Archive for the ‘first three months’ tag
Qualys helps enterprise IT departments remain compliant with external regulations, and gives businesses applications to monitor and stop attacks. The company’s main product is a cloud-based, which has become an attractive means of deploying security software, as it easily updated and installed. The QualysGuard Cloud Platform allows businesses to watch for malware, and also scans applications for anything dangerous, and has a dashboard for organizing what vulnerabilities your company may have.
The company has 5,700 customers across the globe. The company made $76.2 million in revenue in 2011 and made $21.2 million in the first three months of 2012. Qualys has not yet chosen an exchange to offer its stocks on, but has decided on its ticker symbol, which will be “QLYS.”
Security company Palo Alto Networks, which has created a firewall, which can allow companies to monitor and block only certain parts of an application also filed to go public recently.
The tech industry has been wary of IPOs ever since Facebook went public in mid-May. Facebook’s IPO was delayed by technical difficulties by 30 minutes on the morning of May 18 and hasn’t fared well since. The company pulled partner Zynga’s stock 13 percent that day, forcing a halt on its trading. Indeed, travel website Kayak recently delayed its IPO so as to avoid the Facebook effect.
The company has listed a “limited history of profitability,’ inability to scale, the cloud security market, and a number of other risks related to investing in its business.
In March, VEVO launched a bold new redesign that provided TV-like viewing, with instantaneous and continuous playback. But the biggest addition to the platform, other than a beautiful new full-screen player, was a new social sharing feature that takes advantage of Facebook Open Graph. Not surprisingly, VEVO seen a dramatic increase in the number of videos that are watched and shared on the social network since then.
VEVO has seen a 600 percent increase in Facebook-published or -watched videos when compared to February, to 4.5 million. It’s also signed up half a million new users via Facebook, which represents a 142 percent increase over the previous month. And the total number of impressions on Facebook grew to 171 million, which is a 181 percent change from February.
A caveat: VEVO isn’t the only video provider to see a jump in sharing and usage immediately after integrating with Facebook Open Graph. Video applications like Viddy and Socialcam had seen huge increases in the amount of viewership and registrations after adding seamless sharing. But Facebook giveth and Facebook taketh away — and VEVO can’t count on that tremendous growth to continue indefinitely.
That said, it’s not just viewership from Facebook that is increasing. VEVO is also showing an uptick in engagement from users, who are watching more videos longer. Viewers watched an average of 4.3 videos in March, compared to 3.8 videos viewed in February. And they spent 15.2 minutes on the site, compared to 13.1 minutes during the prior month.
Facebook also isn’t the only place where viewers are tuning in to watch music videos on VEVO. The video service is also seeing huge amounts of viewership on mobile devices. In the first three months of the year, VEVO saw 254 million worldwide streams on mobile devices and connected TV apps, which is up 32 percent from the previous quarter. It also saw active users for iPhone grow 28 percent and iPad grow 22 percent during the time period.
Facebook’s eight year history is famously speckled with a number of buyout offers from the likes of Yahoo, Google, and Microsoft. But each time, founder Mark Zuckerberg opted to keep his company independent — against the advice of many. Now, with Facebook gearing up to hold an initial public offering that will value the company at some $100 billion, it’s pretty apparent that Zuckerberg was right all along.
And according to new data out of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), others are opting to go the same route. Merger and acquisition (M&A) deals are taking a backseat at the moment, as more web companies are setting their sights on the possibility of an IPO.
Tech M&A Dips, Web M&A Dives
There were just nine M&A deals in the Internet sector during the first three months of 2012, compared to the 20 M&A deals that the sector saw during the first quarter of 2011, according to PwC’s latest U.S. technology M&A Insights report. Internet M&A deals also dipped on a sequential quarterly basis, as the sector saw 10 deals in the fourth quarter of 2011.
The larger technology sector overall, which in PwC’s report includes hardware, software, semiconductor, IT services and Internet companies, saw a dip in M&A deal volume as well. There were 64 tech M&A deals during Q1 2012, down ten percent from the 76 tech M&A deals that occurred in Q1 2011. On a quarter-over-quarter basis, deal volume declined by seven percent from the 69 deals that closed in Q4 2011.
Quantity Down, But Per-Deal Price Tags High
It’s also important to note that while the number of M&A deals is down, the cumulative transaction value is up — indicating that the companies who do opt for M&A transactions are seeing higher price tags. Cumulatively, Q1 2012′s tech M&A deals were worth $28.9 billion, an increase over Q1 2011 which saw $25.1 billion in deals.
Since deal volume was so low, the average deal value for Q1 2012 was $452 million, up significantly from Q1 2011 when average deal value was $330 million. There were nine billion dollar-plus tech M&A deals during Q1 2012, which PwC said represents the second highest volume of quarterly “mega deals” since 2008.
IPOs Up — Driving Valuations Up
Meanwhile, tech IPO activity is surging. There were 13 tech IPOs and 14 IPO registrations during the first quarter of 2012, continuing the trend from 2011 which saw 65 tech IPO listings overall, which itself was a 27 percent boost over 2010.
That public market frothiness is what’s mostly driving up M&A deal prices, PwC said in its report, which read in part: “Lofty IPO valuations have many companies pursuing a dual track to liquidity, preparing for both a sale and IPO, with attendant increases in valuation expectations.” With Facebook’s blockbuster IPO, which is widely expected to occur later this week, it looks like the current trends in tech M&A will only intensify — perhaps with Facebook itself emerging more as another low volume, big money acquirer.
Though Apple faces scrutiny from the federal government in the form of an antitrust lawsuit, the company has only spent $500,000 on lobbying the U.S. government in the first three months of 2012.
Overall tablet sales were down 1.2 million units in the first three months of 2012, but strong iPad sales boosted Apple’s market share to 68 percent, according to market researcher International Data Corporation (IDC).
IDC had estimated sales of close to 18.6 million units, down from the previous Christmas season quarter’s 28.2 million units. A slower post-Christmas quarter is generally expected, but actual sales were 17.4 million units, 1.2 million tablets fewer than predicted.
The bright spot in early 2012? Apple shipments remained strong – almost 12 million iPads sold. Apple sold so many in part due to the same dual price strategy that has served them so well in the mobile phone market: the current model at a premium price, and last year’s model at an industry-competitive price.
The real surprise is in the Android numbers, which are down significantly. While in the holiday season Android-based tablets accounted for almost half of all sales, in 2012 so far Android market share has slipped to 32 percent. The big loser is Amazon, which saw sales of the Kindle Fire dip from a high of almost five million tablets to this quarter’s low of just about a million units.
The real question now: is the dip in Android numbers just a blip? Will Android continue its once seemingly inevitable rise to 50 percent to 60 percent market share?
Perhaps a better question is why Android was so strong in the last few months of 2011. Amazon’s Kindle Fire numbers show what the world’s top online retailer can do to move a market … and if Amazon is willing to absorb low margins and push digital razors out the door now in order to sell electronic blades in the future, Android will certainly recover. Selling the Fire almost at a loss, however, has certainly contributed to Amazon’s traditionally slim margins almost disappearing entirely in 2012.
IDC sees continued growth in the tablet market in 2012 and beyond, with Apple continuing to lead. How long that continues, however, depends on continued innovation from Cupertino – and whether Android manufacturers continue to improve their game.
We’ve seen platforms that help those with parking spots or gardens loan out their assets to those looking to rent, and now we’ve come across a new startup that’s doing something similar on a bigger scale. UK-based Field Lover recently launched a field-owner/event-organizer matchmaking site.
Aiming to open to the public in time for the festival season, visitors to the site are greeted with two options, one for event organizers looking for a host field and one for land owners wanting to make some extra money by leasing out their field. Field Lover seeks to cater for a wide range of functions, such as weddings, festivals, shows, car boot sales, sports and horticulture and can arrange rentals for half a day to agreements that are more long-term. Land owners will be able to post images of their fields, add a description and lay out their pricing, which they can alter at any time. Signing up is free as the site makes its revenue from advertising. As an introductory offer, Field Lover will be running a competition with prizes worth up to GBP 50, given to one member each month for the first three months.
Although still in its early stages, Field Lover has captured a niche market and aims to create long lasting relationships between its users. Could the popular matchmaking model be useful for your industry?
Remember Turntable.fm? The social music discovery service saw some massive growth last year, adding 360,000 users in its first three months and netting a $37 million valuation. It was interesting, it was original, it was the bane of productivity. But before long, the interest dried up. But why?
That’s the question at the heart of a recent profile of the company in INC Magazine. In it, Turntable founder and CEO Billy Chasen and chairman Seth Goldstein speculate, albeit briefly, on where the love for their service — not to mention its growth and active user base — went.
The explanation has a few parts. Much of the drop, certainly, came when the service was forced to block international users last June due to licensing restrictions. Thirty percent of Turntable’s initial audience came from Japan, so the loss of international users was a significant one. But that still doesn’t tell the whole story.
Goldstein speculates that Turntable failed to advertise itself outside the perpetually fickle tech scene, which was certainly a part of the problem. Chasen’s view, however, is a bit more interesting, and probably more true: He blames the product, or, more accurately, the cadence of user interaction that the product demands.
Here’s why that makes sense. Music listening, at least online, is for the majority of people, passive: It’s something that happens in the background, noticed, remarked upon, but not especially considered. This is particularly true when people are working: music here is meant to exist in the periphery; it’s entertainment without engagement. That’s a core part of its pull.
But that’s a reality that Turntable hasn’t adjusted to all that well. The site’s social layer is almost inextricable from its larger experience, especially for those helming the DJ both. And that’s fatal for a service whose users primarily use it during the day, ostensibly at work.
Consider this: The service’s most populated room at the time of this writing was titled, perhaps unsurprisingly, “Indie While You Work.” It’s also notable that, in the time that I was listening to it, not a single song was skipped – a fact that supports the notion that not many users were actively paying attention to the room while listening.
And then there’s the mobile side of things. Turntable released its iOS app in September of last year, and eight months later its Android app has yet to materialize. That’s a pretty big omission considering that Instagram’s Android app figured heavily into why the company got that $1 billion purchase from Facebook.
Fortunately, that may be changing within the next few months. At last month’s Rethink Music event, Seth Goldstein said that an Android app would be “coming soon” — a revelation that probably doesn’t mean much to the Android users who have been waiting for it for the better part of a year.
But will an Android app really make a difference? Unlike Instagram, the core Turntable.fm product isn’t a mobile one. Seeing as how the iOS app is essentially a miniaturized version of its browser format, it’s hard to argue that Turntable.fm has benefited all that much from the jump to mobile.
Another hindrance to Turntable’s user growth is the site’s log-in system, which still relies on Facebook for authentication. While Turntable.fm did add a similar system for Twitter users in January, there are doubtless many people who aren’t all that fond of using either service to log in to an external site.
But that’s not surprising. As with most services, there are the hardcore Turntable,fm users — and then there’s everyone else. The problem is that, while there are a lot of people that really love Turntable.fm, those people aren’t the majority. And that’s why the service hasn’t sustained the same level of press and user enthusiasm as it started with.
Fortunately, the team seems to be on the verge of a few changes. Chasen told Inc that the Turntable team is working on a project code-named “Kiwi” which will more thoughtfully tap into the reality of how people interact with music passively. Similar to Pandora, the project will offer recommendations-based playlists, which a major departure from Turntable.fm’s current format.
The are shifts elsewhere as well: The company is looking for a product designer, one whose job description entails evolving the look of Turntable’s look and feel on both the web and mobile. On the licensing side of things, Turntable.fm recently inked licensing deals with all four major record labels, adding a layer of legitimacy to the whole operation.
Clearly, Turntable.fm is on the verge of something new, though whether this new direction will bring with it renewed interest is, at this point, uncertain.
It seems the Samsung Galaxy Note really is headed to T-Mobile. A pic showing a T-Mobile-branded Note was just posted on TmoNews somewhat confirm a report from earlier this week. The phone here had the standard assortment of T-Mobile apps including T-Mobile Name ID, T-Mobile Mall, T-Mobile TV and My T-Mobile. This thing is for real.
T-Mobile has been hurting for a killer device for sometime. The Galaxy Note could help the carrier regain a bit of its swagger even though it will likely carry the same $299 price as the AT&T version. Of course there still isn’t a projected release date but it’s probably right around the corner.
The Note has been a bit a surprising success for Samsung. The company sold three million of the massive phones during its first three months on the market. Even though it’s a massive the device, for better or worse the Galaxy Note is something different from the rest of the nearly identical Android handsets.
UPDATE: Sorry everyone, I really messed up this report at the first go. Currency conversion was way off — billions should have been millions, something we realized within minutes of publishing. The post has been corrected.
Baidu, China’s leading web search company today issued its quarterly earnings report for the first three months of 2012. The company made $677 million in top-line revenue, up 75 percent from the revenue it posted in the first quarter of 2011. Baidu performed just as strongly at the bottom line as well, posting a net income of $299 million, up 75.9 percent year-over-year.
And it doesn’t look like Baidu is exactly resting on its laurels as one of China’s reigning web kings. The company said it upped its spending on research and development by 85 percent year-over-year to $70 million during Q1, which it said was due mostly to an increase in headcount. As a comparison to its US-based peers — Google, for example, spent $1.4 billion on R&D last quarter, while Facebook spent $153 million.
Going forward, Baidu expects even bigger numbers. The company’s Q2 revenues are projected to be between $847 million and $867 million. That is of course a solid boost over Q1, but it would reflect a slight slowdown in year-over-year earnings growth to a projected 57 percent — something which apparently irked investors, who have pushed the stock down some 10 percent in after-hours trading as of this article’s writing. But in a statement, Baidu’s chairman and CEO Robin Li expressed a sense of confidence about Baidu’s future:
“China’s Internet landscape is evolving quickly and we are very excited about fast-emerging opportunities in areas such as mobile and cloud computing. We believe that Baidu is uniquely positioned to capture this immense growth potential in the Chinese online market.”
Social networking powerhouse Facebook has updated its prospectus to include financial information from the first quarter of 2012, revealing to investors and the world that it made $205 million in net income on $1.06 billion in revenue during the first three months of the year.
The $1.06 billion revenue figure represents 45 percent year-over-year growth, but Facebook’s net income, or profit, actually dipped by $28 million from the first quarter of 2011. Also of note, Facebook made $1.13 billion in revenue in the fourth quarter of 2011, meaning that it made 6 percent less in total revenue in Q1 2012, a notable difference the company attributes to seasonal trends in advertising spend.
In the amended S-1, Facebook said it made 82 percent of revenue for Q1 2012 from its advertising business, spelling out that it made $872 million from ads and $186 million from its payments business. The former business, though still the company’s primary source of income, is showing a downward trend while the latter business is booming thanks to forced adoption.
“Payments and other fees revenue in the first quarter of 2012 increased to $186 million, or 98%, compared to the first quarter of 2011,” the company said. “Facebook Payments became mandatory for all game developers accepting payments on the Facebook Platform with limited exceptions on July 1, 2011. Accordingly, comparisons of Payments and other fees revenue to periods before this date may not be meaningful.”
Casual game-maker Zynga, still a major contributor to Facebook’s bottom line, directly and indirectly accounted for roughly 15 percent of revenue combined across payments processing fees (11 percent) and display ads (4 percent) for the first quarter of 2012.
Facebook also shared one interesting figure with investors. The company has calculated the average revenue per user (ARPU) at $1.21 for the first quarter of the year, which is up 6 percent from a year ago but down 12 percent from the fourth quarter of 2011.
But the takeaway, said financial data company PrivCo CEO Sam Hamadeh in an email exchange with VentureBeat, is that Facebook’s quarterly revenue fell sequentially for the first time. Hamadeh characterized the quarterly earnings as “awful.”
“[Earnings are] worse than the worst case scenario of at least flat sequential revenues with Q4,” Hamadeh said. “And on top of pulling out all the stops to window dress this quarter with Facebook Timeline, up to seven ads per page, larger ad formats, and sponsored news feeds.”
Facebook, for its part, defended the decline in revenue as normal for its business. “We believe that this seasonality in advertising spending affects our quarterly results, which generally reflect strong growth in advertising revenue between the third and fourth quarters and slower growth, and for certain years a decline, in advertising spending between the fourth and subsequent first quarters,” the company said. “The rapid growth in our business may have partially masked these seasonal trends to date and the seasonal impacts may be more pronounced in the future.”
In the prospectus, the social network also updated figures on activity levels, indicating that it now has 901 million monthly active users and sees 300 million photos uploaded to Facebook each day. Members generated 3.2 billion “likes” and comments per day during the first quarter of 2012, Facebook said.
Last year, Facebook made $1 billion on $3.7 billion in total revenue.
Filed under: social