My friend the Vulture is a venture capitalist in Silicon Valley. He recently wrote a piece for us and I've been hoping he would do another one. I asked him what he thought of the Box IPO, which is taking place today. Shares last night priced at $14 per share, which will imply a valuation of $1.7 billion for Box — which last July raised a private round at $2.4 billion. Meaning: Box is limping into the public markets. But maybe, at this price, Box is a steal? Vulture doesn't think so. In fact he was brutal — especially about the VCs who are foisting this lump of coal onto the public while also setting up a sweetheart deal for themselves.
When it comes to contemporary tech IPOs, profits don't matter. "Many of these tech issuers—particularly the enterprise tech ones—could be profitable if it was somehow required. They'd probably shrivel up and eventually die, but it technically could be done (as opposed to investing into future growth)."
Yesterday, I ordered both breakfast and dinner from Seamless. I didn't consume lunch since that would have involved leaving my laptop and walking across the street. Because I am disgusting, Grubhub, Inc.—the food delivery monster created after former arch enemies Seamless and GrubHub merged in 2013—is going public.
Late Friday afternoon Twitter released its "secret correspondence" with the Securities and Exchange Commission leading up to the IPO. The previously private documents show that the SEC had a lot of pressing questions about "slowing user growth and whether people were losing interest in viewing ads." But the company didn't always provide satisfactory answers.
Twitter tossed out a little update to its pre-IPO disclosures, and the soon-to-be-public company is still far, far away from profitable.
Twitter wants its future stockholders to believe it's the fastest way to a TV viewer's heart (and wallet). But can hashtags and retweets alone show us what's going to be the next Breaking Bad? Doubtful.