At a party the other day, one start-up founder told me the secret of Silicon Valley’s sky-high valuations. “I’ve had investors tell me, you can name any valuation you want, we’ll just make up for it in the terms,” he said.
His comment points to the fact that in the world of tech start-ups, the word “valuation” means something a bit different than it does for public companies. The favourable terms and generous downside protections that accompany many investments help limit the risk that venture investors take. Read more
Start-up Product Hunt, not yet one year old, may be setting new records for fastest fundraisings and longest list of big name investors.
Dailymotion, Europe’s biggest online video challenger to YouTube, on Thursday said it had raised $25m in a new funding round led by the French Sovereign Fund (FSI). The French strategic investments fund, which is 49 per cent owned by the government, contributed $11m to the round, with all the existing investors, Advent Venture Partners, AGF PE, Partech International and Atlas Ventures, taking part.
Dailymotion chief executive Cedric Tournay also said the company had now hit break-even and expected to make a profit next year. The site now attracts around 60m unique users each month, up from 35m a year ago. Although it is dwarfed by YouTube, it is doing well to survive and grow in a market where competitors like Joost and Veoh have had to retreat. Read more
These days, €40m ($51m) is a big funding round for any company whose revenues are based entirely on advertising. Blyk provides free mobile calls to 200,000 British 16- to 24-year-olds in exchange for them receiving advertising messages, a membership it reached much faster than expected. Its response rates of 25 per cent have attracted 180 advertisers – but is even that enough to maintain revenues, with advertisers pulling budgets from even the most tried and tested of media?
Blyk’s fundraising – its third, coming from existing investors, who include Goldman Sachs and Sofinnova Partners – was accompanied by a “new media partnership strategy”. Blyk currently operates using a mobile virtual network, airtime bought wholesale from Orange in the UK and Vodafone in the Netherlands. But for further international expansion, Blyk’s co-founder and chief executive (and a former Nokia president), Pekka Ala-Pietila, says: “We don’t need to work purely on our own.” Read more