Benner on Tech: Private Markets Are Still King

Katie Benner is a Bloomberg View columnist who writes about technology, innovation, and the cult and culture of Silicon Valley. She lives in San Francisco.
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People are Talking About…

A recent survey from Nasdaq Private Market suggests that most private companies -- even those with CFOs -- aren’t going public this year. The firm, which provides equity management services to startups, polled private companies and found that 75 percent were “unsure” or had “no intention” of going public soon.

About 63 percent of the respondents also said that they preferred to raise money through private markets, a reflection of the abundant funds available from private investors and the big valuations they’ve been willing to bestow on startups. Crowdfunding and angel investors were the next most popular source of funds, at 33 percent.

 (I wrote a column this morning about the uncertain IPO market for tech startups. You can read it right here.)


Meerkat, the live streaming video app, is in talks to take money from Greylock, reports the Information.

Snapchat wants your March Madness clips, Bloomberg reports.

Uber drivers outnumber yellow cabs in New York City, the New York Post reports.

Upworthy’s cofounder Peter Koechley apologized for filling our social media accounts with horrible spam, reports Business Insider.

Fred Wilson says on-demand delivery is going to disrupt retail.

First they came for our apartments. Then they came for our cars. Now Bloomberg says the sharing economy is coming for our pets.

People and Personnel Moves

David Recordon, who has been an engineering director at Facebook since 2009, is now the White House information technology director, reports Yahoo News.


Alibaba will let you “pay with a selfie,” reports Fortune.

Amazon got permission from the Federal Aviation Administration to run experimental drone flights, reports USA Today. The company's same-day delivery service has come to Miami and Baltimore, Bloomberg reports. Cloud services provided by Amazon Web Services, Microsoft and Akamai are being used to circumvent China’s so-called Great Firewall, reports the Wall Street Journal. One such group, Great Fire, has come under serious DDoS attack ever since the Journal revealed how it opens up banned sites to Chinese users.

Google was scrutinized for anticompetitive tactics by the FTC in 2012, reports the Wall Street Journal. A staff report recommended that the commission sue. Marketing Land says that Google allegedly kept online retail competitors from surfacing too high in search results.

Twitter has given Bloomberg clues about the GOP presidential hopefuls’ influences, interests and social media savvy. The actress Ashley Judd is researching legal actions to combat gender-based violence on Twitter. She writes in an essay about what happened after she dared opine on a basketball game:

What happened to me is the devastating social norm experienced by millions of girls and women on the Internet. Online harassers use the slightest excuse (or no excuse at all) to dismember our personhood. My tweet was simply the convenient delivery system for a rage toward women that lurks perpetually.

Security Watch

Kaspersky Lab has close ties to Russian intelligence agencies, even though the security software maker’s customers include U.S. big box stores like Best Buy, reports Bloomberg.

The cybersecurity industry is “fragmenting along geopolitical lines,” Reuters reports.

Media Files

HBO, Showtime, and Sony talked to broadband companies about putting their services in a lane separate from that of the public Internet in order to get around net neutrality rules, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Beware cable, because once dominant industries sometimes fall apart slowly at first and then all at once, according to this Asymco report.

Rovio, the maker of Angry Birds, is losing steam. The Wall Street Journal has the numbers.

Tech and media companies still don't see eye-to-eye, reports the Information.

Larry King, Master Tweeter

Vine star, gone wild.

News and Notes

So-called PowerPoint karaoke is the latest safe-for-work stress reliever for stressed out techies, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Goodbye spontaneity. The Washington Post has a map of the ultimate road trip, as generated by an algorithm.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg View's editorial board or Bloomberg LP, its owners and investors.

To contact the editor on this story:
Timothy L. O'Brien at