Who needs an IPO?
When you raise $60 million in a Series D funding round, why go through the hassle and risk of an IPO? Soundcloud certainly didn’t need to, as it secured funding that values the company at $700 million. The company aims to become the YouTube of audio, and Re/code reported this week that Soundcloud has approached major record labels to talk content deals. A move towards partnership deals could mean an attack on the music streaming market, which is currently dominated by the likes of Spotify.
Converged infrastructure company Nutanix also held off on an IPO and raised over $100 million recently. Some analysts have labeled 2013 as the year of the unicorn – a private company with a valuation at or above $1 billion. If funding continues at this level, 2014 will see an even bigger herd of unicorns entering the field of play.
Samsung and IBM post worrying quarterly reports
It was a bad week for both Samsung and IBM, as the two giants reported poor quarterly results. IBM posted it’s seventh straight quarter of revenue decline. Currently it seems the industry supertanker is attempting to turn itself around in a bathtub. Hardware sales drove the company’s revenues down, and the firm has started offloading parts of its server business, cutting staff and boosting cloud offerings in response. This week did bring good news for IBM in that respect, as Lenovo bought its low-end server business for $2.3 billion.
Samsung’s situation is not nearly as perilous, but the company has posted its first drop in quarterly profit in two years. The South Korean mobile manufacturer attributed the decline to a one-off bonus given to its employees and to the struggling Korean currency, the won. However, mobile sales remained flat from last year, and the company’s competition gets stronger every month. The influx of budget smartphones into emerging and developed markets could take an even bigger bite out of big players’ profits in 2014.
Facebook laughs off Princeton claims of decline
Researchers at Princeton University released a paper this week claiming Facebook could lose up to 80 percent of its users by 2017. The study, which bizarrely based its findings on models used to research diseases as they spread, was met with derision from the social media network.
Facebook data scientist Mike Develin posted a blog post claiming the company’s own study into Princeton had found similar trend indicating a decline in the university’s popularity. “This trend suggests that Princeton will have only half its current enrollment by 2018, and by 2021 it will have no students at all, agreeing with the previous graph of scholarly scholarliness. Based on our robust scientific analysis, future generations will only be able to imagine this now-rubble institution that once walked this earth,” the blog post read. It finished by mocking the fact that Princeton’s research had not been peer-reviewed, and asked users of Facebook to ‘peer-review’ its study on the Ivy League School by liking the post. The media always seems eager to jump on a “Facebook is dead” story, and although some data supports the claim that the social media network’s star is fading, there’s very little to suggest its death will come as swiftly as Princeton’s researchers stated.
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Funding round for converged infrastructure company, Nutanix, clears $100 million
Google picks up solid perks with Nest Labs acquisition
China’s titans, Alibaba and Tencent, duel across multiple industries
The week in numbers
Founders Fund leads $80 million funding round for PayPal challenger Stripe at $1.75 billion valuation
Online shaving and razor company Harry’s secures $122.5 million in funding, buys $100 million factory
Database company MemSQL receives $35 million in a Series B round led by Accel Partners.