Facebook’s IPO was famously a bit of a disappointment on its opening day, for a mixture of technical gremlins and the fact that its share price didn’t “pop” to the higher level expected by analysts.
Twitter’s stock-market debut yesterday went better: having set an initial price of $26 per share that would have valued the company at $14.2bn, the price rocketed to more than $50 before closing the day at $44.90, valuing Twitter at more than $24bn.
Cue celebrations from the technology press about Twitter’s amazeballs opening day, and concerns in the business press about whether this is a Silicon Valley bubble that will end in a bust akin to the dotcom slump in the early 2000s.
“This is a company with $600m of revenues and no profits,” one analyst told The Guardian. “Twitter’s entire business model is based on advertising – not on the ads it has, but on the ads it hopes one day it might get,” said another. Top-grade party-pooping, but legitimate concerns.
Some more stats from the IPO: Twitter’s opening-day valuation works out at $137 per monthly active user, compared to $127 for Facebook when it went public. Raising $1.8bn made Twitter the second biggest US internet company IPO ever, ahead of Google’s $1.7bn but well behind Facebook’s $16bn.
Twitter is already valued at more than Yahoo, Time Warner and Kraft, among other companies. And some analysts are predicting an “imminent acquisition spree” for Twitter using this cash: ad-tech companies, messaging apps and even another music deal have been mooted.
Talking of music, what impact might Twitter’s IPO have on companies like Spotify mulling their own potential IPOs in the future? Twitter’s opening-day valuation was 24 times its projected turnover of $1bn next year.
With Spotify anticipating around $715m of revenues for 2013 (based on its prediction of $500m payouts to rightsholders) similar logic might value the streaming music firm at more than $17bn.
Of course, that logic falls down on the fact that Spotify and Twitter are very different beasts in terms of business models, but if Twitter does well post-IPO, the environment for other internet-tech companies considering going public will be more favourable.