX Business Network or Bloomberg TV when flipping through the channels, then this book probably isn’t for him or her. It would be very interesting, but the reader probably won’t make it to the juicy chapters.

Perez makes a compelling case about the need for trading firms to rethink their technology management. Does anyone on Wall Street will ever really learn anything from this debacle? While all eyes are focused on SEC’s new regulations that force companies to show the impossible, the next trading debacle is probably lurking around, ready to storm Wall Street at a time when nobody will expect it.

The book goes into great detail when it analyses the backstories of the main characters involved in the company starting with founders Ken Pasternak and Walter Raquet, CEO Tom Joyce (known as T.J. since his Harvard days) and vulture bidders Daniel Coleman from GETCO and Vincent Viola from Virtu. While other books lose many people early, Perez whets readers’ appetites early by hitting the ground running in chapter one focusing on the chaos that ensued Knight’s infamous trades at the opening.

Perez does a tremendous job in making the histories of all of the people and companies involved as easy to digest as possible; peg orders are arguably not an easy concept to explain. Again – excellent book, but readers have to invest some time slogging through the first 25% of the book to get back to the action. As soon as Joyce comes back to the office after surgery and realizes the extent of the challenges ahead, all hell breaks loose and things start to get very exciting again.

How to Raise Venture Capital Money (Without Losing your Soul) at VC Happy Hour

How to Raise Venture Capital Money (Without Losing your Soul) at VC Happy Hour

R. Adam Smith, Chief Executive Officer, Circle Peak Capital

The venture capital ecosystem is a hall of secrets. The rise of the venture capital blogger, notably Union Square Venture’s Fred Wilson, entrepreneur-turned-VC Mark Suster and Foundry Group’s Brad Feld, is a welcome first step in providing budding entrepreneurs a view into the venture world. But they are the exception to the rule. For the most part, VCs prefer to keep their entrepreneurs in the dark about how the process really works for one simple reason: it benefits them greatly.

To speak about this topic, R. Adam Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Circle Peak Capital, will participate of Venture Capital Happy Hour (http://www.VCHappyHour.com), on Tuesday September 4. R. Adam Smith is an experienced investor and advisor to small and middle market private companies, with approximately 20 years of experience in private equity and mergers & acquisitions at leading private investment and advisory institutions, including Caxton-Iseman Capital, Castle Harlan, Inc., Salomon Brothers and Lehman Brothers.

Prior to forming Circle Peak, Mr. Smith served in principal capacities at two leading private equity firms based in New York City, Caxton-Iseman Capital LLC and Castle Harlan, Inc., each with over $2 billion in managed equity capital. At these firms, he worked directly with senior management teams and institutional limited partners, co-investors, and lenders in the acquisition and growth of $25 million to $1 billion companies in food, beverage, restaurant, distribution, industrial, and asset management sectors.

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Facebook Analysts See Shares Staying Less Than $38 IPO Price

By Lu Wang and Kathleen Chaykowski – Jun 27, 2012

Facebook Inc. (FB) analysts including those at lead underwriter Morgan Stanley (MS) say the social-network operator is worth no more than its debut price of $38.

At least 17 securities firms began coverage of the company today, bringing the average analyst share-price estimate to $37.95, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Morgan Stanley gave Facebook the equivalent of a buy rating, as didJPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM)Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and five other firms. There were eight holds and one sell, the data show.

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Breaking News: Reuters Reports Facebook, Banks Sued Over Pre-IPO Analyst Calls

(Reuters) – Facebook Inc and Morgan Stanley, the lead underwriter of social networking company’s IPO, were sued by shareholders who claimed the defendants hid Facebook’s weakened growth forecasts ahead of its $16 billion initial public offering.

Reuters/Thomas Hodel

The lawsuit, which also targeted underwriters JPMorgan Chase and Goldman Sachs among others, comes as Facebook and the banks that took it public face many questions about the IPO process, which culminated in a May 18 stock market debut plagued by technical glitches.

Facebook shares fell 18.4 percent from their $38 IPO price in the first three trading days. In early afternoon trade on Wednesday, Facebook shares were up 2.5 percent at $31.78.

To read the full article from Reuters please click here.