Excerpts from the Innovation economy blog.
Kayak.com, a travel site headquartered in Connecticut that has most of its employees at its technology office in Concord, is preparing for its road show, the investor presentations that precede an initial public offering of stock.
Kayak announced plans to go public about 18 months ago. This month, CNBC reported Kayak was hoping to raise $150 million in the offering.
For the road show, the company is reportedly hoping to hit cities like Boston, New York, Toronto, and San Francisco. If all goes well, the IPO could value Kayak at $1 billion.
Kayak’s chief technology officer and cofounder, Paul English, would not comment on the IPO plans because of the “quiet period” mandated by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Interestingly, English owns a bigger percentage of Kayak than chief executive Steve Hafner: 8.9 percent versus 6.9 percent for Hafner, formerly an executive at Orbitz. English recently acquired the title of president, also.
General Catalyst, the Cambridge venture capital firm that incubated Kayak in 2004, owns the largest chunk of the company, 30 percent. Kayak brought in $224 million in revenue last year.
Kayak’s IPO has been delayed because of stock market “choppiness,” said Boston investment banker Peter Falvey, and because of the emergence of a potential new rival: Google Flights, the product of Google’s 2010 acquisition of ITA Software, a Cambridge company.
Kayak’s IPO fortunes could hinge on the aftermath of the Facebook IPO. Falvey said the social network’s offering “has been the most anticipated IPO ever, and now its stock is trading down 11 percent from the offering price.
We may all be reading too much into the Facebook tea leaves right now, but I suspect that will be deemed a negative” for other technology IPOs.
TurningArt raises $1.5m
The Boston start-up TurningArt said last week that it raised an additional $1.5 million. The funding round includes NextView Ventures, a venture capital firm that happens to be in the same Leather District building.
The company operates a subscription service, starting at $10 a month, that sends you new prints to hang in a company-supplied frame whenever you request them. TurningArt will also sell you a framed print (for $100) or let you apply your monthly subscription fees toward the purchase of an original work.
The new funding, said founder Jason Gracilieri, “will allow us to expand the team, the collection [of artwork], and the delivery options.”
The company has six employees and is growing, Gracilieri said. TurningArt raised a seed round of $750,000 in March 2011.
Big Apple introduction
Two brothers from New Hampshire were in New York last week to introduce their start-up, About Last Night, at the TechCrunch Disrupt Conference. Darren and Derek Dodge are notable because Darren spent a year and a half working in new media for the Ashton Kutcher empire and because their father is Don Dodge, a high-profile Google executive.
Their iPhone app, developed in collaboration with Mobinett Interactive of Cambridge, is “a social network especially for nightlife,” Darren Dodge said. “It’s very photo-centric, and you can follow people or locations like a bar or nightclub.”
The app is intended to help guide users to where the best action is on a given evening — venues and events can be rated by users of the app — or show them what mischief their friends were up to the night before. And yes, you can keep certain things private.
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