Link: Naspers plans to spin off its Tencent stake and other holdings

Naspers, which started out as an Afrikaans newspaper group a century ago, has since gone on to invest in a host of startups, mostly in emerging markets. The runaway success of Tencent has created an enviable headache: Naspers has become too big for the Johannesburg stock exchange, where it now makes up a quarter of the local index. Such scale requires foreign investors, not all of whom are keen on South Africa’s currency and political risk. Amsterdam, where Naspers already has staff, has similar listing requirements to Johannesburg.

Source: Naspers plans to spin off its Tencent stake and other holdings

Link: lots of capital, little control

With all the money sloshing around looking to find a home, startup funding might be a bit of a sellers market:

Venture capitalists are now relatively less in the business of choosing the best startups in which to invest, and relatively more in the business of getting the best startups to choose them as investors. Money is plentiful and good startups are relatively (relatively!) scarce, and so the startups can be picky. And venture capitalists are increasingly doing public relations to try to become famous, so that the startups that will become famous will choose them as investors. “Some firms are realizing, ‘Huh, maybe awareness doesn’t just magically grow on trees,’” says the founder of a public relations firm.

And once startups are public, investors get little control:

So here too the founders seem to have the power and the people writing the checks don’t. In private markets, investors have to demonstrate their merit to be allowed to invest. In public markets, anyone can invest, but they don’t really get any control over the company. Capital is plentiful, and the people with the companies just don’t have to do that much to cater to the people with the capital. I suppose it makes sense so many unicorns are, in Griffith’s words, “a financial sinkhole”: If you don’t have to be too solicitous of the people with the money, you might as well spend a lot of it.

Source: The Unicorns Are in Charge Now

Talend IPO’s

The open source based data integration (basically, evolved ETL) company Talend IPO’ed this week. It’s a ten year old company, based on open source, with a huge French tie-in. Interesting all around. Here’s some details on them:

  • “1,300 customers include Air France, Citi, and General Electric.” That’s way up from 400 back in 2009, seven years ago.
  • In 2015 “Talend generated a total revenue of $76 million. Its subscription revenue grew 39% year over year, representing $62.7 million of the total. The company isn’t profitable: it reported a net loss of $22 million for 2015.”
  • “…much of that [loss] thanks to the $49 million it spent on sales and marketing,” according yo Julie Bort.
  • “Subscription revenue rose 27% to $63m while service fees stayed flat at $13m,” according to Matt Aslett.
  • It looks like the IPO performed well, up ~50% from the opening price.

TAM Time

By this point, I’m sure Talend messes around in other TAMs, but way back when I used to follow the business intelligence and big data market more closely, I recall that much of the growth – though small in TAM – was in ETL. People always like the gussy it up as “data integration”: sure thing, hoss.

That seems still be the case as spelled out a recent magic quadrant of the space (courtesy of the big dog in the space, Informatica):

Gartner estimates that the data integration tool market was worth approximately $2.4 billion in constant currency at the end of 2014, an increase of 6.9% from 2013. The growth rate is above the average for the enterprise software market as a whole, as data integration capability continues to be considered of critical importance for addressing the diversity of problems and emerging requirements. A projected five-year compound annual growth rate of approximately 7.7% will bring the total to more than $3.4 billion by 2019

In comparison, here’s the same from the 2011 MQ:

Gartner estimates that the data integration tools market amounted to $1.63 billion at the end of 2010, an increase of 20.5% from 2009. The market continues to demonstrate healthy growth, and we expect a year-on-year increase of approximately 15% in 2011. A projected five-year compound annual growth rate of approximately 11.4% will bring the total to $2.79 billion by 2015.

Meanwhile check out Carl Lehmann’s recent overview of Informatica and the general data integration market and Matt Aslett’s coverage of IPO plans back in June for a good overview of Talend.

Enterprise vs. Consumer Bid’ness

Workday was founded seven years ago by two guys with the best imaginable pedigrees, deep pockets, and networks to call on to get stuff done quickly. Duffield and Bhusri raised a reported $250 million to get the company humming and grew steadily to reach $134 million in annual sales as of last January. That’s impressive, but by contrast consumer-focused file-sharing site Dropbox was founded two years after Workday and in that shorter stretch also raised $250 million and reached $240 million in sales.

Workday’s IPO