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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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work