Snapchat vs Facebook: Can the underdog get big enough, fast enough?

Facebook casts a long shadow. 

Now worth more than $340 billion, the social network lords over the biggest platform in the history of mankind. The company has either bought up its direct competitors or relegated them to also-rans. Few companies outside of Google, Amazon or Apple can consider themselves serious rivals to Facebook.

Snapchat wants to be in that discussion.  

The little app that could is now preparing what will be one of the largest U.S. tech IPOs ever, and the biggest since, well, Facebook. Snapchat's reportedly going to be valued somewhere between $20 billion and $25 billion. 

Facebook and Snapchat have always had something of a big brother-little brother dynamic. Both companies have dorm-room roots, grew rapidly among a core young audience, and rapidly iterated their products. Facebook had a seven-year head start, however, and has already gone through most of its growing pains. Read more...

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Crunch Report | Snap Preps for IPO

Snap preps for the Street, Microsoft releases announcements benefiting the Linux and Macintosh ecosystems and Google Earth is now in VR. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

Inside Twitter’s Efforts to Keep Calm on the Post-IPO Roller Coaster


In just six short months, Twitter stock holders have been treated to the full, unpredictable Wall Street experience

First the stock surged — big time — jumping from an IPO price of $26 per share in November to more than $70 per share by Christmas Eve. Then came concerns over user growth and profitability, paving the way for a stock decline that eliminated more than half the company's value in a three-month period. By the time Twitter employees were able to sell their shares, six months after IPO, stock price per share was hovering around $30

Response has been predictably hysterical; The Atlantic went so far as to pen a eulogy for the microblogging service. But of the many people surprised by Twitter's recent stock market struggles, there was at least one person expecting it: CEO Dick Costolo Read more...

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Facebook CFO David Ebersman Cashes in $43 Million in Shares


Facebook chief financial officer David Ebersman cashed in more than 900,000 shares of Facebook stock Wednesday, a transaction that netted the exec nearly $43 million, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission

The sale was pre-arranged as part of Ebersman's automatic trading plan, which means it does not necessarily reflect on the current status of Facebook, according to a company spokesperson. The 900,000-plus shares equated to roughly 8.5% of the CFO's total equity in the company.

Ebersman, who joined Facebook in 2009 after spending years as an exec at biotech giant Genentech, helped lead Facebook through its 2012 IPO. Investors took some time warming up to the social network, but seem to have changed their tune recently. Shares of Facebook ($FB) have more than doubled in the last year, closing Wednesday at $48.71 Read more...

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Facebook Reportedly Offered $1 Billion to Acquire Snapchat


Investor worries regarding the growing number of potentially overfunded tech companies seemed to have died down in recent months, but new information surrounding popular app Snapchat could renew talk of a tech bubble

Facebook offered $1 billion in a bid to acquire photo-sharing app Snapchat, according to The Wall Street Journal, citing sources briefed on the matter. Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel reportedly turned down the offer, although sources did not specify when the offer took place

That $1 billion number may sound familiar because it’s exactly what Facebook paid to acquire another photo-sharing app, Instagram, just last year. The deal was roundly lauded as a move that could help bolster Facebook's staying power, as it struggles to hold onto users who are growing tired of blogging about their lives, instead preferring to share photos via mobile apps Read more...

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Facebook Finally Returns to Its IPO Price


It only took a little more than a year, but Facebook stock has finally returned to its IPO price of $38 a share

The stock flirted with the $38 mark in trading Tuesday, coming within four cents before ending the day at $37.63, a gain of more than 6% on the day. Facebook topped $38 in pre-market trading and climbed as high as $38.31 in the opening minutes of trading Wednesday, its first time trading above its IPO price since going public on May 18, 2012.

Facebook received a late afternoon bump from a report in Bloomberg that reasserted the social network is planning to sell TV-style commercials on its site for as much as $2.5 million a day. Much of the stock's upward momentum, however, is due to its impressive earnings report from last week, which revealed better-than-expected progress on mobile user growth and ad revenue Read more...

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Facebook Execs Grilled at First Shareholder Meeting


"My question is about the IPO," a Facebook investor said midway through the company's first shareholder meeting. "I think it was a disaster."

The comment was just one of several investor criticisms directed towards Facebook's executive team about the company's initial public offering last May and the stock's poor performance in the year since. One shareholder said he had invested "blindly" because his family was a "fan" of Facebook's CEO and cofounder Mark Zuckerberg; now, he's "under water." Another asked if Facebook has "any strategy to create a new product to boost the price per share in the near future." Read more...

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There’s a New Way to Own a Piece of Facebook Before Its IPO

If you’re looking to invest in Facebook before its IPO but not privy to the secondary markets where shares of the company have been trading, there’s a new (albeit somewhat indirect) way to buy a stake.

The publicly traded investment fund GSV Capital announced on Monday that it has purchased 225,000 shares of Facebook at a price of $29.28 per share, which values the social network at $70 billion.

The investment represents about 15% of GSV’s portfolio — enough to drive up shares of GSV (which trades on NASDAQ under the symbol GSVC) by more than 30% as of midday trading on Monday.

GSV does not currently show any other companies in its “portfolio” on its site, but the firm also recently announced an investment in Kno, a digital textbook outfit that raised $46 million in a round led by Andreessen Horowitz last year.

In a statement issued today, the company says it is “presently in the final stages with a handful of private company investments that it anticipates acquiring within the next 30 days.”

More About: facebook, investing, ipo

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Facebook’s Journey From Founding to IPO [INFOGRAPHIC]

Is Facebook ready for its heavily rumored IPO next spring?

With the massive growth of its staff and userbase, the huge rounds of funding it has taken and its ever-rising valuation, and the company’s increasing significance in the global sphere, the startup has clearly moved into the realm of enterprise.

To quickly sum up the company’s journey from dorm room to Silicon Valley, we have an infographic from real-time social media startup Namesake.

Click image to see full-size version.

[source: Namesake Blog]

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Facebook Preparing for $100 Billion IPO in Early 2012 [REPORT]

Facebook is preparing itself for an IPO that could easily top $100 billion, according to a new report.

At $100 billion, Facebook’s impending IPO would be one of the largest in history, quadrupling Google’s $23 billion IPO in 2004.

CNBC says the social networking giant is likely to go public during the first quarter of 2012, less than nine months from now. That falls in line with a May 2012 deadline when Facebook will be required to publicly report its financial information, regardless of whether it’s a private or public company.

The $100 billion valuation isn’t a surprise — there were reports last month that Facebook’s IPO could easily top $100 billion, thanks to huge consumer and investor appeal. In fact, if LinkedIn’s stellar IPO is any indication, Facebook’s valuation could hit the stratosphere the day it hits the public markets.

Goldman Sachs is in the driver’s seat to underwrite the IPO, thanks to its $450 million investment in Facebook earlier this year. Facebook and Goldman might want to hurry, though: the social network’s growth is apparently slowing down.

More About: facebook, goldman sachs, investment, ipo, mark zuckerberg

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