Shares in data analytics company palantir were trading more than 50 per cent higher than their reference price on debut today, showing that investors hopes for another spectacular tech growth story outweigh any concerns they have about corporate governance.
It has always been the way with tech ipos there was massive interest in facebooks ipo in 2012 despite a dual-class share structure that left the power with mark zuckerberg. investors had few qualms about piling into alibaba in 2014, even though they only had simulated ownership through an offshore company, and where a partnership of 30 individuals would retain the right to nominate a majority of the board.
Richard waters in san francisco reports that recent palantir filings show control will be in the hands of three founders peter thiel, the venture capitalist who was also involved in facebooks ipo; alex karp, chief executive; and stephen cohen, president. they would keep control even if their combined stake fell to only about 6 per cent considerably lower than at other companies.
If a company has a hot product or service, unfortunately, there will probably be enough people willing to look the other way on governance policies, a fund manager tells him. it creates an utter lack of accountability to the investors, adds a professor of corporate governance.
Palantir and business productivity service asana today are following spotify and slack in choosing a direct listing of their shares. there was a reference price of $7.25 for palantir, implying the company would have a market capitalisation of about $11.7bn, and $21 for asana, valuing the company at more than $3.2bn. palantir shares are currently up 55 per cent at $11.25.
Lex points out some companies, such as real estate tech company opendoor, are choosing to list through special purpose acquisition companies (spacs), while others, like security software provider mcafee, choose the traditional ipo route.
It all adds up to a rush to market despite the economic uncertainty, although, as the chart shows, we are still a long way from the heights of 1999, prior to the dotcom bust.
1. brussels drafts rules to force big tech to share datathe eu is preparing to force silicon valley technology companiesto share their huge troves of customer datawith smaller rivals, according to an early draft of its landmark digital services act regulation seen by the financial times.
2. intelligence test for ukbritish intelligence held in eu security systems would have to be deleted immediately in the event of a no-deal brexit, a former brussels security chief has warned. meanwhile, the latest lunch with the ft features the ft editor visiting mi6s headquarters, where its departing chief discusses his 85m venture capital fundto keep britain ahead in intelligence tech.
3. nikola postpones showcase eventtruckmaker and hydrogen and electric power proponent nikola has delayed a long-awaited event to showcase its vehicles and battery technology, as the start-up battles a crisis that led to the departure of its founder trevor milton. the arizona-based company said on wednesday that nikola world in december, where it was set to demonstrate vehicles including the badger pick-up truck, has been postponed, without giving a new date. we have also been looking at how the future of a battery plant in the us state of georgia is being jeopardised by a dispute between rival south korean makers.
4. eys wirecard whistleblowerey waswarned in 2016by one of its own employees that senior wirecard managers may have committed fraud and that one had attempted to bribe an auditor, four years before the payments group imploded, according to an unpublished info addendum in kpmgs special audit. elsewhere, singapore has ordered wirecard to cease payment services.
5. singapore gets amazon boostthe city state is benefiting from instability in hong kong, with amazon expanding and taking over three floors of citigroups offices in the central business district. singapore is trying to position itself as thecentre of asias tech sector. mercedes ruehls video report traces howfar the city-state has comein attracting money and talent to its start-up sector.read more in our special report:singapore: charting the future.
Google is set to unveil its pixel 5g smartphone shortly, but it is unlikely to match lgs wing for unconventional looks. this 5g swivelling smartphone has a 6.8in oled display that can pivot 90 degrees to reveal a 3.9in oled second screen. the verge says apps can be used side by side or be given second-screen add-ons. for example, a note-taking app flips the phone upside down and uses the main display as a full-sized keyboard while the smaller screen displays your typed text.
There is also a triple camera set-up including a 12-megapixel ultra-wide gimbal motion camera, a 64-megapixel lens for photos and a 13-megapixel ultra-wide lens that can capture the whole scene. in addition, a 32-megapixel pop-up front camera is ideal for selfies. the wing will sell for $999 and is available on the verizon network in the us from october 15.