Slow posting likely over next few days; here’s the latest:
LinkedIn seeks value of more than $200 million — Business social networking site LinkedIn is looking to raise $13 million in its latest venture capital round, and wants to be valued at $250 million afterward, reports MarketWatch. That’s a robust value. Values are negotiated with venture capitalists, and the higher the value, the more the VC has to invest to own a certain percentage of the company. It also means the entrepreneur and his employees get to keep more shares for themselves. We checked with LinkedIn, and they confirmed the valuation sought is more than $200 million, but said no investment has been finalized. Chief executive Reid Hoffman has stated confidently for the past couple of months that his company is reaching a “tipping” point where most Bay Area professionals will consider it a useful tool. He predicts revenue will be $100 million in 2008, the company confirmed. From MarketWatch:
So, how does Linkedin make money? Linkedin has three revenue streams today — sponsorships, subscriptions to scour and contact Linkedin’s 8.5 million membership base, and job listings. About 45% of the revenue comes from subscriptions, according to Rabois. Corporations, such as Microsoft and Salesforce, pay between $10,000 and $100,000 annually to let their internal recruiting staff use Linkedin’s database for potential hires.
Speaking of high valuations, check Facebook — Facebook investor Peter Thiel threw out $8 billion number as a possible value for the college social networking, and we’re not sure if it was serious or posturing. Let’s take him at face-value. Compare this with the News Corp. acquisition of MySpace parent Intermix, which valued Intermix at $580 million. That company had 27 million unique users. Thus MySpace was valued at $21 per user. With Facebook having about nine million unique users, and a desired value of $8 billion, that’s about $889 per user. Way off, right?
Ok, but give Facebook credit, because college students are more valuable than high schoolers for advertisers – so let’s multiple MySpace’s $21 by say, ten, to adjust, making for $221 for a credible Facebook value. Additionally, lets assume that Myspace was underappreciated when it was sold to NewsCorp (it has grown surprisingly quickly since the sale, which happened before all of the 2006 excitement). So, let’s assume $221 is a low value for Facebook. Let’s go ahead and double the value, to account for the increased perceived value of social networking companies since last year. Well, that makes for $442. So, by this one, admittedly, simple measure, Facebook’s $889 per user is still way out of line.
Track your kids remotely over the holidays — The NYT has a story about the latest wireless products that let you track your kids, and one of them, Wherify Wireless, lets you track them with “bread crumbs” on the company’s Web site. The Redwood Shores company is traded as an Over-The-Counter Bulletin Board Stock, and we haven’t mentioned them before. It has raised $48.2 million in debt and equity this year from Cornell Capital Partners and other sources.
The super-simplified Wherifone ($100), for example, is intended for very young or old customers. Because it has no number pad, it’s probably the smallest cellphone you’ve ever seen â€” about the size of a Fig Newton….The plans range from $20 a month (60 minutes of talking) to $47 (200 minutes); checking a phone’s location counts as one minute of calling.
Venice Project emerging, slowly, from stealth — GigaOm has a look at the test version of the Venice Project, which is company founded by the Skype co-founders, and wants to do for TV what Skype did for phones. OK, we think we understand the concept: It will pull to your TV set any video programming found on the web — and ideally, from other places, such as the movie studios, once negotiated. GigaOm’s review suggests it has some ways to go.
Consolidation bound to happen at video companies — There are simply too many of them out there. Revver, the company that wants to inject advertising into videos supplied by users and split the revenue half-half has just seen a personnel change, and Veoh has “rebooted.” Veoh, you’ll recall, is the site that boasted its model was better than YouTube’s because it allowed full, longer streaming of video, and had assured us it had gotten over legal issues for running copyright content. But legal challenges came anyway. It wants to offer 50-50 advertising splits with video publishers too, but in an age where video can be shown at one’s own site, and crawled by folks like Pixsy, and increasingly others, why would content owners want to give Voeh or Revver 50 percent? Don’t see this as a long-term viable model, especially with so many competitors out there. Veoh does have 3 million monthly uniques, so it is still in the mix. It has raised $14.75 million already, and reportedly planning to raise more early next year.