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The Main Players in an IPO

Feb 26, 2012, 6:30 am EDT
The Main Players in an IPO

The IPO process is extremely complex. A company must abide by onerous regulations, such as the Securities Act of 1934 and the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. As a result, even top-notch companies can have problems somewhere down the line. Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM), Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) and Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) all faced missteps along the way.

To deal with the complexities, a company must hire a variety of top-notch advisers. Not to mention, businesses also have to get funding from private investors. By the time a company goes public, a ton of people have had their hands in the mix in one way or another. To sort it all out, let’s take a look at the main players in an IPO: Venture Capitalists

Venture capitalists (also just called VCs) are people or firms that invest in early-stage companies. The funding amounts can range from $1 million to $100 million or more. Read 

2 IPOs Off to Red-Hot Starts

Feb 24, 2012, 12:32 pm EDT
2 IPOs Off to Red-Hot Starts

Only two IPOs priced this week, but they were hot! Here’s a quick look at the markets’ new publicly traded companies.

Bazaarvoice (NASDAQ:BV): The company develops cloud-based software that helps customers analyze social media like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The company has 737 active clients, which include large operators like Macy’s (NYSE:M), Home Depot (NYSE:HD) and Dell (NASDAQ:DELL). From 2009 to 2011, revenues surged from $22.5 million to $64.5 million.

Bazaarvoice priced its IPO at $12, which was above its $8-$10 range, and it was trading up around 40% in midday trading. Read 

Angie’s List Earnings Thrill Investors

Feb 23, 2012, 4:30 pm EDT
Angie’s List Earnings Thrill Investors

When Angie’s List (NASDAQ:ANGI) — an online company providing reviews for contractors — launched its IPO last November, it posted a nice 25% gain on its first day of trading. The offering came off the strength of Groupon‘s (NASDAQ:GRPN) IPO, which also enjoyed a good performance.

Unlike Groupon, Angie’s List was able to keep up the momentum through its first quarterly earnings report.

ANGI shares gained 7% Thursday after the company announced a 70% surge in fourth-quarter revenues, to a Street-beating $27.4 million, and saw its membership base increase 78% to 1,074,757. While the company did post a $5.87 million (14 cents per share) loss, that was better than the year-ago period’s $8.24 million loss. Read 

A Q&A With HealthTap’s Ron Gutman

Feb 22, 2012, 11:20 am EDT
A Q&A With HealthTap’s Ron Gutman

Over the past year, there has been a surge in social-media companies going public. Our Social Stock Tracker, which covers stocks such as Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA), LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) and Pandora (NYSE:P), has a market value of more than $34 billion.

No doubt, many entrepreneurs want a piece of the action, including Ron Gutman.  A year ago, he created a social network called HealthTap.

IPO Playbook interviewed Gutman recently. Here are some excerpts: Read 

Facebook Near $100 Billion on Secondary Markets

Feb 22, 2012, 9:42 am EDT
Facebook Near $100 Billion on Secondary Markets

According to media buzz, it looks like Facebook’s IPO may fetch a valuation of $75 billion to $100 billion. At least, that’s the implied figure based on the trading on SharesPost — which allows private investors to buy shares in pre-IPO companies. Facebook’s market value is now on the high end of that range, at $98 billion, or roughly 27 times revenues.

That’s actually down a bit from $102.6 billion, from about a week before). And yes, that would mean Facebook is now worth more than ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT).

Because investors in secondary markets are subject to an IPO’s lock-up provisions, this generally prevents them from selling stock within six months of a public offering. So, these buyers are really betting that Facebook will achieve a much higher valuation, such as $120 billion or more. Read 

Groupon Goes Into M&A Hyperdrive

Feb 21, 2012, 3:35 pm EDT

After raising $700 million in its IPO in December, Groupon (NASDAQ:GRPN) has quickly put the money to work, striking a variety of acquisitions, such as for Adku and Mertado.com. These early-stage companies are in hot categories like social networking and “Big Data” (which leverages huge amounts of user data to personalize web experiences). And just this past week, Groupon struck two new deals.

One was for Hyperpublic, which develops technology that makes it easier for users to find the right places to buy things by analyzing real-time data from social networks. The other deal was for Kima Labs, a San Francisco-based company that develops applications for mobile shopping. Kima Labs has a strong team that includes people who have worked at companies like Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Pelago (which developed a location-based social network called Whrrl).

Groupon realizes that its core technology lags other hot companies like Facebook, LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD) and Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA), so it is moving aggressively to bolster things, such as with establishing a development office in Silicon Valley. Read 

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