Breakingviews

Tech’s real China syndrome victims are yet to fall

August 24, 2015

Facebook, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft lost nearly $200 bln of value in a week. China’s woes sparked the rout, but the problem was investors’ giddy faith in growth. Public tech stocks may recover. Fantasy valuations of private firms like Uber, though, will take the bigger hit.

WeWork stretches sharing-economy valuations

June 26, 2015

The groovy provider of office space - and beer - to millennial workers is now worth $10 bln after its latest funding round, doubling in just six months. WeWork is growing fast, but based on established rivals’ metrics earnings would need to jump 15-fold to justify that price tag.

Palantir’s mystery inflates its $20 bln valuation

June 25, 2015

The private data analytics firm beloved by government intelligence is raising $500 mln. Going public may not be an option for Palantir given its clients and culture. That deepens the enigma that further feeds its potential value - a James Bond privacy premium of sorts.

Rob Cox: Parsing the short life of Dave Goldberg

May 12, 2015

The untimely death of the CEO of startup SurveyMonkey sparked an unusual outpouring of emotion from Silicon Valley. His age and marital affiliation can only explain part of the response. The worrisome message is that nice guys really are too rare a breed in the tech ecosystem.

Verizon’s dumb pipes no smarter with $4.4 bln AOL

May 12, 2015

Seeking refuge from a vicious wireless war, the telecom carrier is buying the owner of the Huffington Post and old internet dial-up customers. The video ad tech business may be the prize, but it faces threats from Google and others. This is just another silly deal involving AOL.

Thruppence: Can Snapchat unmask dodgy borrowers?

By Breakingviews Columnists
May 11, 2015

Alternative lender Affirm has raised $275 mln for a model that rates creditworthiness using social media data alongside other old-school indicators. Breakingviews columnists debate whether info gleaned from Facebook and its ilk could supplant traditional credit-scoring methods.

Would Microsoft really want to own Salesforce?

May 6, 2015

Buying the cloud-based customer-service software could make businesses less likely to ditch Office. It might, however, cost Microsoft some $60 bln, more than all past deals combined. A bold bet for boss Satya Nadella would create earnings dilution that annoys his shareholders.

Salesforce’s slow growth may prompt hunt for buyer

April 30, 2015

The $47 bln software outfit is said to be on the market. Oracle and Microsoft want to beef up cloud capacity, making them possible suitors. Founder Marc Benioff has been offloading shares, and persistent losses and disappointing revenue could tempt him to hawk the whole thing.

Huge Apple payouts play catch-up with China growth

April 28, 2015

The $760 bln iPhone behemoth is adding $50 bln more to its buyback plans. Quarterly numbers, though, show the Middle Kingdom overtaking Europe as Apple’s second-biggest market after 71 pct growth. CEO Tim Cook is in danger of taking more fire for returning cash too slowly.

Guest view: What’s holding technology M&A back?

By Guest Contributor
April 9, 2015

Though deal-making is near boom-time highs, most of it’s not about making bold bets on the future, says Andreessen Horowitz’s managing partner. Activism plays a role. But as newly public tech firms that are more resistant to external pressure mature, the dynamic will shift.