Keep an Eye On
The Naver Corporation, a South Korean company that operates the popular messaging application Line, announced on Tuesday that it had filed its subsidiary with the Tokyo Stock Exchange for an IPO. Line boasts over 430 million users, many of whom live in Japan. Like its Chinese counterpart WeChat, Line relies on in-app purchases for most of its $500 million revenue. The terms and trading date have only been speculated about, but for some context, WhatsApp was bought earlier this year for $19 billion by Facebook when it claimed 500 million users and around $400 million in revenue. Viber, meanwhile, was bought in February by the Japanese online retailer Rakuten for $900 million with around 300 million users.
When General Electric divests part of its retail finance unit, Synchrony Financial, it could raise upwards of $3.5 billion in the IPO. Synchrony operates private-label credit cards for major retailers like Gap and Walmart. GE is expected to sell 125 million shares of Synchrony (15 percent of the company) within the $23-$26 price range. If sold in the middle, the company would be valued at $20.3 billion. The company announced its intentions with an SEC filing in March, but the announcement about the projected share price comes a month after GE agreed to buy the power and grid business of Alstom, a French industrials company, for $13.5 billion. The company reported a positive second quarter, with revenues of $36.2 billion (up 3% YoY) and net income of $3.5 billion (a 13% gain).
The video marketing company TubeMogul raised $44 million in its IPO on Thursday after selling 63 million shares at $7, less than half of what it expected to gain earlier in the week. On the first day of trading the stock surged at various times nearly 50%, to as high as $10.30, but share prices were originally set within the $11-$13 range. BofA Merrill Lynch, RBC Capital Markets, and Citigroup served as lead underwriters. It is trading on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol TUBE. The company, which provides a platform for enterprises to optimize their video advertising, earned $57 million in revenue last year alongside a $7.4 million net loss.
LinkedIn announced on Tuesday that it had acquired Newsle, an application that aggregates news data into 140 character headlines. Newsle was founded in 2011 by Axel Hanson and Jonah Varon, who were Harvard undergraduates at the time. Writing on the company’s website, the two said: “We founded Newsle with a simple goal: to deliver news about the people who matter to you…LinkedIn is equally passionate about offering insights that can help professionals better do their jobs and will help us accelerate our efforts by making Newsle available to its members.” The company had raised over $2.5 million from backers Lerer Ventures, SV Angel, DFJ, and Bloomberg Beta, among others. The financial details of the acquisition were not announced, but it appears that the site will continue to operate independently.
Twitter acquired CardSpring, a platform that allows app developers to build applications for credit cards and other types of payment systems. The service will be kept open, but it is expected that Twitter will integrate it to allow enterprises to post deals on their Twitter accounts that could then be redeemed by users. With CardSpring, the credit card information it collects online is verified when the customer makes an in-store transaction, facilitating the time of online-offline transactions that many retailers are after. The announcement comes on the heels of news about Facebook’s increased interest in e-commerce. Also this week, Facebook introduced a Buy button to the mini-feed that allows users to buy advertised products directly from the site. CardSpring had raised $10 million from investors that included Greylock and Accel, but there is currently no word on how much Twitter paid.