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Trending Tech: Facebook IPO Special Edition

May 18, 2012

Facebook went public with its landmark IPO. With shares set at $38 apiece, Facebook Inc. is valued at more than $100 billion. With more than 900 million users, Facebook is the world’s largest social networking site. The growth of Facebook has led to the rise of many start-ups creating its own economy. Facebook’s IPO is significant. Its success will spur broader growth in the tech industry. The Facebook IPO special edition will highlight the events leading up to its historic IPO.

10. Unfriending the US: Facebook co-founder stands to save million
Reportedly, the co-founder of Facebook, Eduardo Saverin renounced his U.S. citizenship ahead of Facebook’s IPO in order to avoid paying millions of dollars in taxes stemming from the company’s impending IPO. Eduardo who has a four percent stake in the company is currently a Singapore citizen. The move has received backlash from U.S. Senators and sparked debates over the U.S. tax rules and regulations.

9. Microsoft poised to reap rewards from Facebook IPO
Microsoft stands to become a direct beneficiary of Facebook’s first initial public offering based on the investment it made in 2007. The Redmond-based software company will get a $250 million windfall when it sells 20 percent of its estimated 1.8 percent stake in Facebook in the IPO.  With shares priced at $38, Microsoft’s entire stake in Facebook would be valued at about $1.25 billion. Now, that’s a smart investment.

8. Zuckerberg’s hoodie a ‘mark of immaturity,’ analysts say
Facebook has raked in billions of users and is one of the hottest prospects on Wall Street.  So what’s the big concern now?  Analysts are having a hard time getting CEO Zuckerberg out of his hoodie. His trademark hoodie raised eyebrows on Wall Street and linked his dressing style to lack of maturity. From IPO roadshow to meetings with potential investors, Zuckerberg donned his hoodie giving critics a new angle to analyze the upcoming IPO.

7. Ahead of its IPO, Facebook snaps up the Lightbox team to help fix mobile
Facebook closed a deal to hire the team of seven employees from Android photosharing app Lightbox,  just days prior to the company’s impending IPO. Facebook has been criticized for its mobile web standards, but with Lightbox talent, Facebook intends to strengthen its mobile centric issues. Lightbox will be closed down in June and the social networking giant will be utilizing the engineers from the company to help with its mobile platform.

6. General Motors says Facebook Ads don’t pay off
Just as the Facebook prepared for its highly anticipated IPO, General Motors,  the world’s largest automaker  decided to kill off a $10-million advertising campaign. More than financial loss, the advertising sector of Facebook took a blow. With the IPO closing in, Facebook’s business model and effectiveness of advertising on the site are under scrutiny.

5. Here are 10 reasons not to buy Facebook before you buy it anyway
With Facebook’s IPO hyped; it is difficult not to buy Facebook’s shares. Tech critics say there are tell-tale signs that Facebook may not have a good future. When a huge company like GM pulls its ads off the site, it is not a good sign. Moreover, there is the management concern. CEO Zuckerberg will be the biggest shareholder and will have voting control over 55.8 percent of the company’s shares.  He will continue to be the authoritarian rule over Facebook, post-IPO. This might be a concern considering he spent $1 billion on Instagram without consulting, well anyone. The $100 billion question is whether Facebook has a future that will be worth the investment.

4. Facebook IPO frenzy ‘has gone viral’
The global fascination over Facebook’s IPO is not surprising considering it has managed to raise a whopping $16 billion making it the first technology initial public offering to ever generate that kind of money. It has surpassed Google’s IPO in 2004 which held the record for the largest U.S. internet IPO by raising $1.9 billion at a valuation of $23 million. Facebook is the third biggest initial public offering in United States history, but no other market has matched the frenzy created by Zuckerberg’s social networking site.

3. Facebook to reengineer the IPO with all-night hackathon
Facebook’s 31st hackathon at the company’s “Hacker’s Square” began on Thursday at 7 p.m. Pacific time and ran up until the company rang the opening bell early Friday morning. The particular event was significant as it reinforced that the social networking giant will continue to focus on innovation and its dedication to building new products even at the time of a landmark event like its IPO.

2. After the IPO: what’s next for Facebook
There have been numerous speculations around the aftermath of Facebook’s blockbuster IPO. Once the frenzy of IPO subsides, will Facebook focus on growing? It already has 40 percent of the global Internet population.  Another area of focus would be mobile. Facebook has already made it clear with the $1billion acquisition of Instagram that its top priority is to improve Facebook mobile application. Other post-IPO speculations are circulating the web, and that raises the question as to what Facebook intends to do with all the cash post-IPO.

1. Facebook shares jump, then fade as trading opens
The historic day for Facebook began at its headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., as CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s rang the Nasdaq opening bell remotely flanked by COO Sheryl Sandberg and Nasdaq CEO Bob Greifeld. Facebook shares opened at $42 but settled back to its pre-opening price of $38 in the first half hour of trading.

Disclosure: Microsoft is Weber Shandwick client.