IP Uh Oh

IP Uh Oh

There Yesterday, Gone Today: Andrew Mason Fired as Groupon CEO


Rumors of Andrew Mason’s imminent demise as Groupon CEO started swirling back in November, but the bubble officially burst today following Groupon’s “disastrous” financial report.

Yesterday, in response to question about how the numbers would affect Mr. Mason, Groupon spokesperson Paul Taaffee told Bloomberg, “He’s here today.” He was speaking literally.

Groupon just announced that Mr. Mason is being replaced. The company has named a “newly created Office of the Chief Executive,” led by executive chairman Eric Lefkofsky and vice chairman Ted Leonsis, who will “serve in this role on an interim basis.” Read More

IP Uh Oh

Facebook’s Cold IPO Calculus: Protecting Insiders Over Shareholders, Obscuring Risks

Zuck. (Photo:

Yesterday over drinks, we asked an angel investor if he thought Gilt Groupe would actually go public this quarter or next year, as planned. Fat chance given the post-Facebook IPO market, he replied. (Stronger language was used.)

Today, Bloomberg offers a must-read, in-depth investigation into just how cynical Facebook was in the lead-up to the IPO, including obscuring material information on risks demanded by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Those vulnerabilities, such as difficulties in monetizing mobile, decelerating revenue and dependence on Zynga, became painfully evident to shareholders who have watched what was supposed to be “the IPO of the Century,” drop in share price from $38 down to $19.69 as of this afternoon.  Read More

IP Uh Oh

Is Facebook CFO David Ebersman Responsible for the Company’s Bungled IPO?

(Photo: The D Networks)

It’s been almost four months since Facebook’s alarmingly botched IPO, and yet its specter still haunts the markets. On Friday, $FB stock closed at $18.06 a share, dropping a sharp 5.40 percent in a single day–the worst drop a tech company experienced that day. (Comparatively, Zynga–which has been widely panned for its parachuting stock–only dropped 3.11 percent.) To date, Facebook has lost $50 billion in market value since its IPO.

And yet, despite much talk of banks and underwriters and Facebook’s nascent leadership team, we’ve yet to pin down a real target for our IPO ire. Luckily, Dealbook’s Andrew Ross Sorkin thinks he’s found the likely culprit: Facebook CFO David Ebersman, whom you’ve probably never even heard of: Read More

IP Uh Oh

Peter Thiel Sells Almost All of His Facebook Stock, Donates $1 Million to a Tea Party PAC

(Photo: Wikimedia)

Back in May, when the Facebook IPO still seemed the like largest driver of wealth creation this side of the Gold Rush, Peter Thiel opted to sell only half his position in the social network, restricted somewhat by a lockup agreement requiring early shareholders to hold on to some of their stock.

However, financial documents filed today with the Security and Exchange Commission show that Mr. Thiel rushed to sell “nearly all” of his shares once the lockup expired by last Thursday, netting $395.8 million last week. That’s in addition to the $638 million he made in May selling 16.8 million shares during the IPO, which brings Mr. Thiel’s total earnings to more than $1 billion and counting.

Not bad for a $500,000 investment made in 2004, especially considering public shareholders have watched the stock’s value drop almost 50 percent from the misguided IPO price of $38 per share. Read More

IP Uh Oh

NASDAQ Partners with New York Tech Meetup, Refuses to Play Hard to Get

via Wikimedia

It’s official. No one at NASDAQ has been reading The Game. Today NASDAQ, which already boasts a Look at me! I’m one of you! Tumblr, made its designs on the local startup scene obvious by partnering with the mothership: New York Tech Meetup. The press release says that the partnership will be “focused on engaging, educating and promoting New York City’s technology community in unique and relevant ways,” but leaves out the implied plea to future Mark Zuckerbergs of the East: Don’t forget us when its time to IPO! Read More

IP Uh Oh

Is OpenTable a Cautionary Tale for Tech Stocks?

Ride the wave

There has been plenty of talk in recent weeks about internet IPOs and the danger of trying to ride that roller coaster. Many stocks saw a huge rise on their first day or week, followed by a steep fall.

But over at Fortune, Kevin Kelleher points out that this kind of swing in momentum seems to effect tech stocks well outside the bubble.

He notes that New York based OpenTable, which went public in May of 2009, enjoyed a great climb to $118 in April of 2011. But over the last eight months the company has lost 67 percent of its value, settling at a little under $40. Read More

IP Uh Oh

2011 in Social Media IPOs: The Winners, The Losers, and The Winningest Losers


In 2011, Wall Street caught friending fever. It was a hell of a year for social media IPOs, as investment banks welcomed themselves into the money-hungry arms of Computer Nerds, Many Of Whom Should Have But Didn’t Know Better. Of course, there were a few winners that weren’t said banks, as well as a few you’ve never heard of. In 2012, Facebook will lead one of the largest tech IPOs pretty much ever, and the largest year of tech IPOs since 1999. What did we learn? Mostly, that for every bet, there’s a sucker who’s as desperate for money as most people apparently are for friends. So:

Who won, who lost, and who debuted on the market without anyone really knowing? Read More