SoftBank’s Takeover of WeWork Fraught with Uncertainties

WeWork’s largest investor, SoftBank, took over the ailing company and ousted co-founder/former chief executive Adam Neumann. WeWork, which ran out of money quickly after failing to go public, attempted to reinvent how office space is sublet, with a technology twist. But Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business management professor Vijay Govindarajan noted that the startup’s business model “is nothing more than a real estate play.” SoftBank, which has a three-year plan to save WeWork, put top executive Marcelo Claure at the helm. Continue reading SoftBank’s Takeover of WeWork Fraught with Uncertainties

Snap Launches an Accelerator Program With Focus on Mobile

Snap Inc. is launching an accelerator named “Yellow” with hopes of finding the next big media business. This fall, the accelerator will invest $150,000 in 10 startups or creators looking to develop media projects for mobile devices. Snap plans to take a small equity stake in those selected to receive the funding. The startups will also get mentorship from Snap execs, access to professional networking events, the opportunity to distribute content on Snapchat, and office space in Venice, California where Snap is based. CEO Evan Spiegel is expected to be involved in mentorship and the selection process. Continue reading Snap Launches an Accelerator Program With Focus on Mobile

Fig: New Game Crowdfunding Site Offers Equity to Investors

The new crowdfunding platform Fig just launched with a new way to finance computer games. Its debut is a campaign to raise $125,000 for “Outer Wilds,” an unfinished game already honored with the 2015 Independent Games Festival Awards’ Grand Prize. Fig, which plans to debut one major studio title and one independent release each month, differs from a more general crowdfunding platform like Kickstarter in two ways: it is meticulously curated and offers rewards and equity to investors. Continue reading Fig: New Game Crowdfunding Site Offers Equity to Investors

Reddit to Thank Active Community Members with Equity Share

Reddit, the self-proclaimed “front page of the Internet,” wants to give something back to its millions of active contributors. In a blog post Friday, Reddit announced its plans to distribute 10 percent of its equity in the form of ‘reddit notes’ to approximately 950,000 users in the fall of 2015. The ‘currency’ can be used to tip, donate, or trade on the Reddit site, although specifics are still being worked out. Reddit plans to use a random lottery for distributing reddit notes to active user accounts. Continue reading Reddit to Thank Active Community Members with Equity Share

Dish Network Executive to Take Over LightSquared Wireless

LightSquared, a wireless company that filed for bankruptcy in 2012, proposed a new restructuring plan that would give Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen 60 percent of the new equity in addition to $1 billion in junior debt. J.P. Morgan Chase, a LightSquared lender, would come away with 31.9 percent of the equity and a seat on the board of directors if the investment bank provides $189 million in funding. The restructuring plan is intended to raise between $750 million and $1 billion. Continue reading Dish Network Executive to Take Over LightSquared Wireless

BlackBerry Calls Off Company Sale, CEO Heins to Step Down

BlackBerry announced yesterday that it will abandon a sale of the company, following two months of talks with potential buyers including Facebook, Lenovo and private equity firms. Instead, the struggling smartphone maker plans to raise $1 billion by issuing convertible notes to long-term investors including Fairfax Financial Holdings, the company’s largest shareholder. Additionally, BlackBerry said CEO Thorsten Heins will step down. The news resulted in a 16 percent drop in share price. Continue reading BlackBerry Calls Off Company Sale, CEO Heins to Step Down

Twitter Reveals its Financials and Plans for $1 Billion IPO

Twitter has revealed its plans to raise up to $1 billion in its long-anticipated public offering. Potential buyers finally got a glimpse at Twitter’s financials yesterday, which indicate the social platform’s revenue more than doubled to $254 million during the first half of 2013. However, while the popular messaging service continues to transform electronic communication and public conversation, the company is still losing money while facing hurdles drawing new users and advertisers. Continue reading Twitter Reveals its Financials and Plans for $1 Billion IPO

New Automatic Version of Foursquare, No Check-In Required

Social network Foursquare, which allows users to check-in to a variety of locations and share tips with friends, will soon offer suggestions automatically. The company will announce the first public test of its service that will automatically detect where a user is located and make relevant suggestions. The new app will be tested by 2,000 Android users within the next few weeks with plans to become more publicly available later in the year. Continue reading New Automatic Version of Foursquare, No Check-In Required