Editor and Journalist with PandoDaily
@Rick_Mason That was a conscious omission, although I'll concede that it could be argued either way. Microsoft has never shown much interest in payments or commerce and the price tag at which this deal would have to happen seems to imply the acquire would need to be pretty motivated. It also doesn't seem to fit in with the direction Nadella seems to be taking the company. That said, I'm happy to hear the contrarian case.
2 weeks, 2 days ago on Sure Stripe has more cash, but does it have a path to exit?
@dylanpress I don't believe Snapchat has made any acquisitions, and they're definitely one to watch. That said, they are a lot younger as a company (and smaller in terms of headcount) than Uber and many others on the list. Also, Snapchat has only been in unicorn territory in terms of valuation for about a year, and has raised much less than many of the others on the above list.
3 weeks, 2 days ago on By avoiding acquisitions, Uber has left a lot of investors on the outside looking in
@forge2123 When I wrote the below piece in June – and Hem was well underway (although not yet under a separate name) – my understanding was that the company had in the vicinity of $90 million left. Fab had obviously already spent money building the new furniture business, including on a few small acquisitions in Europe that make-up the foundation of their design and manufacturing operation.
3 weeks, 6 days ago on How once high-flying Fab’s sale for parts is both worse and not as bad as it seem
@ac132 @mcarney I completely agree that Fab has failed and both management and its investors/board blew this one badly. But the point is company didn't turn $336 into $15M. It essentially sold one asset for $15M while continuing to build another – with tens of millions in remaining cash. Had they elected to keep it all under the Fab brand, but still pursue the Hem model, then there would have been no "liquidity event." At least this way they were able to monetize the asset of Fab's traffic, which they evidently decided wasn't the same audience for Hem, or was worth less than the price they were able to get for it.
As for Hem's chances at success, I'd say the deck is stacked against them, but that's true of any startup, especially those in the ecommerce space. At least it has the benefit of starting with tens of millions in capital and a founder and team that has proven, if nothing else, it can attract massive traffic. That's actually a better formula than most upstart online brands can boast. None of which means it will work, but it's certainly not as simple as the investors only getting $15M back at the end of the day.
Lastly, we (I, Sarah, Erin Griffith) have lambasted Fab's failure and reckless spending for more than a year. That doesn't mean every word and all coverage is negative, just that we've been consistent in pointing out that its growth is unsustainable, its unit economics unattractive, and its valuation worryingly high. That doesn't mean the curated content+commerce model was not interesting, and there wasn't a possibility that the business could have evolved to be sustainable. Go back and read our prior coverage and I think you'll see more balance than you seem to remember.
@ac132 If you read the above as cheerleading then I can't help you. We've been as hard on Fab as anyone since the company's early (and highly unprofitable) days.
@PeterAustin A good portion of the rest of that fee expense goes to pay for fraud protection and other expenses that MCX/CurrentC will need to deliver at their own expense. Interchange is purely a middleman fee.
1 month, 3 weeks ago on Why WalMart’s decision to shut out fight Apple Pay will backfire (updated)
1. Largest network of CUSTOMER-FACING SCREENS. Groupon and GrubHub have not deployed tablets (or other screens) into the market.
2. As noted in the article, Belly landed 7-Eleven as a customer before the investment. The success of that pilot led to the investment. Having strategic investors is common (although often controversial) and is in no way a sign of weakness.
3. I agree that SMBs may eventually lose out as Belly's enterprise business grows. But it would hardly be the only company to move upstream from SMB to enterprise and maintain high/low strategy with a presence in both markets.
4. They have McDonald's, Domino’s, and Chick-fil-A and other large enterprises. I have no knowledge of Family Dollar or Dollar Tree, but if true that's interesting
3 months, 3 weeks ago on Loyalty leader Belly expands its footprint by rolling out to 2,600 7-Eleven locations
@haroonmeer1 Both men had the same amount of time to respond. And we made multiple attempts at contacting Graham through a variety of channels. I still hope he will weigh in, given the importance of the topic.
4 months, 2 weeks ago on Graham and Suster square off over Gaza as tech industry starts paying attention to the real world
@scobleizer I agree that this onion has many layers (to abuse a metaphor) but do you think "business reasons" is a good reason to take a side in this or any similar debate? I said above that remaining silent was no longer an issue, but I don't think that self-interested advocacy without any thought to the broader implications is any better. I would hope, for Paul's sake and those in this community who admire and respect him, that he's put more thought into these issues than what will help him make more money.
@PatrickSF Competitive differentiation? Revenue generation? For the free startup t-shirts?
4 months, 3 weeks ago on Can the Zillow-Trulia merger finally disrupt the home buying process? Brokers should be terrified to find out
@Kevrmoore The same argument could be made for the late stage private investments. Venture funds, hedge funds, and banks are investing money from pensions, endowments, etc. into these rounds.
4 months, 3 weeks ago on Sorry, Dan Primack: Going public doesn’t help the country. Building great companies does
We strive for consistency. Thanks for the note, should be corrected throughout.
6 months, 2 weeks ago on Steve Ballmer takes crazy Silicon Valley-style dealmaking to the NBA, stands to win big anyway
@DanielBroukhim Daniel, while I appreciate you weighing in, don't you think it's appropriate to disclose that you're an investor in the company?
6 months, 4 weeks ago on MeUndies co-founder sentenced to 12mo in prison for shoddy asbestos removal at family property
@pbreit Not necessarily. When sub $1B revenue companies file under the JOBS Act, they can do so quietly, which means that the public reveal of the S-1 can come much closer to the beginning of the road show, and thus the actual IPO day.
7 months, 3 weeks ago on Aaron Levie’s run of bad timing may ultimately cost Box its IPO moment
In your scenario the person would be 1.85X (or 185%) as interested in the particular topic than the average.
7 months, 3 weeks ago on Mobile showdown: Revealing the drugs of choice and other insights into the interests of iOS and Android users
@JoeDiNardo You know how rough NJ can be
7 months, 4 weeks ago on Match gets swipey, borrows from Tinder for new iOS app design
@nyeh Thanks! As for the terminology, the "market cap" of a stock, say Apple, refers to the value the market is placing on the company. People don't refer to the market cap of entire exchanges, e.g. NYSE (only its combined listed companies) or the market cap of commodities like gold (only ETFs).
8 months, 4 weeks ago on Can the bitcoin market absorb hundreds of millions in institutional capital? We’re about to find out
@prepend Try reading closer. The article says:
They eventually settled on a third-generation Portuguese factory that delivered the quality, reliability, and price point they were seeking. Better yet, the manufacturer had capacity within its 30,000 square foot facility, and another 90,000 square feet of space ready for further expansion. Jack Erwin is fond of saying, “Our men’s dress shoes were conceived in New York City and born in Portugal.”
10 months, 2 weeks ago on Jack Erwin laces up $2M to make premium mens footwear affordable and accessible
@SkinCEO Lol, yes it is.
10 months, 3 weeks ago on Enterprise favorite TigerText gets $21M to prove messaging is not just for consumers
@justinbenson The point is, for stripe to succeed in the context of this fundraising, it needs to reach $5-10B in valuation. There will likely only be one "Payments 2.0" company to reach that size. It doesn't mean Stripe (or whoever loses) will go out of business, just that they won't win. Scale begets scale in this category more than most.
10 months, 4 weeks ago on Memo to Stripe: Winning the hearts of Valley startups is not winning payments
@superacidjax To reiterate what I said in another thread above: Whether this market is "winner take all" or "winner take most" there will be a huge delta between the #1 and #2 players in the space. Authorize and FirstData are the old guard and aren't innovating or driving the industry forward anywhere to the degree that Stripe, Braintree, Square, and even PayPal are. In the Payments 2.0 race, Braintree was well ahead of Stripe and then added PayPal's heft. Seems like a good recipe to me.
@Oo Nwoye (OoTheNigerian) I'm not sure what you mean by "processing isn't a marketplace," but I would argue that there's enormous value in having scale in this space. Not only can it drive economies of scale, but it conveys credibility and reliability to potential customers.
Why do you believe that the Dropbox / AirBnB / Heroku situation will be "fixed soon?"
@superacidjax @websterderek Whether this market is "winner take all" or "winner take most" there will be a huge delta between the #1 and #2 players in the space. Authorize and FirstData are the old guard and aren't innovating or driving the industry forward anywhere to the degree that Stripe, Braintree, Square, and even PayPal are.
The point is, scale begets scale. And Stripe doesn't have the scale yet, and hasn't proven that it's developer-friendly image is enough to win the largest and most valuable clients. It's not that they can't, but that the odds are against them.
Given this set of circumstances, and considering historical valuations in the space, this deal is a bit of a Hail Mary.
@AliHamed Actually eBay bought Skype in 2005 for $2.6B, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/4237338.stm. They then sold it in 2009 for $2.75B http://techcrunch.com/2009/09/01/confirmed-ebay-sells-skype/. Despite not losing money on the deal, it's generally viewed as a complete disaster both for the time it cost Skype and the inability of eBay to derive any value from the high-priced asset. Microsoft then acquired the company in 2011 for $8.5B.
11 months, 1 week ago on While Nest and Google are popping champagne, plenty of others should be concerned
@reeds Thanks, fixed.
11 months, 1 week ago on Why the Chicago Sun Times’ bitcoin paywall experiment is more than a desperate attempt to look cool
@horatiumocian Corrected, thanks
11 months, 2 weeks ago on The $425M LegalZoom deal is a win for VCs, but less exciting for the company or LA
@JeffBuck1 The bitcoins that the FBI seized belonged mostly to Silk Road customers (they were being held in escrow). They were able to locate the private key to the wallet(s) in which they were held and have since moved them to two, separate, FBI-controlled wallets (linked above). DPR / Ulbricht allegedly has 600,000 bitcoins in one or more wallet(s) that the FBI has not been able to seize.
11 months, 2 weeks ago on With $130M of bitcoin wealth and plans to sell, the FBI could rattle the virtual currency cage
@DaleCarlson @mcarney To answer your question, Pizza Hut is not a tech company. But, Uber has more technology than you'd think. It's used for dynamically matching supply and demand. It may not be a tech company like Palantir, but it's every bit the tech company that eEay's commerce marketplace is. Do you think Yelp is a tech company? It's just a database of businesses with a comments / ratings / social layer on top.
11 months, 4 weeks ago on HouseCall, the Uber for all your home services, raises $1.5M from e.ventures
@DaleCarlson Thank you for that profound insight. HouseCall is founded by 4 engineers from Qualcomm, not handymen. Was Uber a few drivers getting an app or AirBnB a few homeowners getting an app? The name of the game is creating market efficiency and liquidity in high demand but inefficient categories. I'd say home services certainly qualifies.
@HostFat As I explained further down, Bitcarbon's estimates are based on a few assumptions, including that a miner will be reasonably willing to pay 90% of the value of a bitcoin to mine it. It is obviously not precise, but it's a reasonable assumption to use in modeling the system out at future (hypothetical) values.
1 year ago on Bitcoin has a dark side: its carbon footprint
@petergatsby You are correct. I've corrected this above, thanks.
1 year ago on Hoxton Ventures aims to bring Silicon Valley DNA to Europe with a new $40M early stage fund
@Penenberg @DayvidJannFigler It wasn't a lawsuit in the traditional sense of seeking damages. It was a suit in search of a declaratory judgement, meaning Goldieblox was asking the judge to rule that they hand't infringed. If they won, it would have been a shortcut through an otherwise lengthy and expensive trial. It's just good lawyering.
1 year ago on The GoldieBlox playbook: Imitate Youtube and Samsung
@Astar291 As far as I know, you just sign up for a free account and you'll get an email offering the upgrade.
1 year ago on BillGuard’s CEO on new savings product: “We’re building what Mint should have been”
goat, not to be confused with G.O.A.T.
1 year ago on Wall Street redemption: Jerry Yang joins the board of market darling Workday
@gacbmmml Skee-Ball Arcade, Wordly, Mini Golf MatchUp, and Bubble Galaxy With Buddies.
1 year ago on Will the real Scopely please stand up? Behind the scenes of four consecutive No. 1 iOS game launches
@DouglasCrets Thanks, fixed this.
1 year ago on Calacanis: Regular people are gambling in Vegas. Of course they should be able to angel invest
@neoganda gold star
1 year, 1 month ago on Pose and Little Black Bag merge, promise a match made in “content plus commerce” heaven
@JordanThaeler Jordan, I appreciate the thoughtful commend, but it sounds like you might not know how the ShoeDazzle story ended. Crosscut obviously believed that the company's valuation had exceeded rational levels and decided to take money off the table. It was fortunate to have the opportunity to do so, as this is not always the case. But in the end, it proved to be the right move as the late-stage investors got pennies on the dollar for their investment by way of the company's acquisition by its largest competitor.
As for the valuations at which Crosscut invests, all I can say is that it's a competitive market and they presumably make compelling offers to entrepreneurs or they wouldn't accept. Very few Seed- and Series A-stage companies generate $1M EBITDA. Founder/financier alignment comes from the mutual desire to have everyone incentives to work toward creating value over the long term (and the desire to foster a positive reputation in the small startup/venture community so that future deals will be possible).
1 year, 1 month ago on The little VC that could: How Crosscut Ventures turned a measly $5.1M into a killer early stage portfolio
@AlexCapecelatro1 Thanks, corrected
1 year, 1 month ago on Viddy becomes Supernova, launches new social expression products including a Snapchat competitor
The bitcoins haven't been removed from circulation if the government plans to liquidate them eventually (especially if they do so in a large block). Plus, added uncertainty is typically a drag on any asset class.
1 year, 1 month ago on Bitcoin down 10% as FBI announces seizure of another $28.5M from Silk Road’s founder
As far as I understand, it automatically creates both Flash and HTML5 units, each in multiple sizes.
1 year, 1 month ago on PaperG brushes off competition from Google, continues to grow profitably
@JoshDeax You can suggest whatever you like, but I don't think you've made a compelling case. Stats for Android downloads per month has nothing to do with paid users. Also, Tibbr supports Android as well as iOS, Blackberry, and Windows Phone (with the latter two representing a bigger percentage of users than one might guess based on their international reach). Finally, their parent company TIBCO is a public company, making the risk of misrepresenting key data like paid user growth a major accusation.
1 year, 2 months ago on For Tibbr, social is the center of the enterprise universe, and it’s got three new apps to prove it
@Beauty Industry Exec Strong opinions, but not terrible informed. Beachmint and ShoeDazzle are not Science companies. But yes, every market has winners and losers. LA is no exception.
1 year, 2 months ago on Why investors should take another look at ecommerce
@grouffman I love how you got yourself all up in arms about this but couldn't be bothered to go check the Google Play store for yourself beforehand (there's even a link in the article). Yes, there are 9.115 ratings of the Android Shopular app.
1 year, 2 months ago on Location-aware mobile savings app Shopular gets $6.4M from Sequoia to help save brick-and-mortar retail
@CarlJackson1 If you were a member paying Cross Campus $600 a month for shared office space, a group looking to host an event at their space in 2014, or just generally a member of the LA tech community that values their presence they you would have reason to ask yourself how well situated they are to weather a multi-hundred thousand dollar adverse financial impact. Seems pretty reasonable to me. As you said, it's newsworthy.
Also, your definition of "hit job" could use a bit of revising. This article didn't blindside Cross Campus and it in no way blames them for the unfortunate turn of events. I'm not sure how you'd like the coverage to be different. But I am sure that I won't lose much sleep over it.
1 year, 2 months ago on Cross Campus is moving into new space, but it’s not entirely by choice
@ranjanxroy It's not unheard of, but not all that common. But, in an ideal situation, the size of funding rounds is should be more about how much cash it needs and nothing else. JustFab didn't feel it needed another $76M (or more) and thus didn't take on that level of dilution – although I suspect it would have had little trouble generating enough interest among investors. The company also raised a large Series B round (relative to its competitors which each raised in the $30-40M range).
1 year, 2 months ago on JustFab raises another $40M to prove that fast fashion ecommerce is a billion dollar global opportunity
Thanks for weighing in, but I have a great relationship with Cross Campus and have never personally threatened them or covered them negatively. I spoke to the company and their position is accurately reflected in the article. From where I'm sitting, it is factually accurate and fair. For you to say otherwise say far more about your biases and predispositions than mine.
@danrgreen It looks like the website is currently "down for service" so they may be updating it now. Also, this is not a self service product, so you need to communicate with the company to enroll.
1 year, 2 months ago on “Work is no longer a place” — oDesk launches Private Workplace to better manage freelance talent online
@laprade Thanks, corrected.
1 year, 3 months ago on Yesware raises a $13.5M Series B from Battery Ventures to drag sales from an art into science
@LA_Banker You've added tremendous value to this discussion. Thank you
1 year, 3 months ago on Warby Parker: The tech startup that isn’t a tech company at all