The ‘Craigslist of China’ Pulls Off a Hot IPO

Oct 31, 2013, 2:22 pm EST

While most people are familiar with the classifieds website Craiglist, most people on Wall Street shrug at the name. That’s because the chances of a Craigslist IPO are pretty slim.

Now, though, you can invest in a company that provides a similar service — except in China.

58.com (WUBA) is the largest online marketplace for local merchants and consumers in terms of monthly unique visitors, according to iResearch. As of the second quarter, that metric sat at 129.7 million. The site covers roughly 380 cities in China and has diverse categories like housing, jobs, used goods, automotive, pets, tickets and yellow pages. To help with the quality, the service also provides reviews of merchants. Read 

Ahead of Twitter IPO, Tweets Get Visual

Oct 31, 2013, 1:42 pm EST
Ahead of Twitter IPO, Tweets Get Visual

Twitter has built an empire on the idea of only allowing messages of up to 140 characters. But with a Twitter IPO right around the corner, the company isn’t sitting still.

Instead, Twitter is now allowing previews of Twitter photos and videos from Vine in user timelines. It seems to be a way to help the company compete against Facebook (FB), Yahoo (YHOO), Snapchat and more — especially with the Twitter IPO set for next month. And it should also help Twitter find new sources of revenues.

Likely the biggest factor in this shift — especially in light of the coming Twitter IPO — is that Twitter is trying to position itself as the “second screen.” This means that users often use the service while watching television. Providing previews does seem like a no-brainer if Twitter wants to cement its starring role in the second screen. Read 

New REIT Brixmor Has a Wide Moat

Oct 30, 2013, 2:41 pm EST
New REIT Brixmor Has a Wide Moat

New real estate investment trust (REIT) Brixmor Property Group (BRX), priced 41.25 million shares at $20. And so far in today’s trading, the shares are up about 1.5%. The offering comes on the heels of a spate of other real estate offerings, like the Empire State Realty Trust (ESRT).  For the most part, Wall Street’s enthusiasm remains fairly robust.

Brixmor is the result of Blackstone’s (BX) $9 billion asset purchase from Centro Properties Group in 2011. Since then, the company has undergone a restructuring, which has involved shedding various noncore assets.

“Blackstone has been a great partner for our business,” said Bixmor CEO Michael Carroll (I interviewed him this morning). “Before the acquisition, the company was capital-constrained and overlevered. It couldn’t grow. But with Blackstone, we had the runway to reinvest our cash flows back into the business.” Read 

Is the Twitter IPO a Sign of Peak Social?

Oct 30, 2013, 1:55 pm EST
Is the Twitter IPO a Sign of Peak Social?

On Nov. 7, the Twitter IPO will take center stage. Shares of the social company will debut on the NYSE under the symbol “TWTR.”

In the Twitter IPO, the company will issue 70 million shares at a range of $17 to $20, which would put a valuation on the company at about $11 billion based at the top of the range. Given that the Street thinks the company is worth about $15 to $20 billion, there’s a good chance the Twitter IPO will have a pop on the first day of trading.

However, the Twitter IPO may actually mark the end of the huge bull move in social stocks. Read 

CNBC: Nobody Cares About Twitter, or Twitter IPO

Oct 30, 2013, 9:15 am EST
CNBC: Nobody Cares About Twitter, or Twitter IPO

In a commentary on its website, financial media powerhouse CNBC wrote that news stories about Twitter or Twitter IPO are some of the least popular articles on the site.

It notes that it tracks pageviews on articles via software programs such as Omniture and Chartbeat, and both log Twitter-related searches and pageviews at low numbers.

The view from CNBC: Nobody really cares about Twitter or Twitter IPO. Read 

Nextdoor Wants to Be Your Friendly Neighborhood Facebook

Oct 29, 2013, 11:50 am EST
Nextdoor Wants to Be Your Friendly Neighborhood Facebook

Nextdoor, which is a service similar to Facebook (FB) but focused on neighborhoods, has snagged $60 million in venture capital at a valuation of over $500 million. Investors include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) and Tiger Global Management.

The hope is that Nextdoor can crack the massive local e-commerce space.

Back in 2010, Nirav Tolia, Sarah Leary and Prakash Janakiraman launched the company. They all came with strong backgrounds at big-time Internet companies like Yahoo (YHOO), Microsoft (MSFT) and Google (GOOG) … and the experience certainly paid off. Read 

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