Tricks to a Billion Dollar Valuation; NewEgg IPO
BY Nitasha Tiku
Twitter "somewhere between" Google and Facebook. How do you get someone to value your unprofitable, revenue-challenged startup at $1 billion? You convince them that it will become the next Facebook or Google. That's what Jeff Horing, the venture capitalist who led Twitter's latest round told the Deal Journal. "When we modeled it, we were looking at revenue somewhere between Google and Facebook," Horing said. "Google monetizes at $30 a user and Facebook is about $2 a user. If you look at Twitter's user community and make some fairly conservative assumptions about revenue, we thought you could make a healthy exit at a multiple of a $1 billion." Business Insider imagines what Horing was actually thinking: "Are you kidding me? We agreed to whatever would get us in the round." Either way, Twitter's investors are expecting very big things.
2009's top small workplaces. Economic turmoil has a way of putting squishy concepts work environment lower down on some companies' lists of priorities. Others see hard times as an opportunity to commit to their employees' well-being in a way that distinguishes themselves from the pack. The Wall Street Journal teamed up with Winning Workplaces to identify 15 small businesses who built environments people wanted to work in. In some cases, these employers had to cut benefits, and even lay off workers, but transparent practices and open communication helped them emerge stronger. The list included Anthony Wilder Design/Build who made an appearance at the Great Game of Business breakout session at the Inc. 500. Are any of your competitors on the list?
Top 10 acquirers of green companies. With the billions funneled into the cleantech sector from stimulus grants and news about recent buyouts and IPOs, green CEOs have their eye on a lucrative exit. To them Greentech Media writes, "Face it. You won't hold an IPO. Your company will be sold." Among top 10 potential buyers? General Electric. Current obsessions include smart grid, energy storage, and components and software for green buildings. Applied Materials is another big contender. It's venture capital arm has been active. And last year, it quietly entered the market for manufacturing batteries and energy-efficient lights. For more acquirers, like ethanol-obsessed Valero or the German GE, check out the list. (via peHUB)
NewEgg files for an IPO. NewEgg, the online computer retailer, is going public. The company, which had revenues of $2.1 billion in 2008, hopes to raise $175 million, according to MarketWatch, which notes that the past few weeks have seen "a flurry of IPOs". NewEgg's founders have managed to keep a low profile, but they're not unknown to Inc. readers. The company has appeared three times on the Inc. 500/5000 list.
Recruiting new hires from Twitter. You might already have a company blog and a Twitter account but they have more potential than just bolstering your brand and reaching out to your customers. Ben Parr, of Mashable has a piece on how to use social media to find star employees. Because you don't just want to hire any fast-fingered Joe or Jane, Parr doles out some advice on how to find the cream of the crop including examining a prospective hire's writing style and, you guessed it, counting their followers. "Followers are a rough vote of interest and confidence in an individual," he writes. "Someone with thousands of followers has likely made a strong reputation for themselves." Find more recruiting tools on our website.
Starbucks coffee has officially gone instant. Unveiled today nationwide, Starbucks Via Ready Brew is the company's first attempt at gaining a stake in the $21 billion global instant coffee business. As reported by CNN Money, the 'bucks has been facing flagging sales in competing against lower-priced rivals, such as McDonald's and Dunkin' Donuts. Kicking off their own much-needed caffeinated stimulus package, Starbucks will sell 3-packs of their Colombia or Italian Roast flavors for $2.95, and 12-packs for $9.95. Or, you can give it a try before you buy, October 2-5 at participating stores.
Outlooks remains cloudy for small businesses. The Dow may be flirting with the 10,000 mark, but small business owners still remain less cheery about the state of the economy. The Dallas Morning News reports on a Discover Small Business Watch survey released yesterday that shows more than two-thirds of small business owners say the recession is not over for them. Small business owners are typically an optimistic bunch, but their outlook for the upcoming holiday season is equally bleak. Nearly half of small business owners expect the fourth quarter to be worse than a year earlier, according to the survey. One Discover exec said that people "are eager for a definitive signal that the economy is on the mend, but America's small business owners aren't sending that message yet."
Reporter NITASHA TIKU covers technology, finance, green business, and social entrepreneurship for Inc. magazine and contributes to the staff’s daily links blog. Her work has appeared in New York magazine, The Villager, Chelsea Now, and on nymag.com. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. @nitashatiku