Tag: Billionaire

Posted in technology

Billionaire investor Dan Loeb follows Warren Buffett and Marc Benioff into Snowflake

Dan Loeb, Loeb, Third Point, Daniel Loeb

  • Billionaire hedge-fund manager Dan Loeb has joined Warren Buffett and Marc Benioff as a Snowflake shareholder.
  • Loeb’s Third Point, which counts Amazon and Alibaba among its biggest holdings, revealed a position in Snowflake in its latest portfolio update.
  • Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and Benioff’s Salesforce both purchased Snowflake stock in private placements immediately after it went public last month.
  • Snowflake is a natural fit for Third Point and Salesforce’s tech-heavy portfolios, but it’s an unusual bet for Berkshire given Buffett’s past warnings against tech stocks and IPOs.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Billionaire investor Dan Loeb has followed Warren Buffett and Marc Benioff into Snowflake, the cloud-data platform that went public last month and saw its stock price more than double during its first day of trading.

Loeb’s Third Point fund counted Snowflake among its winning investments in September, its latest portfolio update shows. However, it didn’t disclose the size of its stake or when it was purchased.

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Snowflake contributed to an 11.7% gain for Third Point’s portfolio last quarter, outstripping the S&P 500’s 8.9% gain over the same period. Yet the fund’s 3.6% gain for the year to September trailed the benchmark index’s 8.9% rally.

The software company is a natural fit for Third Point, which held stakes in Alibaba, Amazon, Adobe, Salesforce, Facebook, and other tech stocks at the last count.

The same is true for Salesforce Ventures, the investment arm of Benioff’s enterprise-software giant, which backed Snowflake before it went public and bought $250 million of its stock in a private

Posted in technology

Palantir IPO Cements Billionaire Fortunes For Cofounder Peter Thiel And CEO Alexander Karp

After nearly two decades as one of Silicon Valley’s most closely guarded companies, data mining company Palantir Technologies finally went public on Wednesday in an unusual direct listing process.  After an expected delayed first trade, Palantir opened at 1:40 pm Eastern trading at $10 a share, up from the $7.25 reference price the company set on Tuesday night. It hit $11 at 1:50PM Eastern.

In a direct listing, the company does not raise funds for itself. Instead, existing shareholders get a chance to sell.  

Controversial investor Peter Thiel, who cofounded Palantir in 2003 and bankrolled the company in its early years, will be the biggest winner today as company chairman and its largest individual shareholder. 

Thiel and three investment firms he founded, Founders Fund, Clarium Capital and Mithril Capital, owned a total of 17.7% of the company before the offering, according to a regulatory filing. Forbes estimates that Thiel owns an 8% stake directly and through the funds, worth $1.9 billion at $11 a share. Thiel and the funds he runs registered to sell as many as 62 million shares in the offering, or 15.8% of their stake. It’s not clear yet whether all 62 million shares will be sold on Wednesday.

Palantir CEO Alexander Karp, who has called wealth “culturally corrosive,” owned 5.6% of the company before the offering, including vested options.  Karp registered 20.5 million shares in the offering, which means he may sell some or all of them in the offering, bringing in as much as $200 million or more, before taxes. Forbes estimates that Karp is now worth $1.1 billion.  

Forbes first called Karp a billionaire in 2015, when Palantir raised $400 million at a $15 billion valuation; Karp owned an estimated 8% of the

Posted in technology

Billionaire Gaming Brothers Are Now Tencent’s Biggest Rival

(Bloomberg) — The coronavirus pandemic has created a new gaming giant, boosting the fortune of its two founding brothers.


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Thanks to a rush of new gamers, Playrix has become the world’s largest mobile-game developer after Tencent Holdings Ltd., according to researcher AppAnnie. Its founders and sole owners, 38-year-old Igor and Dmitry Bukhman, 35, have more than doubled their wealth and are now worth $3.9 billion each, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

That didn’t happen by accident: At the height of the health crisis, as companies cut down on advertising, the mobile-game developer took advantage of lower ad prices to increase its marketing. Monthly users surged 50% to 180 million at the peak of the outbreak, and sales jumped about 60% to $1.75 billion in the first eight months of the year, the company said. The number of gamers has since stabilized at 150 million monthly.

“Successful games have become long-term services similar to Netflix, which manages to retain users by constantly adding new content,” Igor said in a Skype interview from London, where the brothers live. “We are constantly adding new stories, different game mechanics and levels to our games, and people are playing them for years.”

Explosive Growth

© Bloomberg
Explosive Growth

Julia de Macfarlane-Smith is among those who got hooked during the pandemic. After clicking on an ad in February, she soon started spending as much as six hours a day playing Gardenscapes and about 50 pounds ($64) in a month to get through levels faster. The match-3 puzzle game is one of Playrix’s most popular.

“It made life indoors not so boring,” said the 42-year-old stay-at-home mom from Gloucestershire, U.K. “I don’t know how many hours a day I would be playing if the pandemic had never happened, probably much fewer.”

Listed gaming companies from China’s

Posted in internet

Billionaire Elon Musk Teases IPO For Starlink, SpaceX’s Satellite Internet Business


Elon Musk on Monday hinted at his plans to take SpaceX’s space internet venture, Starlink, public in several years when revenue growth is “smooth and predictable” as the firm, which eventually aims to provide broadband around the world, is servicing towns in Washington ravaged by wildfires along the U.S. West Coast.      

Key Facts

The Tesla CEO revealed his plans on Twitter, saying small retail investors will “get top priority” when the company is listed: “You can hold me to it.”

Investors may be waiting a while — Musk said he will only take the company public in several years when revenue growth is smooth and predictable, adding: “Public market does *not* like erratic cash flow.”.

Last year, Musk said he believed Starlink would be an important revenue stream for SpaceX, with ambitions to provide high-speed internet around the world.

It comes as the company is assisting the Washington Military Department’s Emergency Management Division as it responds to towns devastated by wildfires, providing internet access to emergency responders and the public.   

In February, SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell told investors of the company’s plans to spin out Starlink into a separate business and take the company public. 

Key Background

Starlink is SpaceX’s ambitious internet-from-space project, involving a constellation of thousands of satellites that will deliver high speed internet access across the globe. SpaceX is optimistic about Starlink’s future. The company says it is already seeing an “extraordinary demand” from potential customers for its satellite broadband service, CNBC reported, with nearly 700,000 individuals in the US alone. Starlink’s website says it is targeting the US and Canada in 2020 and rapidly expanding “to near global coverage” by 2021.

Crucial Quote

Elon Musk tweeted: “We will probably IPO