Breakingviews

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.

Silicon Valley sexism case tests new M&M color

March 11, 2015

Venture capitalists at Kleiner Perkins didn’t slip the candy down blouses, behavior that cost one tech law firm big bucks in 1994. But they’re accused of unfairly blocking a woman’s rise. It’s a subtler but more toxic flavor of discrimination that suggests how little has changed.

VC bigwigs reveal Valley’s contradictions

September 19, 2014

Peter Thiel’s new book sets out possible features of the next world-changing startup that will earn its founders a monopoly – another Google, say. Ben Horowitz’s focuses on running a tech company amid fierce competition. One is about vision, the other – for most people – reality.

Snapchat’s valuation soars on tech-land pixie dust

August 27, 2014

The disappearing-photo business has turned 100 mln users, chat-service demand and the $20 mln sale of a tiny equity stake into a $10 bln price tag. Trouble is, the company lacks revenue – and none is in sight. It’s another example of technology dreams trumping real economics.

Interpreting Apple/Beats using Andreessenomics

May 12, 2014

Venture capitalist Marc Andreessen partly justifies high tech valuations with the idea that huge companies can “attach” the products of smaller ones, rendering traditional analysis pointless. The idea can resonate - perhaps for Apple with Beats headphones - but it’s flawed.

Venture capitalists could be stifled by SEC share sale review

April 8, 2011

Facebook could wind up changing the way people invest as much as the way they interact. A fundraising round led by Goldman Sachs for the social networking giant earlier this year has put the rules surrounding the way private companies raise capital into sharp focus.

U.S. venture capital needs a reboot

February 4, 2013

A decade of insufficient shrinkage hasn’t fixed wimpy performance, which undershoots boring stock indexes. The dot-com boom is history, startups find capital elsewhere, and funds chase assets over returns. A few big names aside, investors need to strip VCs of their mystique.

Skype IPO may add dose of healthy hype to Valley

August 9, 2010

Skype's initial public offering may add a dose of healthy hype to Silicon Valley. The Internet telephony group's $100 million float should be red hot. While there have been several tech offerings this year, investor reception has been uneven. A bit of justified excitement over Skype's growth and its backers' gains is just what the Valley's capitalists -- and entrepreneurs -- need.

GM’s innovation drive looks uphill

July 7, 2010

The auto industry is moving forward. Just look at the successful public listing of electric car maker Tesla Motors. General Motors wants to innovate too. It has plowed $100 million into a venture capital fund to tap new technologies and add to the bottom line. Corporate VC can be a creative way to outsource research and development. The odds of spawning anything more look long.

Unicorns stampede through tech fantasyland

March 11, 2014

The single-horned stallions have made the leap from legend to run free through Silicon Valley, New York, London and the plains of Israel. The term unicorn is now used to describe the most successful startups. In a different and unintended sense, the trope couldn’t be more apt.