MONEY: FACEBOOK’S FINAL FRONTIER

Fast Company, June 18th, 2014

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Change won’t come, though, until the products are “not just a little bit better but five times better,” says Kristo Kaarnmann, cofounder of the foreign exchange disrupter TransferWise, one of the startups Facebook tried to partner with on its e-money product. One five-times-better possibility? WhatsApp, the drop-dead simple messaging service that’s already used by more than 500 million people around the world. Facebook is looking for a way to make money from its expensive purchase, one that ideally wouldn’t force Facebook to trample upon the startup’s anti-advertising pledge. “WhatsApp is potentially a massive m-payment system,” says Lou Kerner, a venture capitalist and founder of the Social Internet Fund. “If you look at WeChat [a competing messaging platform], it’s already a payment system.” Or perhaps

Questions Of A Bubble As Tech Momentum Fades

The Economic Times April 18th, 2014

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Lou Kerner at the Social Internet Fund  an investment fund focused on new tech firms, said the question of overvaluation has to be examined “on a company by company basis.”  You can see companies whose valuations are stretched,” he told AFP. “Will they grow into their valuations? I think most of them can.”  Kerner also said the new Internet economy creates a situation “where companies are gaining traction at speeds we’ve never seen before.”

At 10 Years Old, Facebook Copes With Growing Pains

Business Insider, AFP Feb 3, 2014

…. “More than 20 percent of all time spent on the Internet is spent on Facebook,” says Lou Kerner, founder of the Social Internet Fund.  …. “People joke that for the teen, Facebook isn’t cool when your mom is on it,” Kerner said. “I think it’s not even your mom any more, now it’s also your grandmother.”  …. Kerner notes that being “cool” is not necessarily Facebook’s long-term goal.  “You can’t be the cool place forever,” he told AFP.  “One of two things happen to companies when they’re done being cool. They either go away, or they transition to becoming more of a utility. And Facebook is very successfully doing the latter.”

 

Twitter IPO is Wall Street hit but challenges lie ahead

Sky News Australia, Saturday Nov. 9th Full text here

“Kudos to Twitter for orchestrating a highly successful IPO,” said Lou Kerner of the Social Internet Fund. “However, as Facebook showed, an IPO success, or disaster in Facebook’s case, is really just noise in the long term. Twitter’s success as a stock is going to be based on how the company performs.”  Kerner said Twitter “needs to perform extraordinarily well, in terms of user growth, user engagement, and user monetization to justify its price.”