WORK - Slack Technologies, Inc.

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  • IPO Best in Show Doesn't Go to WeWork, Uber or Lyft

    IPO Best in Show Doesn't Go to WeWork, Uber or Lyft

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Many of us have been fixated on WeWork’s struggle to go public and the disastrous post-IPO stock performance of high-profile startups Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. But as has often been true in the last few years, the tale is different for the unglamorous tech companies that are running circles around their cool peers.The latest example is Datadog Inc., which helps companies monitor the health of their apps and computing infrastructure; it sold its first batch of public stock late Wednesday. If you fell asleep reading the description, let me wake you up by saying that the company’s most recent pre-IPO investors(1) have a nearly 1,100% gain on their shares in less than four years,(2)according to figures from EquityZen, a marketplace for private stock sales. The earliest Datadog stock buyers from 2011 have a nearly 50,000% gain.In a non-systematic look at more than a dozen other tech companies that have gone public in the past couple of years, the stock gain for Datadog’s pre-IPO investors is at or near the top of the leader board. Repeatedly, the less-buzzy startups like Datadog that sell cloud-subscription software to businesses have been the ones that deliver the goods for early backers. There have been exceptions, but companies like Zoom Video Communications Inc. and Slack Technologies Inc. — the coolest of the Zzzz crowd — have tended to produce strong returns for pre-IPO investors, and their public shares have typically done well, too.Investors, both public and private, love these software-as-a-service companies. Generally their technology is better than anything that came before — if there was an old-guard technology with similar functions — and once businesses use the software and stitch it together with email, calendars, information databases and other corporate systems, it can be tough to ditch. If they’re managed properly, these business software companies can grow fast and predictably.Among the tech companies that have gone public on U.S. stock exchanges since the beginning of 2018, nine of the top 10 by stock gains from their IPO price are software companies that sell to businesses, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. (No. 1 is Zscaler Inc., whose share price has more than tripled since its March 2018 IPO, despite a recent drop.)What are the lessons here? Well, not surprisingly, it may be that the consumer-oriented tech companies with lots of attention as startups may be great companies but not necessarily great investments if the hype leads to overvaluation. That’s particularly true — as in the cases of Uber, Lyft and WeWork — when public company investors are far more dubious than private investors about companies with unproven business models and unsteady financial metrics. The other lesson may be that you’re in luck if you founded a company in a sector like business software that, at least for now, is the apple of investors’ eyes. I have my doubts about how long these software-as-a-service companies can stay viable. When there is an economic downturn and companies take a hard look at what they’re spending on technology, there are going to be software bills they can live without. That swings the advantage to the big software supermarkets like Oracle, Microsoft and Amazon, which can offer companies discounts on a range of technologies. Some young business software companies are also spending big to grow in a way that may not be sustainable, and their corners of the market may not be as big as optimists expect. These young cloud software companies are also priced for growth to the point where they are vulnerable to any hiccup in customer acquisition numbers or revenue gains. That has happened recently, when companies like Zscaler, Alteryx Inc., PagerDuty Inc., CrowdStrike Holdings Inc. and New Relic Inc. reported wobbly financial results, changes in management or were just infected by worries from other companies in their sector. Still, Datadog shows the benefit of being the right kind of business at the right time. Bloomberg News reported Wednesday that Cisco Systems Inc. approached Datadog recently with a takeover offer significantly higher than the $7 billion valuation it had been shooting for in an IPO. (As of Thursday’s early stock market trades, Datadog is valued at about $11 billion, excluding the value of shares held by employees and others.)Datadog was apparently confident enough in its prospects to turn that down and opt to go public. The uncool companies truly are that cool.A version of this column originally appeared in Bloomberg’s Fully Charged technology newsletter. You can sign up here.(1) Those investors include Iconiq Capital, the investment fund that has managed money forMark Zuckerberg of Facebook and other affluent people and institutions in Silicon Valley and beyond. Other stock buyers included Index Ventures, OpenView Ventures, Amplify Partners and Contour Ventures, Datadog announced in early 2016.(2) I will say that it's unusual for tech startups these days to go public without selling stock or doing other cash collections in the four years before an IPO. Some startups can't go four weeks without needing fresh cash.To contact the author of this story: Shira Ovide at sovide@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Niemi at dniemi1@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Shira Ovide is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering technology. She previously was a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.For more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Uber, Lyft stock performance shows 'appetite for risk has diminished'
    Yahoo Finance

    Uber, Lyft stock performance shows 'appetite for risk has diminished'

    What happened to the much-hyped march of the unicorn IPOs?

  • WeWork Postpones Long-Awaited IPO, Sending Its Bonds Falling

    WeWork Postpones Long-Awaited IPO, Sending Its Bonds Falling

    (Bloomberg) -- WeWork pushed back its much-awaited initial public offering as the company seeks more time to allay investor doubts over its governance, slashed valuation and business prospects.The offering is likely to be postponed until at least October, people familiar with the matter said Monday. The office-rental unicorn had planned to begin making its pitch to investors in a roadshow as soon as this week.“The We Co. is looking forward to our upcoming IPO, which we expect to be completed by the end of the year,” the company said in a statement on Monday evening in New York. On Tuesday morning, co-founders Adam Neumann and Miguel McKelvey, as well as Chief Financial Officer Artie Minson, addressed employees in a roughly half-hour webcast. Minson said the company delayed the offering to make sure it was done “1,000% right,” and Neumann reiterated the plan to go public in 2019, according to a person who heard the remarks.The IPO was expected to be the next step in WeWork’s rapid growth and mark a victory for Japanese telecom giant SoftBank Group Corp.’s plan to pour billions into startups around the world. Instead, it turned into a dramatic struggle between the company’s chief executive officer, bankers and SoftBank over whether to plow ahead in spite of a plunging valuation or pull the deal.The delay will give advisers more time to drum up interest and may allow the company to show investors another quarter’s worth of results. Still, the value of WeWork’s bonds sunk the most on record Tuesday on concerns that the cash-burning company will miss out not only on the more than $3 billion it planned to raise in the offering, but also a $6 billion credit facility tied to a successful IPO. WeWork must carry out the offering by Dec. 31 to get the loan, Bloomberg previously reported.SoftBank had pressed WeWork to put off the stock offering amid doubts about the business, people familiar with the matter said previously. In January, SoftBank made its last investment in WeWork, renamed We Co., at a valuation of $47 billion. The company was more recently expected to be valued at only about $15 billion in a listing and perhaps even less, people familiar with the matter have said.The company’s $669 million of bonds due in 2025 dropped as much as 7.3 cents on the dollar to 95.5 cents Tuesday in New York, according to the Trace bond-price reporting system. That’s the biggest decline since the notes were issued in April 2018.The biggest investors in SoftBank’s $100 billion Vision Fund are now reconsidering how much to commit to its next investment vehicle after the oversized bet on WeWork soured. Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which contributed $45 billion to the gargantuan fund, is now only planning to reinvest profits from that vehicle into its successor, according to people familiar with the talks.Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Co., which invested $15 billion in the Vision Fund, is considering paring its future commitment to below $10 billion, the people said, asking not to be identified disclosing internal deliberations.The delay also adds another sour note to a medley of high-profile but frequently disappointing IPOs this year. The offering was expected to have been the biggest after Uber Technologies Inc.’s $8.1 billion listing, and ahead of the $2.3 billion offering by Uber’s ride-hailing rival Lyft Inc. Both of those stocks are down more than 20%, and software company Slack Technologies Inc. has fallen more than 30% from where it closed its first day of trading in June.WeWork has become an extreme example of the excesses afforded to technology entrepreneurs in the era of unicorns -- startups valued at $1 billion or more. Neumann was able to raise billions of dollars at astronomical valuations and spend freely, while retaining effective control over operations through special classes of stock.In an effort to keep its IPO on track, WeWork last week took steps to limit Neumann’s control of the company after an IPO, as well as other measures to improve its corporate governance.(Updates with details of staff webcast in third paragraph.)\--With assistance from Scott Deveau, Ellen Huet, Sridhar Natarajan and Claire Boston.To contact the reporters on this story: Gillian Tan in New York at;Liana Baker in New York at;Michelle F. Davis in New York at mdavis194@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alan Goldstein at, Michael J. Moore, Steve DicksonFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Netflix, AMC, Lyft, Uber and Slack

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Netflix, AMC, Lyft, Uber and Slack

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Netflix, AMC, Lyft, Uber and Slack

  • SoftBank Needs a Different IPO After WeWork Slip

    SoftBank Needs a Different IPO After WeWork Slip

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- SoftBank Group Corp. and its Vision Fund need another win. And they need it fast.With news that U.S. rental office company WeWork  – formally known as The We Company – looks set to delay its IPO, we can see just how dependent SoftBank supremo Masayoshi Son’s empire was on this one exit to keep the Japanese company’s hit machine ticking along. SoftBank Vision Fund has been a major investor in some of this year’s most significant listings. Uber Technologies Inc. and Slack Technologies Inc. were among them. Both have fallen this quarter, dragging down the value of the Fund.There is a pattern to how the Vision Fund keeps returns climbing. Buy in at a later round of a startup’s funding, list the company a year or two later, and book the mark-to-market gains.Sounds simple, except for the one-two punch that follows: SoftBank, like most pre-IPO investors, is generally locked in and can’t cash out that profit for at least a year. Additionally, IPO shares have a tendency to perform badly in their first year. For SoftBank and the Vision Fund, that means quick gains turn to slow public-market losses that need to be booked every period, hurting returns in subsequent quarters.To paper over these losses, the Fund can book gains by bringing its next hot offering to market. That means that as long as there’s a healthy IPO each quarter, the pain from public-market declines can be squelched. So the model becomes: IPO gain, public-market losses, IPO gain. And around again.With WeWork, however, the merry-go-round risks turning into musical chairs. The game needs IPOs on the floor or the music stops. Had WeWork gone public before Sept. 30, and at a healthy premium to the various prices SoftBank paid through its funding rounds, then such paper profits likely would have covered over losses caused by the 26% decline in Uber’s shares so far this quarter and the 30% drop in those for Slack.As Bloomberg’ s Gillian Tan wrote earlier this month, SoftBank and its affiliates own around 29% of WeWork. Should the $47 billion valuation at which SoftBank most-recently bought in turn into the current whisper number of $15 billion, then SoftBank and the Fund could be set to lose as much as $9.28 billion right out of the gate.(4)That would result in an unusual IPO loss, drag down the Fund, and ruin the quarterly model. So it makes sense that SoftBank wants to delay WeWork’s IPO, at least until after Sept. 30. WeWork responded to reports of this delay by saying it expects to complete the IPO by the end of this year.Assuming that there’s no other basis for revaluation, such as a new equity round, the Vision Fund can still contend that WeWork is worth $47 billion when it closes its books at the end of this month.But that doesn’t solve the possibility of the Vision Fund posting a loss this quarter thanks to slides in Uber and Slack. One listed portfolio company, Ping An Good Doctor (aka Ping An Healthcare and Technology Co.), was up 39% in Hong Kong as of Tuesday morning, netting a gain of around $110 million to the Vision Fund. Others have fallen, including Guardant Health Inc. (-13%) and ZhongAn Online P&C Insurance Co. (-8.6%).  I believe that this leaves SoftBank Vision Fund with little choice but to enact a two-pronged strategy. First, take a “big bath(3)” for the September quarter and get the bad news behind it. Second, hurry along the IPOs of the other unicorns in its stable.ByteDance, the hugely popular Chinese video content platform, is currently the world’s most valuable startup at $75 billion, according to CB Insights. That’s followed by Chinese ride-hailing provider Didi Chuxing at $56 billion. I don’t think either is ready to IPO in the next month or two, but there’s always a chance ByteDance may decide to list before a slowdown in the Chinese economy starts to show up in its growth metrics.There are also some smaller fruit about to ripen. South Korean e-commerce company Coupang and U.S. food delivery provider DoorDash Inc. could find favor among IPO investors. Southeast Asian transport and services startup Grab Holdings Inc. would also be very popular, but I sense they want to spend a little more time building the non-transport offerings before pitching an IPO. Then there is Son’s plan to relist British semiconductor designer ARM Holding Plc, which would likely be a success because of its central role in the global technology sector.Despite the troubles with WeWork, SoftBank still has a strong team of highly valued startups on its roster. But they’re not much good to the Vision Fund if they’re sitting on the bench.(1) The exact scale of any loss would depend on how SVF has valued preferred shares acquired in earlier rounds. This figure assumes the Fund raised valuations in subsequent funding rounds.(2) Big Bath refers to the concept of collating lots of bad news in one quarter so that a company can put it all in the past and move on. Often seen as manipulation, I'd argue this can actually be a healthy strategy because it allows investors and management to return their focus to building the company.To contact the author of this story: Tim Culpan at tculpan1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Patrick McDowell at pmcdowell10@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tim Culpan is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering technology. He previously covered technology for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Zacks

    MoviePass: A Cautionary Tale?

    MoviePass had all the workings of a genius tech start-up but was unable to execute its business model effectively. What does this mean for other unprofitable public companies?

  • SoftBank Backers Rethink Role in Next Vision Fund on WeWork

    SoftBank Backers Rethink Role in Next Vision Fund on WeWork

    (Bloomberg) -- The biggest backers of SoftBank Group Corp.’s gargantuan Vision Fund are reconsidering how much to commit to its next investment vehicle as an oversized bet on flexible workspace provider WeWork sours.Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, which contributed $45 billion to the $100 billion Vision Fund, is now only planning to reinvest profits from that vehicle into its successor, according to people familiar with the talks. Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Co., which invested $15 billion, is considering paring its future commitment to below $10 billion, the people said, asking not to be identified in disclosing internal deliberations.A partial retreat of the two anchor investors would complicate fundraising for SoftBank Chief Executive Officer Masayoshi Son, who upended venture capital by making huge bets on promising yet unproven companies and spurring others to follow suit. Perhaps more than any other startup, WeWork has come to symbolize that brash style, and the success or failure of its IPO is likely to impact Son’s ability to raise cash for future deals.PIF executives are still considering options and no final decision has been made, one of the people said. A spokesman for the Saudi Arabian wealth fund declined to comment. Mubadala said discussions are continuing on whether or not any investment will take place. A representative for SoftBank’s Vision Fund didn’t immediately have a comment.“The suggestion we have made any decisions on the size or timing of a potential investment is simply unfounded,” said Brian Lott, a spokesman for Abu Dhabi’s sovereign fund. “Our discussions continue at an appropriate and deliberate pace, given the importance of this effort.”Sagging ValuationThe Wall Street Journal previously reported that Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund wasn’t planning to be a significant investor in the new fund but may still make a more modest commitment. A decision to only reinvest proceeds from the first fund would mark a significant shift. Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said last October that he planned to invest another $45 billion into any new fund.“We would not put, as PIF, another $45 billion if we didn’t see huge income in the first year with the first $45 billion,” he said in an interview with Bloomberg.WeWork is one of SoftBank’s flagship investments, along with Uber Technologies Inc., messaging software provider Slack Technologies Inc. and U.K. chipmaker ARM Holdings Plc. SoftBank, which with its affiliates, owns a 29% stake, and in January invested at a valuation of $47 billion, more than triple the $15 billion that’s currently being discussed in an IPO.Tensions have erupted within SoftBank over how it has handled its investment in WeWork. The Vision Fund, along with PIF and Mubadala, scuttled a $16 billion investment early this year Son had championed. SoftBank ended up making only a $2 billion investment from its parent entity, rather than the Vision Fund.SoftBank said in July that other investors had expressed interest in pledging a combined $108 billion for the second Vision Fund, though that was before WeWork forged ahead with plans for an IPO. The new fund is expected to collect money from Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp., Foxconn Technology Group and various Japanese financial institutions, with seven having signed memorandums of understanding to participate.(Adds that talks are ongoing in fourth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Matthew Martin.To contact the reporters on this story: Gillian Tan in New York at;Giles Turner in London at gturner35@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tom Giles at, Christian Baumgaertel, Sree Vidya BhaktavatsalamFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Okta Stock May Be Preparing to Take a Real, More Permanent Plunge

    Okta Stock May Be Preparing to Take a Real, More Permanent Plunge

    Okta (NASDAQ:OKTA) isn't exactly a household name. Enough people knew about it though (and liked it well enough) to Okta stock from its early-2017 IPO price of $17 to its July high of $141.85.Source: Sundry Photography / Then, everything changed. The stock has peeled back from that high to its current price near $103 and is seemingly testing even lower lows. The 27% meltdown Okta stock has suffered in fewer than two months is the biggest selloff it has seen since became publicly traded.The likely reasons include that Okta pushed the average maturation date on some of its debt down the road. On top of that uninspiring decision, several cloud-computing names like Twilio (NYSE:TWLO) and Slack Technologies (NYSE:WORK) have also stumbled into selloffs over the course of the past few days. Industry influence can be potent at times.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsThere's a more likely underlying reason OKTA has been hammered after being such an incredible performer though. That is, it's wildly, ridiculously overvalued, with little hope of ever justifying what was at one point in July a more than $16 billion market cap. A Closer Look at Okta StockOkta offers computer login-security services, remotely preventing unauthorized access to protected information. If you log into an app at work or even via your smartphone, it's possible you've passed through an Okta-managed digital gate. * 7 Tech Stocks You Should Avoid Now It's an important business given the countless number of data breaches and computer hacks we've seen of late, but it's not a business with a particularly high barrier to entry.The crowded field is evidence of that. Twilio is in the same arena, as is Nexmo. And Bandwidth. And Hearsay, Plivo and Voxbone just to name a few, along with dozens of other players.It's not just the small startups in the business though. Big rivals offer comparable services. Though Forrester gave Okta the highest praise in the second quarter of the year by calling it the leader of the IDaaS (identification as a service) industry, that industry's players also included Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL, NASDAQ:GOOG).No company wants to have to stand up to Google or Microsoft.It's not a message fans and followers of Okta want to hear about, and it's certainly not the new and modern way of thinking about evaluating equities. A good story is good enough. The idea is all the matters. The trajectory rather than the current situation is the key.Except, those premises are only true for a short while. Eventually, a company has to make some real money that at least comes close to making sense given its price.Even with its 27% selloff, Okta stock still isn't even close. The Real Problem for Okta StockThe sheer quantity and quality of its competition is only half the concern suddenly weighing Okta down, however. The other half is a valuation that makes little sense even if Okta can outpace its rivals.Forget the lack of earnings for the moment; lots of companies bleed cash in their infancy. Even just focusing on revenue, Okta is valued at a stunning 25.7 times its trailing sales of $486.8 million.The S&P 500's price/sales ratio right now is an above-average 2.2. By that measure, Okta is overvalued by a factor of more than ten.Okta would need to grow its top line all the way from $486 million now to $5.6 billion to fairly justify its current market cap of $12.3 billion. Even allowing a little more wiggle room that tech stocks often command, a top line of $5 billion would still be a necessity. That's more than a 1000% improvement in sales in a market that Microsoft and Google are also in.Earnings growth would have to be even more dramatic to justify the stock's current value, working its way out of the red. The Reality for Okta StockThe digital future will undoubtedly require even more secure login architecture. Okta provides it.Unfortunately, so do dozens of other companies. Investors went nuts in particular over this one, however, without ever really asking questions like, "How much revenue can this one company produce?" and "How much of that revenue can be turned into a viable, sustainable profit when the service is essentially a commodity?"Increasingly, investors are realizing that the company's insiders and early investors had more to gain by going public and touting the stock than they did by building the company's revenue base. The same goes for rivals. It's also arguable these insiders and major stakeholders of all these companies were ultimately gunning for an acquisition that's looking less and less likely.The timing of these realizations remains one of life's great trading mysteries.And that's not to say Okta stock won't bounce back from its recent setback. It probably will. Anything dropped from enough height will bounce. The question is, can any bounce be sustained?The scope and speed of the selloff, however, suggests the cloud-identification market's investors just had their aha moment. Okta's honeymoon period is officially over, and that ain't good for existing shareholders.As of this writing, James Brumley held a long position in Alphabet. You can learn more about him at his website, or follow him on Twitter, at @jbrumley. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 10 Recession-Resistant Services Stocks to Buy * 7 Hot Penny Stocks to Consider Now * 7 Tech Stocks You Should Avoid Now The post Okta Stock May Be Preparing to Take a Real, More Permanent Plunge appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • Bloomberg

    WeWork: The Last Unicorn or a Black Sheep?

    (Bloomberg) -- The We Co. roadshow is set to begin this week, perhaps as soon as today. Such corporate processionals through the ranks of blue-blooded Wall Street institutions are usually a triumph for buoyant, young companies. WeWork’s roadshow, on the other hand, will likely more closely resemble Cersei Lannister’s humiliating march to the Red Keep in Game of Thrones.Shame! WeWork’s valuation, $47 billion in a private funding round last January, could be set as low as $12 billion.Shame! Shame! Investors will no doubt be distrustful of any evidence of apparent self-dealing by the chief executive officer, Adam Neumann, such as buying properties and leasing them to the company. (WeWork took additional steps on Friday to change some of the unorthodox aspects of its governance structure and seek an independent board member.)As the nine-year-old office-sharing startup continues its stumble to the public markets, some prognosticators see this moment as something more significant: that a WeWork belly-flop portends the end of the unicorn era in Silicon Valley.The argument goes like this: SoftBank, the Japanese conglomerate and its $100 billion Vision Fund, has become an engine pushing the technology market to its limit. If it’s forced to retreat on its $10 billion commitment to WeWork, SoftBank will reconsider the nearly blind sanguinity that has perverted incentives for founders and distorted valuations in the industry over the last few years.In this seductive vision of a calamitous—and cleansing—WeWork initial public offering, modesty will once again return to Silicon Valley; humbled venture capitalists will stop bidding the valuations of unprofitable startups into the stratosphere; and the unicorns—those magical startups worth a $1 billion or more—will be put out to pasture, their legendary horns clipped like the tusks of poached African elephants.But that’s probably wishful thinking.The current cycle in tech started more than a decade ago, fueled by excitement over the iPhone, Facebook Inc. and the infusions of cash from a new generation of VCs like Andreessen Horowitz and Y Combinator. Business cycles tend to last seven to 10 years in Silicon Valley, and the resulting boom should have ended by now. But that was before the longest bull market in American history and a seemingly never-ending supply of venture capital from an array of new sources, including wealthy Chinese investors and Saudi Arabian oil money.It doesn’t appear to be stopping anytime soon. The stocks of Dropbox Inc., Lyft Inc., Slack Technologies Inc. and Uber Technologies Inc. are all under their IPO prices. And yet, many investors still believe.Uber lost $5.2 billion last quarter, dismissed more than 800 employees in the last two months and lost a policy battle with California lawmakers last week that could rock its business model. Somehow, Uber is still worth a cool $57 billion. Meanwhile, SoftBank says it’s going to raise another Vision Fund, with contributions from Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Foxconn—this one even larger than the last.The belief underlying the persistent tech boom is that savvy entrepreneurs in vast markets with access to enough capital can engineer their way through even the most challenging issues. Witness CloudFlare Inc., the unprofitable internet infrastructure company that raised $525 million last week at a higher-than expected market value of $4.4 billion. Investors were able to overlook recent controversies over unsavory former CloudFlare clients, like the forum where a mass shooter hung out, and the stock popped on the first day of trading.What will it take to really put an end to the unicorn era? Perhaps an economic recession and an accompanying withdrawal of overseas capital from the Valley. Perhaps it will take a total collapse of a once-promising unicorn to change the risk tolerance of conservative investors like endowments, pensions and sovereign wealth funds.If the WeWork IPO flops, technologists will try to dismiss it as an outlier, the bad fortune of a real estate startup that was never truly a tech company. It will be viewed not as an indictment of current excess in Silicon Valley but as an exception to it. That’s not realistic, but then again, neither are unicorns.This article also ran in Bloomberg Technology’s Fully Charged newsletter. Sign up here.And here’s what you need to know in global technology newsSpeaking of SoftBank, some of its other companies would be hit hard by California’s new labor bill that would force gig economy companies to hire their workers.Lawmakers are seeking information from customers of the Big Tech companies. A House panel investigating potential antitrust violations has contacted customers of Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook, according to documents reviewed by Bloomberg. They also asked the companies to hand over documents.Disney CEO Bob Iger left the board of Apple. The long-allied companies are now streaming rivals.Stanford University took money from Jeffrey Epstein, too. The school, located in the heart of Silicon Valley, received a $50,000 donation from a foundation backed by the late sex offender in 2004. Other donations to Harvard and MIT are prompting scrutiny of the schools and their faculties.A former Golden State Warrior is the U.S. face of Jumia, the of Africa.To contact the author of this story: Brad Stone in San Francisco at bstone12@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Milian at mmilian@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Beekeeper Raises $45 Million for Online Chat for Non-Desk Hotel Workers

    Beekeeper Raises $45 Million for Online Chat for Non-Desk Hotel Workers

    Beekeeper, an operational communications platform for hourly workers, has raised another $45 million in funding. The Zurich-based startup has clients in 26 industries but hotel groups like Hyatt are its largest early adopters. Thayer, a travel-focused venture capital firm, and Swisscanto, an asset manager via its growth equity fund, co-led the Series B round. The […]

  • WeWork is 'poster child' for what's failing in IPO market: Dan Ives
    Yahoo Finance

    WeWork is 'poster child' for what's failing in IPO market: Dan Ives

    WeWork's rocky road to the public markets is indicative of what's going on in with problematic, overblown tech IPOs in general.

  • SmileDirectClub must quickly show investors profits: strategists
    Yahoo Finance

    SmileDirectClub must quickly show investors profits: strategists

    SmileDirectClub needs to show profits quickly in the wake of its tough first day of trading, says two strategists.

  • Benzinga

    Mizuho Appreciates Slack's Platform, But Competitive Sidelines Are Too Big To Ignore

    Slack Technologies Inc (NYSE: WORK ) boasts a best-in-class product, but the competitive environment will likely limit Slack's pricing power and expansion opportunities, according to Mizuho. The Analyst ...

  • American City Business Journals

    WeWork's faltering IPO raises questions about SoftBank unicorn bets

    The We Company's faltering IPO is Exhibit A for those who argue that the fund led by the Japanese tech giant hasn't paid enough attention to the businesses it has backed when writing outsized checks at nosebleed valuations.

  • Softbank, WeWork’s biggest investor, has lost its appetite for a WeWork IPO

    Softbank, WeWork’s biggest investor, has lost its appetite for a WeWork IPO

    Softbank, also a big investor in Uber, is having a tough year.

  • Motley Fool

    Slack Joins the Lagging IPO Club

    The growth numbers aren’t bad, but they make it clear that Slack’s fastest days are probably behind it.

  • 'WeWork has a lot of questions to answer': EquityZen CEO
    Yahoo Finance

    'WeWork has a lot of questions to answer': EquityZen CEO

    WeWork needs to rethink its valuation, according to EquityZen CEO Atish Davda.

  • Why Many Cloud Computing Shares Plunged In Unison Today
    Motley Fool

    Why Many Cloud Computing Shares Plunged In Unison Today

    Volatile growth stocks can make big moves for no obvious reason. That's what the cloud computing sector is doing today.

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    (Bloomberg) -- Shares of some of this year’s highest-flying software stocks tumbled Monday as investors re-evaluate this year’s rally in light of the premium valuations their rapid revenue growth commands.Data-management software developer Alteryx Inc. plunged as much as 15%, while cybersecurity firm Crowdstrike Holdings Inc. sank 13%. They have been among 2019’s top performers, more than doubling since the start of the year. Both had revenue growth that exceeded 70% in the second quarter and trade at more than 20 times estimated sales, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The average for the S&P 500 Software Index is about 7 times.Enterprise-software companies have been among the standout gainers in the S&P 500 this year, as investors have been have been willing to pay higher prices for faster revenue expansion amid concerns about slowing global growth. They’ve also been helped by limited China exposure, which has increased their appeal amid the Sino-American trade war. Monday’s slump comes after the broader market retraced almost all of its August losses as trade and economic worries eased.“Most of the names getting hit are high-multiple names that have had impressive run ups,” said Rishi Jaluria, a D.A. Davidson analyst. “This suggests some level of profit taking.”Other notable decliners on Monday include:Fastly Inc. -16%Slack Technologies Inc. -12%MongoDB Inc. -11%Pagerduty Inc. -11%Zoom Video Communications Inc. -9.6%Okta Inc. -11%Twilio Inc. -10%Coupa Software Inc. -11%Trade Desk Inc. -11%Shopify Inc. -7.8%(Adds S&P 500 Software Index average multiple in second pargraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Jeran Wittenstein in San Francisco at jwittenstei1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Catherine Larkin at, Richard RichtmyerFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


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    Investor's Business Daily

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    (Bloomberg) -- Some of the hottest initial public offerings of the year are getting cooler receptions after earnings reports put some of the massive share gains in perspective.As the S&P 500 Information Technology Index climbed higher on Friday, CrowdStrike Holdings Inc. and Zoom Video Communications Inc. were among recent debuts that saw triple-digit share price gains shrink after strong earnings reports. CrowdStrike sank as much as 13% despite revenue forecasts that topped the highest analyst estimates, while Zoom slipped 6.9% even though its results were widely praised.Slack Technologies Inc., a direct listing that surged 49% from its reference price in its first day of trading, has fallen 11% in the two days since reporting second-quarter earnings. The collaboration software company’s third-quarter sales forecast disappointed even though it exceeded the average analyst estimate at the midpoint.Read more: Fresh IPOs Stink Up Earnings Season With Missed ResultsCloud software company Medallia Inc. dropped as much as 9.5% on Friday after an earnings report that William Blair called “solid.” The stock is still up 65% since its debut on July 18.To contact the reporter on this story: Jeran Wittenstein in San Francisco at jwittenstei1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Catherine Larkin at, Drew SingerFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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