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汪翔:Snapchat 来了,赌一场?
送交者: 汪翔 2017年02月14日09:34:40 于 [股市财经] 发送悄悄话

Snapchat 来了,赌一场?

 

最近几十年,科技发展快速,也打造了无数的富翁。今天,近几年在市场上搞的热闹非凡的Snapchat 也来凑热闹。到底是机会到来,还是陷阱已经做好?

或许,这里的文字,对于你获得答案,会有所帮助。

有的人觉得,这是又一个面书(Facebook)的问世,也有的觉得更应该是有一个Twitter的再生。仁者见仁智者见智,不同的判断带来了不同的选择,就有了不同的结果。所以才有人发财有人哭泣,有人高兴有人后悔。

每一次看到这样的大拿准备上场,都让我想起当年谷歌上市的那个早上和上午。

那天天气不错,应该是个星期五。

一帮哥们姐们的早已经计划好,去南部几十里之外的一个野味十足的公园,呆上几天,搞野营。带着一大群小美国佬,叽叽喳喳的在野外追赶,在篝火旁欢笑的镜头,是没有几个人能够经得住诱惑,而选择拒绝的。

那天早上,我在电脑前一直看着谷歌的上市,和上市之后股价从八十几快速的跳到一百五十几的惊心动魄,怎么样都觉得太贵太贵。在接近中午时分,才依依不舍的离开电脑,带着孩子们,当然还有书记处的书记,一起浩浩荡荡的向南部开拔。

我们所生活的俄亥俄北部,有不少的原始生态气息极浓并且面积巨大的森林公园,很多还是成片成片的连在一起。说是公园,实际上就是非私人拥有的相当原始的山丘河流和森林灌木丛什么的组成的蛮荒之地而已,其中人造的物件比较少。呆在里面搞野营,住在帐篷里,还真的有当印第安人的感觉,至少应该是幻觉了。

也记得,当时在公园,有几位搞软件的大拿们,在唠叨着给我怎么样投资谷歌这样公司的非常权威性的建议。结果是,我随后的很多年都懒得看谷歌的股价。

再后来,几年之后,我实在是忍不住,开始以谷歌为标的进行炒股,更多的是股权,又被折腾得死去活来,最终在心脏病发作之前停掉了。

最终,我还是得感谢谷歌,就是这家伙给我的生活带来了不小的改变,或者叫改善。同时我也更深刻的意识到,如果你想搞投资,绝对不应该也不可以和你的那些科技界的科技精英们讨论投资的机会和股价的高低的。

中国来的精英就是这样,虽然很多时候都不知道自己到底在说什么,还依然是信誓旦旦,信心满满,自信心十足,专业味自然也就十足了,在任何领域都敢发表权威性的建议和点评。君不见,即使是像马云这样的超级大拿,也在成为超级巨富之后,开始做全方位的评论和指导,即使被指导的对象是美国的总统,也丝毫的不含糊。

很多人彻底的忘记了一句古语:学有专精。

 

SNAP的上市,有人预期将有200到250亿美元的市值实现,最近私募基金融资的定价在170亿美元。今天的Twitter的市值在120亿美元左右(股价在16.5左右,2014年1月时的股价在70美元多!),几天前在公司盈利报告出来之后,大量的分析师对于它的未来感觉绝望,由此就有了大量的 “卖出” 和 “回避” 推荐,将这家一度信心满满的公司,搞的是灰头灰脸。

那么,现在的问题是,SNAP到底会是FB还是TWTR?

我个人觉得,是TWTR的可能性比是FB的可能性要高很多。那些在170亿价值时注资的私募基金投资者,很可能会亏的丢掉不少的裤衩。别以为他们都是神,总是神,也有看走眼的时候。他们的厉害在于,他们有很多我们普通人所没有的投资机会。

在这里,我也很佩服FB那些家伙的眼光:他们几年前以10亿美元收藏的Instagram,今天的价值应该是远远高于SNP,如果是独立上市的话。很多年轻的美国人也对我说:他(她)们早就不玩SNAP,而是玩FB旗下的那个“小布点”。或许,这个“小布点”能够有今天的威力,也还是得益于它选择了FB这个大家庭:打不过就加盟!一起做大做强!

如果你想赌,买点TWTR这个弃婴,或许机会要好点,至少在短期是。因为,在SNAP上市之后,TWTR的价值会被“再发现”,如此一来,很可能就有想收养它的主人出现。

从长期看,谷歌,面书,甚至是亚马逊,也还有投资的价值。

祝好运。

 

 

 

The two views of Snapchat: Peaked or Set to Blossom

9:07 AM ET 2/14/17, By Therese Poletti

From New York to Silicon Valley to its hometown in Southern California, investors and analysts are sharply divided about Snap Inc. and its potential ahead of a highly anticipated initial public offering. 

Investors are hoping that the Snapchat parent company's much hyped IPO, the first from a "unicorn" tech company this year, will revive the moribund market for IPOs. Snap is expected to seek to raise at least $3 billion, in an offering expected to value the company at $20 billion to $25 billion. 

There are basically two camps emerging. One says Snap's best growth is behind it and the young company's huge losses show poor financial discipline and extremely high operating costs. These investors are betting that insiders and venture capitalists already profited from the biggest growth the company will see. 

The other camp believes that Snap is THE next platform company, its biggest growth is to come, and that the company is more akin to social media giant Facebook Inc. (FB), which had a disastrous public offering but later soared once it got mobile advertising under its belt, instead of Twitter Inc.(TWTR), which looks now to have gone public at the top of its growth curve. 

"This is a platform deal that every portfolio will park away," said Duncan Davidson, a general partner at Bullpen Capital, an early stage venture-capital firm in Menlo Park, Calif., adding that he was still positive on the deal even after seeing Snap's financials. 

The company's results showed heady year-over-year revenue growth of 589%, but staggering costs and losses, thanks in part to heavy spending on cloud computing. It also showed some deceleration from its super high growth rates of average daily users, a point investors will ask about when the company embarks on its roadshow in the coming weeks. 

"The biggest question is where are they on their growth curve and is a change in that growth curve a possible motivation for going out now?" said Lise Buyer, founder and president of Class V Group, an IPO advisory firm. "There could be a number of other reasons. Investors ought to think through the somewhat different risk/reward profile the current numbers project." 

Tech investors want high growth companies and are often willing to put growth before profits, even in older, more established companies. But the problem with many of the "unicorn" companies--tech startups with private valuations of $1 billion or higher--is that the longer they stay private, while getting funding from investors at super rich valuations, the bigger the risk that public investors will miss the largest growth spurts. 

'They remind me of Myspace. It's still around, but it's over," said Eric Schiffer, chairman and chief executive of the Patriarch Organization, a private-equity firm in Los Angeles that has invested in Kabam, Airbnb, Spotify and some internet service companies. "Snapchat will be around for years but it's over." 

Schiffer said he does not plan to invest in the IPO, but just wants to warn investors. 

"The public needs to know that there is another side of this, that it's not all pretty," he said. "If you are going to sink money in, especially your savings, you better be prepared to watch it explode into bits." 

Shares in hot IPOs are notoriously hard to get, especially for retail investors, so this may not be an immediate question for those interested in owning Snap stock. Remember that Facebook declined rapidly after its IPO, and could have been picked up for minuscule prices in the first year, while Twitter soared post-IPO and is now potentially nearing rock bottom. Those experiences show that it might be better to stay on the sidelines when the deal comes out of the gate, and watch for signs of smarter financial management, indications of future growth, or just a good price. 


Snap IPO: Six things to know about Snapchat parent company

Published: Feb 11, 2017 11:42 a.m. ET

 

At long last, the veil on Snapchat has been lifted.

Snap Inc. the parent company of messaging app Snapchat, officially filed to go public Thursday. Snap, which calls itself a “camera company,” said it plans to raise up to $3 billion, which may be a placeholder figure. Stockholders who buy into the offering will not have any voting rights.

One key question about the IPO is whether the company will surpass its private market valuation of $17.8 billion. Investors expect this offering to value the company between $20 billion and $25 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Snap reported that its ephemeral messaging service had 158 million daily active users at the end of 2016, and an average of 2.5 billion “snaps” are created on Snapchat every day.

Snap plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the proposed symbol “SNAP.”

Snapchat, an app in which users send and view “snaps,” makes money from ads on the platform and content created by third-party channels such as news organizations. It also recently introduced a hardware product, Snapchat Specs, and has a payment feature called Snapcash.

 

Here are six things to know about the company before it goes public:

 

The financials

 

Snap reported growing revenues and increasing losses. Snap recorded $404.5 million in revenue in 2016, compared with $58.7 million in 2015. Net losses grew to $514.6 million in 2016, compared with a net loss of $372.9 million in 2015. Like many burgeoning tech startups, Snap warned that it “may never achieve or maintain profitability.”

Snap recorded a loss from operations of $520.4 million in 2016 and a loss of $381.7 million in 2015. Its global average revenue per user for the three months ended in December 2016 was $1.06, up from 31 cents in the year-earlier period.

The majority of Snap’s revenue in 2016, 98%, came from advertising.

A young, active user base

 

Snap had 158 million daily active users, which it says is a “critical measure” of user engagement, as of Dec. 31, 2016. Growth in daily active users has been pressured of late, though, growing by only 7% between the second and third quarters of 2016 and relatively flat growth in the final quarter. Snap mentioned competition in their prospectus, and that decline roughly coincides with Facebook Inc.’s early August launch of Instagram Stories, a product similar to one of SnapChat’s most popular features.

 

User growth is important for attracting advertisers and, consequently, the majority of Snap’s revenue. The majority of Snapchat users are 18-to-34 years old, a coveted advertising demographic that the company has reportedly been luring away from sites like Facebook. Users younger than 25 are among the most active on Snapchat, visiting the app more than 20 times a day and spending more than 30 minutes a day, as of the quarter ended December 2016, Snap said.

On average, daily active users visited Snapchat more than 18 times each day and spend 25 to 30 minutes there.

Still, Snap noted that the teen demographic is not “brand loyal” and could shift attention to another platform. Already the numbers show a seasonality, with engagement lower in summer months, according to the prospectus. Also, Snap may struggle to grow its user numbers in countries or areas without the high-bandwidth-capacity cellular networks the app requires, it said.

Retaining control

The company has three classes of common stock and plans to offer common A stock that will not give stockholders any voting power.

Owners of class B common stock will be entitled to one vote per share and holders of class C common stock, which include co-founders Evan Spiegel, 26, and Robert Murphy, 28, are entitled to 10 votes per share. With that ownership, both parties have “the ability to control the outcome of all matters” that are sent to the stockholders for approval. The filing does not yet disclose what percentage voting power they will have after the offering.

Spiegel, the company’s chief executive, had a salary of $503,205 in 2016, with a $1 million bonus and other compensation totaling $2.4 million. Under his offer letter, he will reduce his salary to $1 as of the effective date of the registration statement, with a cash bonus of $1 million. He will also receive restricted stock units, representing 3% of outstanding capital stock, in quarterly installments for three years, beginning in the third quarter after the offering.

If either are fired, they will still have “significant” voting power. If either die, shares will convert and the other co-founder will be able to exercise voting control over outstanding stock.

Rivalries and a dependence on big companies

Snap uses Alphabet Inc’s Google Cloud for much of its computing, storage, bandwidth and other needs. To that end, on Jan. 30, 2017, just three days before the filing, Snap committed to spend $2 billion with Google Cloud over the next five years. If that relationship were disrupted, Snap said its business would be “seriously harmed.” Snap sees its hosting costs with Google or others growing as its user base and engagement grows.

In terms of competition, Snap lists Apple Inc. Alphabet’s Google and Twitter Inc. Facebook may be a more direct threat, as Snap noted the new feature on Instagram that “largely mimics” its Snap Stories. These companies have greater resources and may have the ability to draw users away from Snap, the company admitted.

“We face significant competition in almost every aspect of our business both domestically and internationally,” the prospectus said.

Many buildings, but no headquarters

Snap has been known for keeping things under wraps, even within the company. To that end, the prospectus says the company has offices spread out across the U.S. and abroad, including several principal offices in Venice, Calif.

But those principal offices are still “dispersed throughout the city,” which Snap notes could hurt employee morale, retention and the company’s ability to oversee employees. The company had 1,859 employees at the end of 2016, up from 600 in 2015.

Still, the prospectus says the company has a tightknit and “kind” team.

“When we say ’kind,’ we mean the type of kindness that compels you to let someone know that they have something stuck in their teeth even though it’s a little awkward,” the prospectus says.

Snapchat launched in 2011 as platform to quickly send selfies. Its key advantage was that the “snaps” disappeared after they were sent, so users felt “comfortable sending photos of themselves even when they don’t look pretty or perfect.”

But the platform quickly developed a reputation for “sexting,” or sending racy selfies and videos.

“When we were just getting started, many people didn’t understand what Snapchat was and said it was just for sexting, even when we knew it was being used for so much more,” the prospectus says.

Moving on from selfies, Snap added videos and then the ability to send a photo or video to all of the user’s friends, thus launching “My Stories.” They added publisher stories in January 2015, opening up the feature to organizations with editorial teams.

Since those days, Snap has added more features, including lenses that superimpose over the user’s face and geofilters, allowing an overlay for the user’s location and for brand advertising.


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