Weibo Spikes 19.06% In Its Debut

This morning Weibo went public, offering fewer shares than previously expected, though the bloc was priced at $17, in line with yesterday’s reporting.

The company went gangbusters its first day of public trading, spiking 19.06% to $20.24 by the end of the day, likely adding draft winds to other technology companies, social or otherwise, looking to list on the public markets. Given a starting market capitalization of $3.4 billion at its IPO price, Weibo gained $376M in value.

Weibo joins a number of other recent technology IPOs to have big first days. As TechCrunch reported on April 6th of this year: “Friday was a busy day for tech companies on Wall Street, with GrubHubFive9 and IMS Health going public on the same day. It went well: GrubHub spiked 30.77%, Five9 9.14%, and IMS Health 15%.”

Here’s Weibo’s first day as a public firm:



Gaming giant King Digital has struggled since its public offering. Aerohive, another recent technology IPO, claimed that it saw “deterioration” in the investing market during its roadshow. Box’s losses when it disclosed its finances in its S-1 were larger than expected, causing some to doubt private-market valuations of certain tech sectors.

But Weibo’s IPO is another indication that investors are more than willing to snap up tech shares, provided the growth upside looks firm. Welcome to the club, Weibo. We’ll see you at earnings.

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In Case You Thought BuzzFeed Needed More GIFs, The Site Launches A GIF Feed Sponsored By Google+

Do you sometimes read BuzzFeed and think, “This is great, but why is all this text getting in the way of the funny GIFs?” If so, there’s a perfect new section for you, called the GIF Feed.

It’s actually not a standard editorial page but ratherof a promotional campaign sponsored by Google+ as a way to show off its Auto Awesome feature, which creates GIFs. (This parenthetical remark was originally where I explained what a GIF is, but if you don’t know, then this post probably isn’t for you.) Most of the GIFs are shared by BuzzFeed, but there’s also a sponsored unit in the upper right corner which points to more Google+-sponsored GIF collections.

A Google spokesperson sang the praises of GIFs via email and told me the company created the Auto Awesome feature because “we love them so much.”

The campaign seems worth pointing out for a couple of reasons. First of all: GIFs! Secondly, it’s a good example of the kinds of custom ad campaigns that have apparently brought the site to profitability.

A BuzzFeed spokesperson said the campaign will run until the end of the year, and that it’s the first such section that the company have created. When I admitted that I wasn’t as totally addicted to the feed as they claimed to be (maybe it’s because you have to click on images to see the full picture and the animation, maybe it’s because my heart is made of stone), the spokesperson added:

BuzzFeed users that love GIFs get to look at a comprehensive library of their favorite GIFs and share with their friends. Just like any other piece of social content on our site, this is another fun way for users to share their favorite moments via social sharing.

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The Dual-Screen YotaPhone Will Launch Internationally In December

Russia-based Yota Devices has been working on a curious beast called the YotaPhone for years now, and it’s gained quite a reputation for itself because of its split personality. While the front of the phone sports a traditional LCD screen, the back plays home to a power-sipping eInk display because… well, why not?

The launch date was one of the last big questions left unanswered, but that’s no longer the case: the company has just confirmed to us that the YotaPhone will launch internationally before Christmas.

Frankly, it’s about time they’re getting this thing out the door considering just how long they’ve been teasing it to the public. Word of device first started making the rounds late last year, and an a very early version of the phone made public appearances at massive trade shows like CES and MWC (you can see our CES footage of the thing below). And it isn’t exactly a surprise that the company was gearing up for an official launch either — earlier this year the Russian company was confirmed it would start the mass production process with the help of a Singaporean manufacturer called Hi-P.

Still, the news may come as a bummer to some of YotaPhone’s biggest fans, as an earlier report out of Russia claimed that the Yota subsidiary would be pushing the device out the door some time in November. Those same reports also claimed that the YotaPhone would ship with a €500 price tag attached to it, but so far company representatives have remained mum when it came to cost.

That long-than-expected gap between promotion and production may have done the YotaPhone more harm than good. There’s little doubting that it raised plenty of eyebrows, but the spec sheet is looking a bit long in the tooth compared to the competition — the final production model is going to feature a dual-core 1.7GHz chipset, 2GB of RAM, a 4.3-inch 720p screen upfront, and a seemingly paltry 1800mAh battery. Granted, it shouldn’t be a total slouch with components like those, but the big question is whether or not the gimmicky second screen will be enough to tempt potential customers away from more prominent rivals like Samsung, LG, HTC, Sony, and more.

This is a developing story, please refresh for updates.

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Silk Road Rises Again

Like the legend of the phoenix Silk Road has risen from the ashes of a recent US crackdown and is now live and even more secure. At 4:20 p.m. GMT on November 5, the so-called Silk Road 2.0 reappeared at silkroad6ownowfk.onion, an address on the TOR network.

The new site now supports PGP encryption of accounts and includes the forums, market, and escrow system familiar to previous users of the site. While there’s no telling who built the new site, former Silk Road admins have claimed they are behind this iteration.

The creation of the new site was, in a sense, expected. After the fall of Silk Road clone Atlantis, however, there have been a number of pretenders to the Silk Road crown and, if I were a betting man, I’d wager that more than one was a honeypot for the trapping of drug dealers. Whether SR 2.0 is the real thing remains to be seen – many of the same dealers are coming back even though the site has only a few hundred sellers – but even if this site dies ignobly there is always next time… and next time.

In related news the alleged mastermind behind the first Silk Road, Ross Ulbricht, appeared in New York court today where his lawyer claimed he was not, in fact, famed SR admin Dread Pirate Roberts. As one Silk Road commenter wrote, “curiouser and curiouser.”

via AllThingsVice

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