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From: Glenn Petersen7/15/2017 9:18:46 AM
1 Recommendation   of 39
 
Snap had acquisition talks with AdRoll and is actively shopping for ad tech startups

Alexei Oreskovic and Alex Heath
Business Insider
July 14, 2017



Snap Chief Strategy Officer Imran Khan is responsible for growing the company's fledgling ad business.Reuters
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Snapchat is shopping for ad tech companies to help bolster its appeal to marketers, a process that led the company to have acquisition talks with AdRoll, Business Insider has learned.

Snapchat's main targets are startups in the marketing tech and ad tech sectors, as the social network owned by parent company Snap Inc. seeks to grow its ad business and allay investor concerns that have punished its stock price.

"They're looking for some business, or a set of businesses, that can help them demonstrate the efficacy of their ads," a person familiar with the matter told BI. Snap acquired Placed for reportedly over $200 million in June to give it access to third-party measurement on tracking real-world purchases and store visits.

Discussions with San Francisco-based AdRoll began shortly before Snap's March IPO and continued after. Although there were multiple meetings between the two companies, an offer price was never put on the table and AdRoll is currently in more serious discussions with several other bidders, the person said.

A Snap spokesperson declined to comment for this story. AdRoll didn't respond to multiple requests for comment on Friday.

AdRoll has raised roughly $91 million in venture capital funding to date and claims to be the most widely-used independent programmatic advertising platform, with more than 35,000 customers. The company is borderline profitable and on pace to do over $300 million in revenue this year, another person familiar with its business said.

Feeling the pressureBuying AdRoll would give Snap a deeper foothold in ad targeting and campaign management along with e-commerce expertise, a third ad industry insider told BI.

"Snapchat buying AdRoll would be somewhat analogous to Google buying DoubleClick," the person said, referencing Google's blockbuster $3.1 billion purchase from 2007 that signaled its push into online advertising beyond its own scope.

Although incredibly popular with younger users, Snap is under pressure to convince advertisers that its ads can deliver, especially compared to proven rivals like Facebook and Google.

Snap's stock sank below its $17 initial public offering price this week, as a series of Wall Street analysts downgraded the stock due to Snap's slower-than-expected growth and fierce competition from Facebook-owned Instagram.

"We have been wrong about Snap's ability to innovate and improve its ad product this year (improving scalability, targeting, measurability, etc.) and user monetization as it works to move beyond 'experimental' ad budgets into larger branded and direct response ad allocations," Morgan Stanley analyst Brian Nowak wrote in a note to clients earlier this week.

Although Snap's talks with AdRoll have not gotten serious enough to progress to an offer, Snap is actively looking at other firms in the broad and increasingly overlapping field of advertising and marketing technology. Another name that has been bandied about as being on Snap's radar is Segment, a customer data tracking tool for marketers, although it could not be learned if the two companies have had deal talks.





businessinsider.com

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From: da_cheif™8/1/2017 3:26:11 PM
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Message 31011253

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From: Glenn Petersen8/3/2017 10:16:01 PM
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Insiders say Google was interested in buying Snap for at least $30 billion last year

Alex Heath
Business Insider
August v3, 2017



Snap CEO Evan Spiegel. Reuters
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We keep hearing that Google floated an offer of at least $30 billion to buy Snap in early 2016.

Three people, including people inside and close to the company, separately confirmed they had heard the chatter and price tag, with one calling it an "open secret" among Snap's upper ranks and certain tech industry circles.

Business Insider first heard the rumor of Google's $30 billion-plus interest in Snap last year and heard further tales of the discussions from more insiders over the past several days.

It's unclear how formal the discussions these insiders say happened may have been, but Snap and Google have long been close. Informal discussions between companies are frequent in the tech world, especially surrounding major events, like an initial public offering or a large round of fundraising.

Google's initial offer would have been discussed just before Snap raised its Series F round of private funding in May 2016, valuing the company at $20 billion. CapitalG, the growth equity fund managed by Google's parent company, Alphabet, ended up quietly participating in the round.

One person said Google and Snap also had discussions about a potential buyout just ahead of Snap's IPO in March, and that an offer in the ballpark of $30 billion had been on the table since the IPO.

Chatter that Snap passed up a chance to sell to Google for at least twice its current value could be especially painful for investors and employees grappling with the company's sinking stock. Snap's shares are trading at around $12.50, and it has a market cap of roughly $14 billion, well below the $24 billion valuation at which it priced its IPO.

When asked for comment, a Snap representative told Business Insider that as far as formal discussions go, "these rumors are false." Google declined to comment.

One possible motivation behind the rumors is that people are hoping Snap will get acquired. But the rumors have persisted for months, and they're being talked about as fact both inside and outside the company by lots of people in a position to know.

Why a deal between Snap and Google would make sense



Alphabet Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt. REUTERS/Rebecca Naden
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The two companies are already close. Sources say there is mutual respect between each side's leadership, and Alphabet's executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, is an early adviser to Snap CEO Evan Spiegel. Snap is one of the largest customers of Google Cloud and uses Google's suite of apps internally.

Google has always wanted to own a hot social network and has tried several times with products like Google Plus and Google Buzz. In 2013, it was rumored that Google had tried to grab Snapchat for $4 billion as Spiegel turned down an offer from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Joining forces with Google could also help Snap better monetize its platform — Google is raking in the vast majority of all digital ad money — and it could be a good way for Spiegel to stick it to Zuckerberg, with whom he has had a rocky relationship.

And here's why a deal may not work

27-year-old Spiegel would ultimately decide whether to sell Snap, and people close to the company say he's fiercely independent and has shown no serious interest in selling. He is widely considered to be a visionary, contrarian CEO who values running his company in Southern California, outside of the Silicon Valley bubble where Alphabet is headquartered.

It's also unclear how Spiegel and his roughly 2,500 employees would integrate into Google or Alphabet. Spiegel doesn't strike us as the kind of executive who would like reporting to a boss.

businessinsider.com

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From: Sr K8/4/2017 10:37:32 PM
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on WSJ.com

Google is developing technology to let publishers create visual-oriented media content along the lines of Snapchat’s “Discover,” upping the ante in a race among tech giants to dominate news dissemination on smartphones.

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From: Glenn Petersen10/4/2017 5:32:28 AM
1 Recommendation   of 39
 
Snap has sold more Spectacles than Apple sold iPods in their first year, says CEO, but investors still 'fearful'
  • Snap CEO Spiegel spoke to author Walter Isaacson at Vanity Fair's fourth annual New Establishment Summit in Beverly Hills, California.
  • Spiegel's comments on Tuesday indicated that Spectacles unit sales are now higher than the iPod's after a year — a figure he's proud of, given that Apple's iPod had about 143,000 net unit sales in its first full year, 2002.
  • "I think investors are fearful, and fear is a powerful motivator -- they're fearful we'll never be profitable, or they're fearful that competition will kill us or something like that," Spiegel said. "But I think those are kind of normal fears for any start-up."
Anita Balakrishnan | @MsABalakrishnan
CNBC.com
October 3, 2017



Getty Images
Evan Spiegel, co-founder and CEO of Snapchat
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Snap has sold about 150,000 of its camera glasses, called Spectacles, CEO Evan Spiegel said on Tuesday.

Spiegel spoke to author Walter Isaacson at Vanity Fair's fourth annual New Establishment Summit in Beverly Hills, California. But while Spiegel said the sales figure far exceeded internal expectations for the product, Isaacson argued it seemed like the device wasn't catching on.

Snap, which makes the ephemeral messaging app Snapchat, has rebranded itself as a "camera company." But at least as of May, it seemed like its much-hyped camera device wasn't making a mark on Snap's business, which is funded mostly by advertising on Snapchat.

In May, Snap said its $130 augmented reality and camera glasses generated a little more than $8 million in revenue during the quarter — out of total revenue of $150 million — which would have indicated sales of about 61,500 units of the Spectacles if they were sold at full price.

Spiegel's comments on Tuesday indicated that Spectacle unit sales are now higher — a figure he's proud of, given that Apple's iPod had about 143,000 net unit sales in its first full year, 2002. For Snap, the glasses are a way to build expertise in the hardware field, in anticipation of greater adoption in the next ten years — "so many things" are coming for Spectacles, he said.

But Spiegel conceded that he's had trouble selling parts of his long-term vision to investors, not just when it comes to Spectacles.

"One of the things I did underestimate was how much more important communication becomes," Spiegel said. "When you go public… you really need to explain to a huge new investor base, right – instead of having 10 new investors, you have 10,000 – you have to explain how your business works. And at the same time you need to do that, there are also all these new regulations about what you can and cannot say and how you can communicate. So I think one of the things we've been going through this year is how to communicate the Snap story."

Spiegel had an awkward exchange with Wall Street analysts in August, when a hot mic caught an analyst describing how it was difficult to understand Spiegel's answer to a question. While Snap's IPO saw big gains out of the gate, shares have fallen more than 34 percent over the past six months.

"I think investors are fearful, and fear is a powerful motivator – they're fearful we'll never be profitable, or they're fearful that competition will kill us or something like that," Spiegel said. "But I think those are kind of normal fears for any start-up – and the really successful companies just grow through that. And that's why we've just tried to stay focused on the business this year and execute and deliver results."

--Additional reporting by Leanne Miller

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/10/03/snap-spectacles-how-many-have-been-sold.html

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From: hollyhunter10/12/2017 7:44:39 PM
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On watch for breakout at 16.86.

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