Monday, July 23, 2007

GreenDimes Gets 205 Million Dimes

Back in October, 2006, I wrote about a company I really liked called GreenDimes. The article, I Hate Spam: Snail Mail Edition, talked about how the folks at GreenDimes had a great business on their hands, but I questioned whether they could ever be a stand-alone IPO-sized company that the usual VC model likes to fund.

Last week, it was reported in PE Week Wire that GreenDimes has secured $20.5M in Series A funding led by Tudor Investment Corporation. That's a whopping huge Series A. Many congratulations to Pankaj Shah and the entire team at GreenDimes. It's a good company with a worthy cause and a nice business model. The financing should give them ample room to build the business. Excellent news!

Great coverage is at Earth2Tech (and on GigaOm).

Death to Junk Mail!

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Monday, July 9, 2007

Timeshifting Metcalfe-Cuban

One of the first blog articles I ever wrote was Timeshifting The Family. In that article, I described how TiVo has changed the content consumption experience for millions of people.

One of the points I touched on was the fact that TiVo, through timeshifting, was fundamentally changing the "shared experience" of how we viewed content. It's hard to quantify that change, but it is definitely something that I experienced while watching Roots with my family back in the 1970's.

What got me thinking about all of this (again) today was a recent article written by Mark Cuban, Metcalfe's Law and Video, where he applies Metcalfe's Law to video content distribution and forms some hypotheses. The two that relate to timeshifting I found most relevant and well stated:

1. The more people that see content when it is originally "broadcast", regardless of the distribution medium, the more valuable the content.


This is the example of "appointment viewing" or "breaking news". The more people who planned to watch, or did so as soon as they heard about it, the more valuable the content.




Call this the "heat check".


 



10mm people watching a tv show at the same time creates more value for the content than 10mm people watching the same show on demand over the course of time.




2. The greater the number of people that watch content simultaneously, the greater the emotional attachment of the viewer.


The greater amount of confirmation that a viewer can get from other viewers that there were others, like them that made an appointment to see a video or immediately changed their plans to watch a video, the greater the "we" effect and emotional attachment.



Agreed.

In the case of Roots, it was more like 130mm viewers consuming the content simultaneously. A pretty big "we" effect with definite emotional attachment. A validated data point for Mark's hypotheses.

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Intel Capital Makes Fantastic Investment - Buys Into VMware IPO

Intel Capital steps up to an interesting and brilliant investment by buying a 2.5% stake of VMware in their coming IPO. Intel Capital will invest $218.5M into VMware and take a seat on the board. Excellent coverage of the news can be found at Data Center Knowledge and at Intel.

Simply.

Brilliant.

Rich Miller at Data Center Knowledge notes that the VMware IPO is expected to raise $741M, with shares priced between $23 and $25. Simple math says that if Intel Capital pays $218.5M for a 2.5% stake, then they have valued VMware at a cool $8.74B. That is a perfectly reasonable valuation for VMware, given that they are now in the elite few software companies with >$1B annualized revenue run rate.

From my perspective, this is fantastic news for Intel Capital. This one investment will easily return 3-4x for them in the next 5 years. That's a seriously big return on a very large investment. Congratulations to the Intel Capital team for landing this one!

I've written about the VMware IPO previously here and here.

I'd love to get a guaranteed price at the low end of the VMware IPO range. VMware folks: You have my number. Call me!

Tags: brianberliner, Brian Berliner, VMware, IPO, EMC, Intel, Intel Capital