We all know that Carl Icahn can handle himself on the rough-and-tumble schoolyards of Queens. But he might want to think twice before strolling among the well-manicured lawns of Sunnyvale after dark after his unkind remarks about Valley Godfather Marc Andreessen and his associates at eBay. Read more »
For those of you who do not keep up with the drama in the Twitter universe, many, many people are very angry with a user who goes by the name @comfortablysmug, for spreading false information during the worst of Hurricane Sandy that included claims that ConEd workers were “trapped in a power station,” that ConEd was shutting down “ALL power in Manhattan,” and that the New York Stock Exchange was under three feet of water. These reports turned out to be complete lies and @comfortablysmug was shamed in the town square, outed, and forced to offer a “sincere apology to the people of New York,” noting that “while some would use the anonymity and instant feedback of social media as an excuse,” he would take “full responsibility” for his actions. Many in the media, however, are still quite miffed and one guy who’s really pissed? The dude who happens to have the same name (in real life) as comfortablysmug AKA Shashank Tripathi. Read more »
Not sure if the word has gotten out yet, but yesterday afternoon social networking site Facebook filed to go public. Almost as exciting as the news itself (for those who reach self-induced stroke levels of excitement over such things) was the answer to the burning question vis-à-vis which bank would win the coveted and lucrative role of lead bookrunner on the deal. As had been predicted, Morgan Stanley got the job. This happened, we’ve been told, because Morgan Stanley’s “dominant” tech team “has been largely unchanged since the mid-1990’s,” is based in Menlo Park rather than New York, has “seen every tech cycle,” and goes the extra mile to show that beneath their investment banker exteriors beat the hearts of a bunch of guys who really care. When it came to Pandora, which was said to be “wary” of the group, “Michael Grimes, co-head of global tech banking at Morgan Stanley, and his team wore concert T-shirts of their favorite bands from their Pandora profiles, including the Rolling Stones and Black Sabbath, under blue blazers when making their pitch.” In landing the Groupon deal, Grimes and his underlings presumably made sure to note the steal they got on laser hair removal using the site. And, of course, when making the hard sell for LinkedIn and Facebook, the bankers “set up accounts…in a show of support for their prospective clients.” AND YET! It appears only one networking site was granted the ultimate endorsement of Morgan Stanley. Read more »
As those of you’ve been paying very careful attention may have noticed, Wall Street is pretty into tech these days. Morgan Stanley is underwriting every single IPO available, Goldman Sachs has money in Mark Zuckerberg’s poking machine and LinkedIn is making Jim Cramer’s head explode. Hedge funds, however, want more. While Peter Thiel famously invested in Facebook way back when, and Tiger Global has poured cash into a whole bunch of sites, the industry as a whole wants a piece of these companies and not just after they become (alleged) successes.
A handful of hedge funds already had a history of such investments, but the activity has increased recently as investors try to cash in on the surging valuations of Facebook Inc., LinkedIn Corp., Zynga Inc., Groupon Inc. and a smattering of smaller companies…In the past 12 to 18 months, firms including D.E. Shaw & Co., Maverick Capital, Brookside Capital and Tudor Ventures, as well as hedge-fund investor James Pallotta, have joined Tiger in putting more money into promising yet risky tech companies. Starting last summer, Tiger began ramping up its investments in private companies in India, China, Brazil, Russia and other emerging markets. This year alone, it has invested in six Indian start-ups, including consumer electronics retailer LetsBuy.com, online fashion site Exclusively.in, and online bookseller Flipkart…Edward Lampert, the hedge-fund investor who controls Sears Holdings Corp., has become interested in private tech companies too. He recently assigned Daniel Levine, an analyst at his hedge fund, ESL Investments, to look for opportunities.
Sounds great, right? Well it would be except for the fact that some people are apparently too good for hedge fund money. Despite the fact that the firms are willing to throw hundreds of millions at them and open doors to sophisticated investors, these people are “suspicious” and skeptical of what hedge funds want and what their intentions are and whether or not they are literally the devil. Read more »