Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Another Tech IPO You Haven’t Been Waiting For

123Facebook is officially out of the running for a 2010 IPO, and it’s a good bet that other sort-of candidates like Zynga are going to be waiting for a while, too.

So if you really want to make a bet on a Webby public offering in the near future, you’re going to have to wager on companies with a…less impressive pedigree. Companies like FriendFinder Networks, which runs a collection of porn sites and niche social networks, or Vringo, which is ostensibly in the ringtone business and wants to raise $64 million to keep going.

UPDATE: Vringo notes that it is only looking to sell $13.8 million worth of shares and warrants in its initial offering, but that conversion of warrants could eventually generate tens of millions more.

How can ringtones still be a business in 2010? For Vringo, they aren’t: The company has been giving them away for free, though it hopes to start selling them soonish.

Better hurry. Vringo has raised $17.5 million since 2006, and has burned through almost all of that. Total revenue so far: $36,000, generated by a partner in Armenia. PaidContent has more details from the S-1.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik