SoftBank Suffers Rare Japan Debut Drop After Record IPO

SoftBank Suffers Rare Japan Debut Drop After Record IPO

SoftBank Corp shares slumped more than 10 percent on debut, as investor appetite for Japan’s biggest ever IPO was hurt by a recent service outage at the telecoms operator and worries over its exposure to Chinese telecoms gear maker Huawei.

The poor start for the unit of investment giant SoftBank Group Corp was uncommon in the Japanese IPO market. Of 82 IPOs so far this year, SoftBank was only the seventh to open below the IPO price. Among recent major IPOs, Japan Display was the only one to flop, suffering a fall in its 2014 debut.

“Retail investors are dumping shares after seeing the opening below IPO price, also affected by a service outage,” a market analyst at a brokerage said, declining to be named because he was not authorised to talk to the media.

“But I don’t expect the shares will fall much further given their dividend yield and expectations for being included in stock indexes,” he said.

Following its $23.5 billion initial public offering, shares of SoftBank Corp fell as far as JPY 1,344 five minutes into trade, or 10.4 percent lower than its IPO price of JPY1,500. The broader Tokyo market was up 0.1 percent.

SoftBank Corp shares were most heavily traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s first section, accounting for about a third of the total turnover volume.

At 10:48 a.m. (0148 GMT), the shares were at JPY 1,384, after opening at JPY 1,463. SoftBank Group was up 0.5 percent.

SoftBank Corp CEO Ken Miyauchi will hold a news conference at 0630 GMT.

The IPO was just shy of the world record $25 billion 2014 listing of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, a SoftBank Group portfolio company.

During the IPO period, Japan’s third-largest mobile phone network provider by subscriber numbers suffered a rare nationwide service outage, which it said would not affect earnings or dividends.

Adding to investor worries, SoftBank Corp’s relationship with Huawei Technologies Co came under scrutiny as governments around the world moved to shut out the Chinese firm amid worries its gear could facilitate Chinese spying.

SoftBank Corp, which has the most exposure to Huawei among Japanese telecoms firms, plans to replace Huawei-provided 4G network equipment with other suppliers’ hardware, two sources said, in a process likely to be time-consuming and expensive.

IPOs are popular among Japanese retail investors, many of whom see them as sure profit bets given their tendency to open much higher than offering prices.

In SoftBank Corp’s case, an added attraction was its promise of a dividend payout of 85 percent, much higher than those of rivals NTT DoCoMo and KDDI Corp.

The IPO attracted about twice as many retail orders as the number of shares offered, sources at lead underwriters said last week. A smaller portion of shares offered to overseas intuitional investors was three times oversubscribed.


A $1 Billion Twitter IPO, a $1,000 Curved Samsung Phone and More

There’s so much to follow and so little time. Thanks to the Web, you can keep yourself more informed on the latest developments than entrepreneurs at any other time. But, of course, running your business takes time too. That’s why the Small Business Trends editorial team works so hard to bring you the news you may have missed this week. Enjoy!

A $1 Billion IPO and a $1,000 Curved Samsung Phone

Twitter seeks $1 billion. The microblogging platform already crucial to many entrepreneurs and thought leaders now wants to go public. And the amount of money they are planning to raise may seem high for a company that still isn’t profitable.

Samsung releases first curved smartphone. It may cost $1,000, but no one can deny Samsung’s new Galaxy Round is unique. The curved Samsung phone is an innovation others will follow. And it is a marketing master stroke demonstrating the importance of being different.

More Mobile News

No iPad 2 for the holidays? Looks like that may be the case. But expect announcements coming from a big Apple event scheduled for Oct. 22 to clarify things. Would an iPad Mini be your choice for a business tablet?

Amazon smartphones could be coming. At least, that’s the case if you believe all the buzz. Certainly, the company has built its own tablets. The question is whether these phones will be largely consumer products, just a curiosity or a good tool for your business.

Windows could soon run on your Android HTC phone. Microsoft is apparently trying to convince the phone manufacturer to add Windows Phone as a second option on some of its Android devices including the HTC One.

Microsoft plans Office for iPad. Of course, iPad users already have access to Office Web Apps. (See the video we’ve shared for more details.) And Office 365 subscribers can use an Office Mobile app for iPhone. But the new Office for iPad would be something different.

News From The Web

Docstoc updates with a new look and more. Some might describe the look and feel of the new Docstoc as “Pinteresty.” But Small Business Trends founder and CEO Anita Campbell explains that’s not the only change to this small business resource site.

This new policy may save Etsy. The craft site has been at the center of a controversy lately. So-called resellers allegedly use loopholes in the company’s rules to market mass produced items, an Etsy no-no.

Adobe discovers hack. When you’re the victim of a cyber attack, it’s not just your own business that can become a victim. A recently discovered cyber attack at Adobe may have exposed the personal data of nearly 3 million customers.

Ecommerce Innovations

Let visitors log into your website with Amazon. The ecommerce giant has introduced a new program called Amazon Log In and Pay. And there are advantages for small business users who already sell merchandise from their websites. We’ve got more info.

PayPal acquires online payment developer Braintree. There’s big competition in the online payment field. It’s an important issue to small businesses in need of a way for customers to make payments. And PayPal is trying to remain in the forefront.

Public Policy

Boehner faces hard decisions on business. What is a Speaker of the House to do? Speaker John Boehner faces an agonizing decision on the Affordable Care Act impasse. And for a champion of small business, there may not be a good one, says commentator Scott Shane.

Upcoming Events

And the winners are! Meet the top 100 champions in this year’s Small Business Influencers Awards. The gala event in New York City is coming up Oct. 17. Check the above link for more details.

Reading Photo via Shutterstock


Snapchat IPO Pursuit Sees US Exchanges Rent Helicopters, Drape Banners

Snapchat IPO Pursuit Sees US Exchanges Rent Helicopters, Drape Banners

This past November, Nasdaq Inc hired a helicopter to film Manhattan’s skyline using Snapchat’s new video-camera sunglasses and sent the aerial footage to its social media followers.

The New York Stock Exchange – its arch-rival – on the same day tweeted a video shot from the floor of its exchange, showing that it too was using the social media giant’s gadget.

The scramble to promote Snapchat’s “spectacles” is revealing the fierce competition between the two exchanges to host initial public offerings (IPOs) of prominent technology startups.

Experts say the contest is less about the fees exchanges generate from such listings than it is about bragging rights.

“Sometimes exchanges go to relatively extraordinary lengths in order to attract a high-profile new listing,” said Lise Buyer, a principal with the IPO advisory firm Class V Group.

ALSO SEESnapchat IPO Filed for Confidentially

Snap Inc, Snapchat’s parent company, is eyeing a spring debut that may peg its value as high as $25 billion, sources have told Reuters. It would be the biggest US tech IPO since Facebook Inc in 2012.

The listing would likely only generate a few hundred thousand dollars in annual fees, but Snap’s IPO carries prestige that could help an exchange win future business.

The popular messaging service is just one of many private technology companies expected to go public in the next year or two, including peer-to-peer lodging company AirBnB Inc and streaming music service Spotify.

“Competition among the exchanges is fierce and winning large, marquee companies can have a halo effect that results in future listings business,” said Alex Wellins, co-founder of IPO advisory and investor relations firm Blueshirt Group.

Snapchat is discussing a potential listing with both Nasdaq and NYSE, which is owned by Intercontinental Exchange Inc, and has not made a decision yet, people familiar with the situation told Reuters. Snapchat, Nasdaq and NYSE declined to comment.

Flashy promos
Exchanges, much like investment banks, often begin courting high-profile companies long before they are ready to list.

Nasdaq and NYSE compete over their technology, fees, reputation and support services for investor and public relations. Their marketing includes buying advertising in publications and outdoor signage for the companies, IPO advisers said.

Up until now, the efforts to land even the most high profile IPOs – such as Facebook and Twitter – happened largely behind the scenes, with theatrics saved for listing day celebrations.

For instance, NYSE once let a monkey ride a horse around its trading floor to mimic E*Trade Financial’s television commercial when the online broker switched exchanges in 2001. The listing for E-trade has since returned to Nasdaq.

In 2015, Nasdaq built a 60-foot pool in Times Square for a canine aquatics competition to celebrate the listing of dog food company Blue Buffalo Pet Products Inc.

With a public platform such as Snapchat though, the exchanges want to show they understand and support the technology while they are still competing for the listing. Having their products used by the exchanges can also be an important signal of their loyalty, said Pat Healy, chief executive of Issuer Advisory Group, who has advised companies such as Facebook, Zillow and Groupon on where to list.

“I’ll do business with you if you give me the listing. I’ll buy advertising in your newspaper. I’ll fly your airline. I’ll use your computer system,” Healy said, describing the types of promises exchanges make.

To be sure, a strong social media presence is important for both the exchanges, and both use many social media platforms to promote themselves and the companies that list with them.

Rolling out the banner
For Nasdaq, a Snapchat win would help redeem itself from famously bumbling Facebook’s IPO with massive technology errors.

Long known as the home for tech IPOs, the Facebook fiasco put Nasdaq on the defensive. The exchange commanded 85 percent of technology IPO proceeds in 2012, but by 2014 that plunged to 11 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Nasdaq has since recouped a sizeable chunk of those losses but it has been a slow period for tech IPOs. The last high-profile US Internet company to go public, Twitter Inc, joined NYSE in 2013.

Still, with fewer companies going public, the stakes are getting higher to lure listings.

Josh Machiz, a Nasdaq executive focused on its social media efforts, said the exchange chose to rent the helicopter because it wanted to come up with something “exciting and thoughtful” for the launch of Snapchat’s first hardware product. He declined to comment on any effort to win the Snap IPO.

As for NYSE, it draped a large, bright yellow banner outside its Lower Manhattan building to invite Snapchat followers in October, the same month media reported Snapchat had hired underwriters. Such banners are usually reserved to celebrate the first listing day of companies.

© Thomson Reuters 2017

Tags: Snapchat, Snapchat IPO, Snap Inc, US, US Stock Exchange, Apps, Social

HubSpot Files for IPO, Hopes to Raise $100 Million

HubSpot, the inbound marketing company founded by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah in 2006, has filed its intentions for an Initial Public Offering.

The company says it hopes to raise $100 million from sales of public stock, according to its S-1 filing with the Security Exchange Commission. Hubspot says it plans to list shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol HUBS.

The money that HubSpot hopes to raise through the IPO will help expand the business.

HubSpot provides a marketing software platform to businesses typically with 10 or more employees that integrates applications like social media, search engine optimization, blogging, website content management, marketing automation, email, analytics and reporting.

The platform is available to businesses on a paid subscription basis. The idea behind HubSpot is to engage website visitors to turn them into customers and eventually promoters of a business, according to the company’s S-1 document.

As of June of this year, HubSpot estimated it had more than 11,500 subscribers to its services in more than 70 countries with an average earned revenue per customer of more than $8,000 annually. The company also has more than 700 employees.

Revenues have been consistently on the rise at HubSpot. The company has reported revenues of $51.3 million during the first six months of this year. That is a 46 percent increase over the same time last year. Total revenue at HubSpot increased from $28.6 million in 2011 to $51.6 million in 2012 and reached $77.6 million in 2013.

At the same time, HubSpot has continually reported annual losses: A net loss of $34.3 million last year and $17.7 million from January to June this year. And in its S-1 filing, the company warns that risks associated with investing include those consistently reported losses.

BetaBoston reports that the city’s local tech community has been anticipating the IPO from HubSpot. The announcement generated comments from others in the tech entrepreneurship ecosystem like this one on Twitter:


Marshall Kirkpatrick


Congrats to @Hubspot on filing IPO, bringing external social business to so many new places. + Signals product rocks 



The company is based in Cambridge, Mass. HubSpot was also in the news recently with its announcement of the high profile departures of chief product officer David Cancel and engineering vice president Elias Torres ahead of the IPO announcement.

BetaBoston also notes that HubSpot has raised more than $100 million in venture capital funding since its inception. Investors in the company to date include General Catalyst Partners, Matrix Partners, Sequoia Capital, Scale Venture Partners, Charles River Ventures, Google Ventures and Salesforce.

Image: HubSpot