Data visualization software company Tableau Software, going by the symbol “DATA,” will start trading tomorrow on the New York Stock Exchange at $31 per share, up from earlier today when the company said it would trade in the $28 to $30 range.
Tableau will offer 8.2 million shares of its Class A common stock, up from the 7.2 million it previously said it would offer. That puts the offering at $254 million with a market capitalization of more than $2 billion. Previously the company’s market cap was estimated at $1.7 billion.
The company, which filed its IPO in April, develops business intelligence software, including Tableau Desktop, Tableau Public, and Tableau Server and has about 10,000 customers.
It has established itself as one of the most feature-rich data visualization providers. It integrates with data warehouse platforms and with an extensive list of partners, including Google Cloud Platform, IBM and HP Vertica.
The IPO shows the value that enterprise software companies command. Palo Alto Networks and Splunk have had successful IPOs and a host of new deals are expected in the coming months. For example, Marketo, a marketing automation company, will also begin trading tomorrow on the Nasdaq scheduled in a $73 million IPO and a market capitalization of $429 million.
Chinese Internet companies Baidu, Tencent and Qihoo 360 are reportedly competing to purchase Sogou, Sohu‘s search business. Sina Tech’s report cites unnamed sources in the investment industry (link via Google Translate) and Sogou CEO Wang Xiaoquan has already taken to his Sina Weibo account to brush off the report as “unreliable,” but it’s worth noting that rumors of two recent acquisitions–PPS by Baidu and Alibaba’s purchase of a stake in Sina Weibo–both turned out to be true.
According to Sina Tech’s sources, Sogou, the third largest search engine in China, is currently stymied by a development bottleneck and can’t grab any more market share away from Baidu and Qihoo 360. Baidu has 67.21 percent market share and Qihoo 360 holds 14.94 percent, compared to Sogou’s 9.15 percent slice, according to data from CNZZ. The company has been considering a sale for the past six months, with Qihoo offering $140 million including stock and cash options, while Baidu is offering an undisclosed but higher amount of cash. Meanwhile, Tencent has entered the fray mainly because it doesn’t want Qihoo 360 to get its hands on Sogou.
The sale has been held up in part because of dissension within Sogou’s top ranks. CEO Wang Xiaochuan is reportedly at the head of the faction that wants to sell to Qihoo 360, but Sohu chairman Charles Zhang prefers Baidu’s offer. Sina Tech sources say, however, that Qihoo 360′s offer looks poised to triumph. If Qihoo 360 does indeed buy Sogou, the deal will boost the combined company’s market share to about 25 percent. Qihoo 360 will also reap the benefits of Sogou’s unique “smart input” method, which currently has 195 million active users.
“If the two merge it will really subvert the current structure of the search market. It’ll become a power struggle between two competitors,” said Sina Tech’s source.
A Baidu spokesman declined comment. Qihoo 360 and Tencent have also been emailed for comment.
A recent study by researchers at Southern Methodist and Carnegie Mellon universities found Bitcoin exchanges pose considerable risk to users.
Still, the digital currency remains popular, especially with online businesses operating across international borders. That’s probably because the currency isn’t regulated by any bank or country.
As the value of each Bitcoin grows, many small business owners may wonder if they should accept them as payment. Companies that primarily deal in online transactions or purchase online products and services may want to consider adding it as an option for their customers.
In an email interview, Assaf Scialom of iQDesk.net explains why small business owners should consider accepting Bitcoins or other virtual currencies as payments instead of a government-circulated currency.
“The main thing that small business can benefit from using Bitcoin is the ability to sell worldwide with really low cost,” Scialom said. “For example, if I am based in the U.K. and I am selling to the U.K. market and the U.S. market, any transaction in U.S. Dollars costs me quite a lot if I am using Paypal or credit cards. Using Bitcoins reduces this cost dramatically.”
“On top of that I can use the Bitcoins to buy online services like hosting and other Web based software so I don’t need to cash in the Bitcoins I earn (which costs money),” Scialom added.
In a blog post at FindLaw.com, Robyn Hagan Cain writes: “The question of whether you should accept Bitcoin really depends on you as a person. If you’re actively engaged in the online community, Bitcoin may be a better bet than the dollar. If you live in the brick-and-mortar world, you may have a hard time spending it.”
Scialom agrees with this point.
“Bitcoin is good for online business that sell virtual goods (like software subscriptions, content, etc.) but it can be good for small businesses selling goods that are easy to ship abroad,” he explained.
Another issue that may make many small business owners skeptical of Bitcoins and other virtual currencies is the limited marketplace in which to spend them. Small businesses may be unwilling to tie money up in a system that is admittedly volatile.
A warning at Bitcoin.org, where wallets can be downloaded and used to store Bitcoins received, notes: “Keeping your savings in bitcoin is not recommended. Bitcoin should be considered as a high risk asset, and you should never store money that you cannot afford to lose with Bitcoin.”
Outside of small businesses purchasing their online services and products using Bitcoins as the currency, items available at BitcoinStore.com show that more can be purchased and Scialom says it’s only a matter of time until more is available.
“I think the main limitation is that it is not well spread at the moment and not a lot of users or businesses use it. So it can’t be a stand alone solution but I think in the next 2 to 3 years this is going to change,” Scialom says.
Bitcoin Photo via Shutterstock
The post Small Business Owners Continue to Evaluate Bitcoins appeared first on Small Business Trends.
Nokia’s newly-appointed general manager of China, Erik Bertman, has plenty of experience in emerging markets, but it’s unclear if he’ll be able to reverse the Finnish company’s rapid loss of market share in the world’s largest smartphone market.
Bertman will takeover the position on June 1. He succeeds Gustavo Eichelmann, who is leaving Nokia and returning to the U.K. for personal reasons, according to the company. In a statement, Nokia said Bertman was appointed to lead operations in China because “he has achieved good results in a number of important markets” and has experience leading cross-cultural teams.
Originally from Sweden, Bertman previously served as the regional lead of Nokia Russia, where he oversaw sales and marketing. His experience with the company also includes a stint as financial officer in the sub-Saharan Africa region. Bertman arrived in China in 2009.
Despite his experience in emerging markets, Bertman has a lot of work to do if he wants to turn around Nokia’s fortunes in China. The company’s market share in that country underwent a dramatic decline in 2012 as it failed to weather competition from Samsung.
The Finnish company slipped to number seven in overall sales in 2012, with 3.7 percent market share, compared to the 29.9 percent chunk it held in 2011, according to Strategy Analytics. It’s rapid descent was mirrored by Samsung’s quick rise to the top–the Korean tech giant nearly tripled its China sales in 2012, selling 30.06 million smartphones, up from 10.9 million handsets a year earlier. Samsung now holds a 17.7 percent market share in China.
Furthermore, Nokia has had three people leading its China operations in as many years: Deng Yuan-yun, Liang Yu-mei and Eichelmann. The position’s rotating door may be a sign that the company is unsure of its strategy in that region.
A turnaround in emerging markets is crucial for Nokia’s survival because North America has been the company’s weakest market for sometime. Last month, Nokia reported $334 million in sales in Greater China, down 56 percent from a year ago, a figure that puts it just above North America in terms of market size for the company.
Nokia’s dramatic decline in China comes despite its efforts to hold on to its former dominance in the market with low-cost the launch of the Nokia Lumia 800C in March 2012. The device was the first CDMA Windows Phone in the country, but it failed to gain enough traction to compete against inexpensive Android handsets.
Webydo is a cloud-based SaaS for designers who want to be able to sell their website design services without having to get their own hands dirty doing any coding or hire a developer to do it for them. The system offers a custom CMS where designers can build the website. Once they’re happy with the design, Webydo’s software converts it into web code for them. The company also hosts the published website.
“We can bring any design into life without writing one line of code,” says founder and CEO Shmulik Grizim. ”We have a sophisticated code generator that actually replaces the developer in the equation. You don’t need to manually write the code. You can create any kind of website for your customer’s business.”
Designs, photos, media and other assets can be imported into Webydo’s “online canvas” where the various elements are assembled via a drag and drop interface to create the finished website.
“You just drag and drop your elements to create your own unique design, exactly as you planned it, pixel by pixel. You can insert sophisticated features such as blogs, and forms, and Google maps,” says Grizim. “Whatever you want to create any kind of website. Hundreds of pages, dozens of pages, it doesn’t really matter. We are the only platform on the web that enables the designer full freedom for creating.”
When the designer hits publish, the code is assembled by Webydo’s code generator — which Grizim says is patent-pending. This is also where the payment kicks in: the tools are free at the point of use, but published websites cost $10 per month. The startup says it is hosting more than 50,000 websites created with its tools so far during its closed beta. It opened this up yesterday to the U.S. market — prior to that it was mostly operating in Israel and Europe.
The main competitor he cites when asked about rivals in the space is Adobe Muse. But whereas that’s a desktop application, Webydo is a cloud SaaS offering — and that’s it’s “main advantage”, says Grizim. As well as offering the design studio free at the point of use to designers, Webydo’s CMS is also free for the designer’s customer to use to edit their website.
“In Adobe Muse you only have the editor tool for the designer. But once the business owner wants to edit the content on his website he needs a developer to connect it to a content management system. With Webydo we have a fully integrated content management system on the fly — you don’t need to do anything, everything is included.”
“We are offering our designer partners to build their own business — they get a full business ready to use, and they can create the websites for their customers,” says Grizim. Websites can be created in a few hours “from scratch”, he adds.
The company has raised $1.8 million in seed and Series A funding, from investors in the U.S. and Israel, and has raised $2.6m so far of a $5m target for its Series B.