It no longer seems sensible to bet on Netflix supplanting the cable operators as the video provider of choice to cost-concsious America. And that, it turned out, was a large part of what was embedded in it’s share price. Netflix stock crashed 19% yesterday day after the company revised its subscriber forecast for the next quarter to 24 million users, down from 25 million. Netflix’s stock was a gravity defying rocket for about two and half years, but its been falling ever since it announced plans to charge users for both streaming and DVD plans. Netflix said it was necessary to protect its business for the long run, but the move also clearly pointed out that much of what was driving the tremendous growth of the stock was that it was seen by many investors as a cost effective alternative for many Americans to increasingly expensive cable TV subscriptions.
Weaker-than-expected shipments of both BlackBerrys and PlayBooks forced Research in Motion to deliver another ugly quarter that sent its stock into a tailspin. Shares of RIM dropped more than 17% in after hours trading as lighter-than-expected revenue and earnings disappointed analysts and anemic shipments of BlackBerrys (10.6 million versus expectations of 11.9 million) and PlayBooks (200,000 versus expectations of 400,000 – 600,000) as well as a depleted cash position forced investors to once again start seriously questioning the firm’s long term viability.
Cloud storage is so hot right now that cloud storage provider Box.net rejected a $500 million offer to purchase the company. Turning down a $500 million acquisition offer isn’t necessarily a bad move for a hot company like Box.net as it could attract other, richer offers. But it also indicates that investors in the space believe cloud storage is ultimately a much bigger market opportunity than currently perceived. Box.net previously raised $48 million in its most recent round of funding led by Emergence Capital in February. It is also in the process of finalising an extension to that round of funding worth $35 million. The company also recently opened a new office and began moving there in June after rapidly expanding its team.
MeLLmo, the developer of business data visualisation platform Roambi, has raised $30 million through its first round of institutional funding led by Sequoia Capital. This brings MeLLmo’s total funding to $50 million. As part of the round, Sequoia partner Greg McAdoo will join MeLLmo’s board of directors, and David Spector will join as a board observer. Launched in 2009, Roambi allows business professionals to access visualized data from anywhere. Roambi’s website and iPhone and iPad apps allows for data in spreadsheets and documents to be easily viewed on both the web and mobile platforms in customisable charts and graphs.
LiveIntent, maker of an email ad serving platform, has raised $8 million in Series B financing led by Shasta Ventures. LiveIntent’s Series A investors, Battery Ventures, First Round Capital, and Grape Arbor VC, also participated in the funding. LiveIntent, founded in 2009, has raised $12.25 million to date.
Apprupt, which operates a performance network for mobile in-content ads, has raised more funding from existing backers T-Venture (a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom), Neuhaus Partners and KfW. The size of the financing round was not disclosed, although the company said it involves a “seven-digit Euro investment”. The new funding will be used to increase the startup’s headcount in sales, international expansion and to invest in its mobile advertising technology.
Hewlett-Packard Co and top executives misled investors for months before unveiling a series of major decisions, such as the demise of the TouchPad, that hammered its shares, a shareholder alleged in a proposed class-action lawsuit filed this week.
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