Archive | June, 2014

Internet Dealbook Q2 Report 2014

 

Yahoo’s Alibaba windfall

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Yahoo’s Alibaba windfall

Last week, Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba announced that it would be floating in a gigantic IPO on the NYSE. The latest forecasts say that Alibaba may raise as much as $26 billion, making it the biggest IPO of all time, surpassing Facebook’s $16 billion in 2012 and Visa’s $19.65 billion in 2008.

Yahoo, which has a 22.6% stake in the Chinese company, thanks to an investment in 2005, stands to own a multi-billion dollar share of Alibaba. Post listing Yahoo will experience its windfall as a mixture of cash and continued equity in Alibaba, and because of agreements between the two companies, they’ll have to unload a significant portion of their holdings the minute Alibaba goes public. Unfortunately for Yahoo, they’ve become somewhat dependent on their Alibaba investment to keep their stock price rising, as they continue to struggle in their core business. No doubt we’ll see Yahoo’s shopping spree of 2013/14 continue, as they gobble up companies in an attempt top build a content driven search and advertising company for this century.

Surveillance is big business

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Surveillance is big business

Google is still on a shopping spree. Barely two weeks ago, the search giant bought Skybox, a satellite company that builds small satellites that can take high-resolution photos and videos from space. Then last week, Google’s Nest Labs has acquired Dropcam, a video-monitoring startup that makes web-connected home security cameras in a deal worth $555 million in cash. Dropcam is known for its cloud-enabled cameras that allow users to check their houses remotely using their Android or iOs devices. The purchase comes just four months after Google acquired Nest for $3.2 billion.

So what does this mean? Will Google be monitoring our movements from the sky to inside our homes? One thing that’s apparent, is that Google appears very fond of the lucrative video surveillance industry which is expected to be worth more than $36 billion by 2018. We suspect more acquisitions are on the way.

Our friend in the sky?

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Our friend in the sky?

After conquering cyberspace, Google is now looking to actual space, by acquiring satellite maker startup Skybox for $500M. Unlike other companies that build satellites like Digital Globe and Airbus, Skybox specializes in creating low-cost, smaller satellites approximately the size of a mini refrigerator. Skybox’s satellites are equipped with high definition cameras that can deliver a massive volume of high-resolution images. They’re also the first to make images taken from space available to the mass market. Last November, Skybox sent its first satellite SkySat-1 into orbit onboard a Russian Dnepr rocket.

By having real time access to high quality satellite images and videos, Google will look to improve its Google Maps and Google Earth products. Over time, Google also hopes that Skybox’s technology will be able to help its Loon project, a global network of high-altitude balloons that can bring Internet to areas in the world where there’s none. This all sounds very altruistic, but with greater visibility than ever before, Google will no doubt have access to images and information that consumers, governments and corporations may well wish they didn’t.