|Bid||0.00 x 1800|
|Ask||43.00 x 800|
|Day's Range||42.82 - 44.07|
|52 Week Range||36.08 - 45.75|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||N/A|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||2,393.89|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y Target Est||54.44|
Bitcoin futures are flirting with $10K, hitting a 15-month high, despite concerns over Facebook's push into the cryptocurrency space. Yahoo Finance's Zack Guzman and Melody Hahm are joined by Kathryn Tuggle, HerMoney Editor-in-Chief, to discuss.
One reason why investors may be going gaga over the recent mini-flurry of IPOs (Uber, Beyond Meat, Slack, etc) is the simple fact there are so few of them.
The program is designed to increase the retention of college students in the Pittsburgh area after graduation.
(Bloomberg) -- I’m woken up by an alarm on a home speaker designed by Yandex NV. I go to work in Yandex taxi listening to the company’s music-streaming service. My lunch is delivered by Yandex.Eats. I buy sneakers on the company’s Beru marketplace, and catch up on a series on its Kinopoisk smart-TV app in the evening.You get the picture. Not so long ago, most decisions in Russia were decided by the state. Now, Russia’s largest tech company can cater to your every need.A tech company attempting to offer a range of services to keep users attention is not new. Amazon.com Inc. and Alphabet Inc. have been launching new business from internet balloons to healthcare. But few offer the breadth of services offered by Yandex.Five years ago, Yandex was just a search engine trying hard to fend off Google in its local market. Since then it has bought Uber Technologies Inc.’s Russia business, built its voice assistant into cars and home appliances, and more than doubled its revenue. Yandex now claims to have 108 million monthly users, which is about 75% of Russia’s population.Yandex’s expansion -- still focused almost entirely in Russia -- has allowed it to gather significant amount of data on its users, who have to log into each service using the same ID. This has allowed Yandex to offer highly personalized services. In Yandex’s car-sharing app, the dashboard welcomes you by name, turns on your favorite music and maps a route to your home.At a time where tech giants are attempting to convince users they take privacy seriously, Yandex’s Chief Financial Officer Greg Abovsky argues that, despite having expanded to multiple services, it doesn’t know much more about its users than Google does (which could be argued is a lot)."To respond to users’ personal needs, we need not only the data that you tell Yandex directly – like your name and age - but also technical data, including cookies, IP-addresses and GPS coordinates," said Abovsky. “It’s important that these data are processed in anonymized form and automatically - no one can get access to it."Perhaps unsurprisingly, Yandex’s user data has attracted the attention of the Russian government. The company’s email and cloud-storage services are deemed "information-dissemination operators," and monitored by communications watchdog Roskomnadzor, while a 2016 law required internet service providers and mobile telephone operators to store records of users’ online activities for up to six months.Russian authorities also have a legal right to request all your data stored by Yandex -- whom you sent e-mails to, what files you downloaded and possibly everything else linked to your user ID. So far, Yandex has pushed back against government demands to turn over encryption keys that would allow the security services to monitor users’ private data."These additional data it has on users may become important pieces of the puzzle for some advertisers or law-enforcement agencies," said Artem Kozlyuk, head of Roskomsvoboda, a civil-rights lobby group.Yandex’s growth has also led it to shed the role of tech underdog. Back in 2015 it complained to Russia’s antitrust watchdog that Google was abusing its dominance on mobile devices, arguing that Google required phone makers to install a bundle of its services as a pre-condition. Yandex eventually won the case.Now, Yandex is bundling its own services. Last year it introduced Yandex.Plus - somewhat similar to Amazon Prime. Users subscribe to Yandex.Music for $2.69 a month, also gaining access to Yandex’s online-cinema Kinopoisk and discounts for Yandex.Taxi, car-sharing, Beru marketplace and cloud storage. Over 2 million people already use Yandex’s paid subscriptions, most of them via the bundle.When asked if this puts competition for smaller music, ride-hailing or other apps at risk, Abovsky responded: "No. It’s a commercial bundling. We don’t force it on others, consumers are willing to buy or not to buy our bundle. It’s incorrect to compare this with Google’s bundling when they forced phone makers to pre-install only Google services and no one else’s."A few years after shifting from a search engine to a tech company, Yandex is still looking to maintain its rapid growth, with user data at the heart of its business model. Revenue has more than doubled from 60 billion rubles in 2015 to 128 billion rubles ($2 billion) last year.Yandex already makes almost 30% of its revenue outside of internet search. Yandex is now seeking to take on traditional TV. From May, it started selling Module, a $32 device similar to Google’s Chromecast that’s plugged into a TV-set, so that users can watch Yandex.Live streaming channel with content personalized for them, instead of regular TV channels.Yandex has been experimenting with creating its own social network and messenger, but without much success, Abovsky admits. But Yandex.Zen -- a personalized content feed, may make over $100 million revenue this year, he said."Painters polish their skills by copying other painters,” said Abovsky. “The same happens in tech, that’s how progress makes its way."To contact the reporter on this story: Ilya Khrennikov in Moscow at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Giles Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org, Torrey ClarkFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Shares of McDonald's (MCD) have jumped 15% this year to outpace its industry's 10.5% climb. With this in mind, let's see what's next for the historic fast-food burger powerhouse...
(Bloomberg) -- New York City Council members are considering laws that would bail out hundreds of taxi drivers facing financial ruin as competition from Uber-like vehicles choke city streets and erode their income.Dozens of Yellow Cab owner-operators marched on City Hall Monday, when some offered tearful testimony describing how their belief in the American Dream was shattered by predatory lenders and city policies encouraging an inflated market for licensing medallions that burst with the unregulated growth of the electronic-hail industry.“I think about taking my life -- I really do -- and the only thing that stops me is my kids,” Mouhamadou Aliyu, a West African father of four who’s been in New York since 1993, said in testimony to the council. He bought a medallion for $700,000 in 2004 that’s now worth $100,000, he said.Aliyu said he’s still $54,000 in debt, and his shrinking income isn’t enough to repay his medallion loan, the lease on his cab and the mortgage on his Bronx house. “If I lose my house I’m killing myself, period. Because my house is for my kids, my future, please help me.”At least nine drivers have killed themselves since late 2017, including one who took a shotgun to his head near City Hall last year, according to Bhairavi Desai, a political organizer who leads the Taxi Worker Alliance. She told council members to cap medallion loan payments at $900 a month, down from the current average of $2,800. She called for a city task force to determine how much a taxi medallion license is worth and to press lenders to forgive any loans above that amount. The average medallion-owning cabbie loses an average of about $28,000 a year, she said.Council Transportation Committee Chairman Ydanis Rodriguez offered sympathy but didn’t endorse their demands. He invited the drivers to testify, he said, to focus attention on the medallions’ value and the “blind eye” taken by city regulators that may have allowed cabbies to fall prey to predatory lending and other corrupt practices.“These are small business owners, many of them immigrants who invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into a medallion in hopes of achieving their piece of the American Dream,” Rodriguez said. “We must also find a way to hold the people responsible for this financial crisis accountable. This crisis was no accident, and we must make sure the taxi medallion owners receive justice.”Rodriguez and Councilman Ritchie Torres, who heads its Oversight Committee, took aim at Bill Heinzen, acting chairman of the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission, for what they termed the regulatory agency’s failure to protect drivers.Although Heinzen touted the agency for capping the number of app-based for-hire vehicles at 80,000 last year, Torres focused on the agency’s promotion of medallion auctions in 2014. At that time, the advent of Uber hadn’t yet brought on the collapse of the market and the city advertised the $650,000 licenses to potential owners as an investment that was “better than the stock market,” guaranteeing a “worry-free retirement.”Torres produced a city memorandum from 2011 warning TLC officials that medallion prices were at risk of collapse. City officials either ignored the advice or weren’t aware of it at the time, Heinzen said.Also under questioning by Torres, Heinzen said the city had no record of how many drivers had filed for bankruptcy or were at risk of financial collapse.“I don’t know the exact number,” Heinzen said. “I’m sure it’s painfully high.”To contact the reporter on this story: Henry Goldman in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Flynn McRoberts at firstname.lastname@example.org, William SelwayFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Bitcoin traded above $11,000 for the first time in 15 months, recouping more than half of the parabolic increase that captured the attention of mainstream investors before the cryptocurrency bubble burst last year.“The bounce-back of Bitcoin has been fairly extraordinary,” said George McDonaugh, chief executive and co-founder of London-based blockchain and cryptocurrency investment firm KR1 Plc. “Money didn’t leave the asset behind, it just sat on the sidelines waiting to get back in.”Bitcoin surged as high as $11,251.21 on Monday, a 13% gain from late Friday that put it at the highest levels since March 2018. It was at $10,919 as of 11:01 a.m. in New York.The largest cryptocurrency had a furious run higher in late 2017 that culminated with a top above $19,500, before an almost-as-relentless move downward over much of 2018. It languished around the $3,300 to $4,100 range for several months.Bitcoin’s ride back accelerated in April, puzzling onlookers trying to pinpoint a reason for the surge. A study by Indexica, an alternative data provider, showed three main drivers: a more complex conversation surrounding Bitcoin, fewer concerns about fraud and a shift in the tense of how Bitcoin is talked about from the past to the future.“The market has matured greatly since the last time Bitcoin crossed $10,000,” said Matt Greenspan, a senior market analyst at eToro. “This run is far more justified given the current level of adoption.”Read more: Why Is Bitcoin Surging? Alternative Data Shows It’s Grown-UpIn contrast with last year, there are now signs of renewed mainstream interest in cryptocurrencies and the underlying blockchain technology, most prominently Facebook Inc.’s Libra. The social-media giant is working with a broad group of partners from Visa Inc. to Uber Technologies Inc. to develop the system, which has already attracted attention and criticism from politicians raising privacy and security concerns.Read more: Facebook Wants Its Cryptocurrency to Rival the GreenbackThe advent of Libra “is validating the crypto space and sending all the major digital coins higher,” said Edward Moya, chief market strategist at Oanda Corp. in New York. “Bitcoin volatility is likely to persist, with $12,000 and $15,000 as the next two critical resistance levels.”Technical gauges followed by some traders suggest the rally may not be over soon. Bitcoin’s directional movement index is currently in the longest positive divergence since the 2017 euphoric rise. The DMI shows the direction of a price trend by charting the divergence between positive and negative levels. The index is currently in a strong positive divergence as seen by the divergence between the +DMI and -DMI indicators and the average directional index is above the pivotal 25 mark, which signals a strong trend and is tailing upwards towards 50 which indicates a very strong trend.Still, the speed of the rally has some observers warning caution is once again warranted.To Whitney Tilson, founder of Empire Financial Research and a former hedge-fund manager, Bitcoin is “exhibit A” in the lexicon of “scams that enrich insiders at the expense of average folks.”“Don’t get fooled by the dead-cat bounce this year,” Tilson said in comments last week. “Mark my words: A year from now, it will be a lot lower. This is a techno-libertarian pump-and-dump scheme that will end in ruin.”(Adds technical analysis of the price trend.)\--With assistance from Adam Haigh, Sarah Wells, Kurt Schussler and Kenneth Sexton (Global Data).To contact the reporters on this story: Eric Lam in Hong Kong at email@example.com;Vildana Hajric in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org;Joanna Ossinger in Singapore at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jeremy Herron at firstname.lastname@example.org, Ravil Shirodkar, Dave LiedtkaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Does Uber Stock Deserve More Long-Term Optimism?Uber’s (UBER) debut on the stock market at the beginning of May was among the largest ever, but so far investors aren’t too sure how to analyze the company. While the company has high hopes for the future — including with self-driving cars and being the go-to destination for all transportation — the short-term looks murky. Uber continues to burn through cash, especially as it expands into more cities around the world, while drivers are increasingly unhappy with the way the company treats them.But at the end of the day, the company is growing its revenue and out playing its rivals. Lloyd Walmsley of Deutsche Bank sees this as a reason to be bullish, as he maintains his Buy rating on UBER stock, with $58 price target, which implies nearly 32% upside from current levels. (To watch the Walmsley's track record, click here)Walmsley noted, "We are bullish on Uber and see continued evidence the competitive market continues to improve, with reports from drivers that Lyft (not covered) has communicated plans to reduce driver payouts 4-5% on two drive modes broadly across the US. We see lower driver payouts on stable consumer pricing leading to improving unit economics in the form of improving revenue take-rates. While this seems to be catch-up to lower driver payouts at Uber on similar (and somewhat limited) ride types, we view Lyft moving to Uber as a clear sign competition is rationalizing in the US and feel better about our outlook for improving take rates at Uber."Another factor in Walmsley’s opinion is Uber’s performance in Latin America. The analyst believes “the Latin American market is also stable for Uber,” as the company continues to reach beyond the US. Furthermore, Walmsley believes “fears around competition in the UK are overblown,” saying Bolt and Ola are not meaningful threats to the giant.Uber announced its first-ever quarterly earnings at the end of May, reporting a loss of about $1 billion on revenue of $3 billion, about 20% higher than this time last year. Total bookings increased 34% to more than $14 billion, as active users rose to 93 million. While perhaps its market cap of $74 billion is not justified by its earnings, many are still looking to the future when (the hope is) labor costs are cut and the company sees stability in foreign markets.All in all, though only a handful of analysts were bullish on Uber at the time of its debut, more and more analysts are coming around. TipRanks analysis of 27 analyst ratings shows a consensus Strong Buy rating, with 21 analysts recommending Buy and six Holding. The average price target for the stock stands at $54.23, suggesting the stock can rise about 23% from current levels.Crypto Move Boosts Facebook Stock, But How Will It Play In Long Term?With the tech world going crazy over Facebook (FB) recently announcing its new cryptocurrency Libra, FB stock is responding in kind. Up double-digits this month, many are excited over the company’s new task of making a worldwide currency, which will be used by Facebook users to buy items on the platform and pay each other through Messenger. While crypto’s best came last year, there is still hope among many that it will eventually become mainstream. Facebook hopes to play a role in this, as the company’s massive platform will allow it to provide security and regulation. Walmsley has questions about the new coin, but overall, the analyst is maintaining his Buy rating on Facebook stock with $220 price target, which implies nearly 23% from current levels. (To watch Walmsley's track record, click here)Though Walmsley says he likes the strategic play with Libra and Facebook-developed digital wallet Calibra and the magnitude of the ambition behind it, he still has many questions around whether it can really live up to the recent hype.The big question is whether Libra can scale. If this happens, he Walmsley says “reduced friction in E-commerce can increase the value of Facebook ads, and it can generate interest income on the currency collateral and open the door to more financial products.” Essentially, it will open up new revenue streams for a company that relies (almost) exclusively on ad income. Walmsley also believes that the coin adds “more utility to core Facebook” and will play a role in “reducing the risk users simply leave the...app.” Further, it “enhances the utility of WhatsApp and Messenger, moving them a (small) step closer towards replicating the WeChat’s SuperApp functionality,” by making it extremely simple and safe to send money to peers and sellers. Though Walmsley is positive on the new coin from a product standpoint, as it will help drive revenue and increase engagement on Facebook, he is concerned about regulation. The analyst points out that “intense regulatory scrutiny, lingering trust issues with Facebook, management by committee - among other concerns - weigh heavily in our minds vis-a-vis the ultimate success of the project.” The company is currently under the microscope in Europe and the US, and an attempt to now get into finance will most likely pull other regulatory agencies into the matter. Even so, given Facebook’s prowess across the line, the analyst remains a bull and sees “healthy upside potential to [his] $220 target.” All in all, this latest move is expected to make the popular company even more so. Most analysts on Wall Streets are out rooting for this social media titan to be a winning stock pick, as TipRanks analytics showcase FB as a Strong Buy. Based on 30 analysts polled in the last 3 months, 35 rate a Buy on Facebook stock while 3 maintain a Hold. The 12-month average price target stands at $220.20, marking a nearly 15% upside from where the stock is currently trading.Read more on the stocks mentioned: * Facebook’s (FB) Libra Could Be the Next Big Thing * Should Investors Buy Facebook (FB) Stock After Its Cryptocurrency Launch? Top Analyst Weighs In * Uber (UBER) Faces the Public; Should You Buy the Stock? * Why You Should Avoid Uber Stock Like the Plague More recent articles from Smarter Analyst: * Will Qualcomm (QCOM) Stock Win Again? Canaccord Remains Bullish * CannTrust Holdings (CTST): Even With Entry Into U.S. Market, Investors Must Remain Patient * Crypto Move Boosts Facebook (FB) Stock, But How Will It Play In Long Term? * Does Uber Stock Deserve More Long-Term Optimism?
Do you want to open a bank account with Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook? It’s bad enough that Facebook (FB) says it won’t be paying a nickel of interest on any money that customers keep in the company’s new Libra digital accounts. There was a good reason Willie Sutton robbed banks.
Electric bike-share and scooter-share companies are planning to test the waters in Sacramento's suburbs, including a pilot project that will roll out later this year in Elk Grove, Folsom and Rancho Cordova. The three cities are planning a pilot project with Charleston, South Carolina-based company Gotcha Mobility LLC, under a program approved by the Sacramento Area Council of Governments. Gotcha specializes in shared mobility devices that include bikes, scooters, tricycles and cars.
The U.S. air taxi market is heating up: Aeronautics industry giant Airbus will be among the companies operating on-demand air travel service in 2019 in American skies, FastCompany reports. Airbus' Voom on-demand helicopter shuttle operation will set up shop in the U.S. starting this fall, after previously providing service exclusively in Latin America. Uber announced its own Uber Copter service earlier this month, which will provide service from Manhattan to JFK airport starting in July, and Blade also already offers similar service between New York City and its three area airports, as well as Bay Area air shuttle routes.
Investing for the long term, money manager Mario Cibelli focuses on value stocks, but doesn’t avoid growth issues. Why he likes Becle, e.l.f. Beauty, and battered Grubhub.
Slack Technologies Inc (NYSE: WORK ) hit the ground running on Thursday following its highly anticipated IPO. Tech companies have had mixed returns when it comes to big-name IPOs in 2019. Here’s a look ...
The Bank of England is open to letting new payment services such as Facebook’s upcoming Libra cryptocurrency hold funds overnight with the central bank, something historically limited to commercial banks.
(Bloomberg) -- A parade of initial public offerings from Silicon Valley this year has garnered a mixed reception from investors. Slack Technologies Inc. took a different route on Thursday, and saw its shares soar as it went public without an IPO.Slack opened at $38.50 on the New York Stock Exchange Thursday, well above the reference price of $26 that was set for the shares in the direct listing. The stock closed at $38.62, giving the company a market value of $19.5 billion.That’s a huge increase from Slack’s last private funding round in August, which valued the company at $7.1 billion. Thursday’s debut makes Slack the second-most valuable technology company to reach U.S. markets this year, topped only by Uber Technologies Inc. $75 billion value and bypassing Lyft Inc. at $18 billion.What a ‘Direct Listing’ Is, and Why Banks Are Nervous: QuickTakeSlack, which makes software for workers to chat and collaborate on projects, directly listed its shares on the New York Stock Exchange, bypassing the usual fundraising process of an IPO and allowing shareholders to sell right away without a lockup period.A parallel for this unusual type of stock listing is Spotify Technology SA. The music-streaming provider went public using a similar maneuver last year, the last high-profile company to do so. Spotify’s stock is up 13% from its reference price since then.Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley and Allen & Co. advised Slack on the listing, the same trio of banks that lined up when Spotify went public.Slack Chief Executive Officer Stewart Butterfield said Thursday that the company chose not to have a traditional IPO for a pragmatic reason: It didn’t need the cash. “We’re not ideological crusaders on this stuff,” he said. The direct listing process is a more efficient way to price a stock, he said, “but I don’t think anything comes close to not having to dilute existing shareholders by 10%.”Butterfield said he also wanted to avoid the lockup period. “Especially in a period when you’re locked up, when the supply is so constrained, the psychological impact of that can be a big negative,” he said. “Giving employees the option early is more important.”Raised in a Log Cabin, Slack Chairman Is Now Worth $1.3 BillionButterfield was at the New York Stock Exchange, which was festooned with a Slack banner that read “Your work is our work,” and where a band outside played jazz for the occasion. Earlier that morning, he rang the opening bell, and posted photos on social media, writing, “Got a little cold, but everything is allll right.”This year is on track to be the busiest for public listings in more than a decade. Some have been warmly received. Pinterest Inc. has risen 45% since its March listing, and Zoom Video Communications Inc. has nearly tripled in value. But the two biggest, Uber and Lyft, are trading below their IPO prices.Investors -- and private companies considering a similar path to the public markets -- will have been closely watching the reception to the debut. Slack had been hoping to avoid the first-day pop that often accompanies IPOs and the price swings that can follow, and it largely got its wish: Shares closed less than 1% above their opening price, and traded within 10% of that benchmark all day.Citadel Securities and the banks worked behind the scenes to help kick things off Thursday morning, gathering buy and sell orders to assess a first-trade price.In Slack’s dual-class share structure, super-voting Class B shares must be converted to Class A common shares before they can be sold. The total trading volume on the first day was about 140 million shares, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That was about 30 million more than expected, according to a person familiar with the banks’ expectations.On Wednesday, Slack said 194 million shares had been converted to common stock, which signals the number that could be sold.Slack going public ends a long journey that started with Tiny Speck, a small video game maker. The company, led by Butterfield, was making a game called Glitch, but it didn’t take off. The team, however, had built an internal tool to chat and share files with each other. They had an inkling that the software could be useful to other teams. In 2014, they launched Slack. Now Butterfield, its co-founder and chief executive officer, is worth more than $1 billion.One of Slack’s earliest believers was Accel, a venture firm that now owns about 24% of the company. Andrew Braccia, an Accel partner and Slack board member, had worked with Butterfield at Yahoo! Bloomberg Beta, the venture capital arm of Bloomberg LP, is also a Slack investor.The service has spread from Silicon Valley into offices around the world, and it does much more than chat. Users can share files, build automated workflows, host video calls, poll colleagues and keep a to-do list. Those who use it tend to adapt quickly, but it has struggled to convey exactly what it is to most of the world, Butterfield said in a recent conference call. “We have to work hard to explain Slack to all the people who have never used it before,” he said. Butterfield called it “one of our biggest challenges and greatest opportunities.”Slack faces competition from some of the world’s most valuable companies, including Microsoft Corp., Alphabet Inc. and Facebook Inc. Slack did prevail, however, over another rival: HipChat, a product from Atlassian Corp. Last year, Slack and Atlassian struck a deal in which Slack bought the assets for HipChat, which was eventually wound down, and Atlassian took a stake in Slack.Ten million people use Slack every day, according to the company. Many workers rely on a free version of the software, but as of April, 645 companies paid more than $100,000 a year for the service. Those big customers make up about 43% of Slack’s revenue, the company said. Like other big-name public debuts this year, Slack is not profitable. It lost $139 million on $401 million of revenue in the fiscal year that ended in January.In contrast to the flagrant cash burning of companies like Uber or Lyft, Slack’s losses have been fairly consistent. But its revenue growth rate has slowed from 110% two years ago to a projected 50% for the fiscal year ending next January.Butterfield said he thinks that the practice of direct listing has the potential to catch on more widely after this week. “I think if this works out in terms of volatility and volume, I would expect anyone who doesn’t really want to raise money will follow that path of just listing,” he said.(Updates shares in second paragraph. Adds bank advisers in sixth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Eric Newcomer and Sonali Basak.To contact the reporter on this story: Ellen Huet in San Francisco at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Mark Milian at firstname.lastname@example.org, Anne VanderMeyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO), Palo Alto Networks Inc. (PANW), FireEye Inc. (FEYE), and Imperva Inc. (IMPV) have all made cybersecurity acquisitions in recent weeks as they scoop up smaller companies in the burgeoning enterprise software industry tied to cybersecurity. “There is a bit of a scramble to get premium assets,” said Sarah Guo, an investor at Greylock Partners.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Silicon Valley companies don’t like anybody else having a say in their operations. Grumblings about initial public offerings are just the latest example.While the highest-profile tech IPO of the year, Uber, has thus far been a disappointment, other U.S. tech names have begun their lives as publicly traded companies trading far in excess of their IPO price. Some in Silicon Valley say that mean the bankers who handled the IPOs messed up the pricing, and not-yet-listed companies suspect they might be better off doing direct listings rather than going through the IPO process. Slack listed directly on Thursday, meaning its owners sold some of their shares rather than creating new ones through IPO intermediaries. And hey, if you can cut out the middleman while still accomplishing what you set out to do, why wouldn't you?It’s a theme beyond public listings: Large Silicon Valley companies seem to want to operate monopolistic platforms immune to pushback from governments, workers, shareholders or users.Facebook, YouTube and Twitter created open platforms and rode that business model for as long as they could – though now in the late 2010s all are facing hard questions like who should be allowed to participate, what content should be allowed or taken down, what sorts of hidden biases algorithms can have, and who should have access to user data. They could end up regulated like publishers are, or under some other approach.This generation of technology companies has also sought to change the relationship between employer and employee. While private-sector unions have been in decline in the U.S. for decades, some of these companies have taken “at will” employment a step further by relying on contract labor, as Uber and Lyft have fought to classify their drivers. Google has more temp and contract workers than full-time employees.Because these platforms are largely unregulated in the U.S., decisions about their operations are left to company management, who ultimately answer to shareholders. But Silicon Valley executives tend to insulate themselves from investor pressure. Many companies have created super-voting shares giving additional voting rights to founders and early investors, meaning that there often isn't any recourse for shareholders who are unhappy with how companies are run. Because of how much voting control Mark Zuckerberg has, he gets to operate Facebook as his own personal fiefdom.Beyond super-voting shares, Silicon Valley has also set out to change the way public markets work, to de-emphasize the role of active investors through robo-advising platforms like Wealthfront and Betterment. They're also seeking to create a “long-term stock exchange” that would, among other things, give more voting rights to long-term shareholders, mimicking the approaches taken by Zuckerberg and others.The industry’s Wild West style can’t go on forever, and it shouldn’t.Greater government involvement could incidentally push Silicon Valley toward respecting and rewarding shareholders. And although Silicon Valley complains that shareholders are short-term oriented, lofty valuations of Amazon, Tesla and many fast-growing software-as-a-service companies suggest otherwise.Regulation can increase trust in platforms, leading to more customer usage and perhaps higher advertising rates.Switching from contract workers to employees, or even unionized workers, can lead to a more dedicated, stable workforce, especially important as the U.S. labor market tightens.And even in the case of IPO underwriters, Silicon Valley is too quick to dismiss their value. Underwriters may be better able than direct listings to place shares in the hands of buyers who will hold through tough times. And in the case of cash-burning growth companies that will need to raise capital later on, having those banker and shareholder relationships may make future secondary offerings easier.A maturing Silicon Valley shouldn't be so quick to dismiss middlemen. They're not all bad.To contact the author of this story: Conor Sen at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Philip Gray at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Conor Sen is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is a portfolio manager for New River Investments in Atlanta and has been a contributor to the Atlantic and Business Insider.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.