Jan 4, 2012, 12:38 pm EDT
It was not a good way to start off the New Year. In yesterday’s trading, Groupon’s (NASDAQ:GRPN) stock fell 6.6%, to $19.27. In fact, it’s off an additional 3% in today’s trading.
The drop came on reports of a survey from Susquehanna and Yipit, which is a daily-deal aggregator. Based on the responses from nearly 400 merchants, about 52% say they will not use the daily-deal service during the next six months. This is the case even though 80% still like Groupon.
It’s not clear why merchants are pulling back. Perhaps it could be because of the lack of customer loyalty. Hey, if you’re providing 90% discounts, do these customers really care about coming back to your store? Probably not. This is certainly a big problem since the huge discounts are really a form of marketing. Read
Jan 4, 2012, 10:53 am EDT
I recently talked to an entrepreneur and asked him how much his company raised in venture capital financing. I thought he said $50 million, but he corrected me — it was $15 million.
It sounded low, considering I was getting used to hearing about $50 million-plus rounds. Probably just another sign of the bubbly vibe in Silicon Valley.
But now, it looks like that fervor is cooling off. Perhaps the main reason is that VC deals have not fared particularly well in terms of acquisitions and IPOs. According to a recent piece in the IPOPlaybook, I pointed out that the average return for social public offerings last year came to a sorry -29%. Even top-notch players like Pandora (NYSE:P), LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) and Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) have seen double-digit declines. Read
Jan 3, 2012, 11:19 am EDT
Between the Internet and mobile technologies, it looks like distributors are an endangered species. But the fact is there still are many growth opportunities in the business.
One example is Edgen, a company focused on the energy sector that recently filed to go public in hopes of raising as much as $100 million. Edgen’s underwriters include Jefferies (NYSE:JEF), Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) and Citigroup (NYSE:C), and the proposed ticker symbol is “EDG,” which likely will list on the New York Stock Exchange.
Edgen’s distribution network includes steel pipes, valves and heavy plates. Its focus is on premium offerings, which often are for mission-critical applications. Read