Liza Minnelli once sang a song about a gal who traveled around the world to meet the guy next door. Two of the more interesting presentations I heard Tuesday at the DLD tech conference in Munich were about California companies I know well. (DLD, one of whose organizers is the Israeli entrepreneur Yossi Vardi, is for many a warmup to the World Economic Forum in Davos, where I'm headed next.)
Why Facebook Won't Go Public
Jim Breyer, the investor with Accel Partners, emphatically ruled out a 2010 IPO for Facebook, where he sits on the board. He cited the usual reasons. Being private is good. The public boards he serves on spend a disproportionate amount of time on accounting, legal and Sarbanes-Oxley issues and too little on product strategy. Facebook's goals, Breyer said, including attracting a billion users, forging relationships with any and all Web companies on the company's Facebook Connect platform and crafting more relationships with media companies.
A major reason Facebook can afford to be patient is the hundreds of millions of dollars that Russia's DST has invested. Its capital gives Facebook the latitude to invest in its business without tapping public markets. Interestingly, DST isn't a venture-capital fun. Yuri Milner, its founder, also appeared at DLD and stressed this advantage. "We are patient capital," he said. "We have no need to return capital to investors. More
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