Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh is endeavoring to do something more ambitious than ever before. He’s trying to transform 1.5 miles of arid, dust-caked downtown Las Vegas into a bustling entrepreneurial center with up to $350 million of his own money. The question is whether he can pull it off without someone to simply say, “no.”
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Sequoia Capital generated positive investment returns for its 1999 and 2000 funds, defying a period of financial turmoil that doomed most dot-com era venture funds, peHUB has learned.
Rumgr, a Las Vegas-based app developer that allows users to sell items on their mobile phones, has raised $500,000 in seed funding from Zappos executives Tony Hsieh, CEO; Arun Rajan, CTO; and Fred Mossler. Also joining the round is Andrew Donner, CEO and owner of Resort Gaming Group. Rumgr is currently only available on the [...]
(Reuters) – Online shoe retailer Zappos told customers this weekend that it has been the victim of a cyber attack affecting more than 24 million customer accounts in its database. The popular retailer, which is owned by Amazon.com, said customers’ names, email addresses, billing and shipping addresses, phone numbers and the last four digits of [...]
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People typically react in one of three ways after we publish something they’d rather keep secret: (1) No comment; (2) Confirm and spin; and (3) Deny, deny, deny.
But now there is a fourth path: Deny loudly via an official statement to other news outlets (who accept it as gospel), and then admit the truth nearly one year later.
The culprit here is Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh. When his company agreed last July to be acquired by Amazon, peHUB reported the following:
“The decision to sell hot online shoe retailer Zappos to Amazon.com was more in line with the interests of Sequoia Capital than the company’s CEO, according to two sources close to the company… [Sequoia’s] Moritz and Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh came into conflict about the company’s future. Moritz, the sources say, wanted Zappos to sell while Hsieh wanted to remain independent.”
Hsieh responded swiftly with a statement that read, in part:
Today, Zappos filed its S4 with the SEC and, as these things go, it’s pretty rife with interesting details. For example, reading the document, you can see that while net revenue for Zappos was $635 million last year, up 21 percent from 2007, its net income was just $10.8 million thanks to all those shoes [...]
Zappos is the first big win for Sequoia Capital’s eleventh fund, and it won’t likely be the last.
The firm’s $425 million, 2003 vintage fund caught startups in a weird time — after the dotcom bust but before Web 2.0 kicked into high gear. It invested in dotcom survivors like Zappos and eHarmony, as well as companies that presaged Web 2.0, like LinkedIn and Kayak.com.
The firm used the dotcom downturn to its advantage, picking up enviable stakes in attractive companies.
Though six years into the fund’s life, however, Sequoia has yet to reap many of the rewards of its investing. So far, Sequoia has sold eight of the 36 companies in its 11th fund, according to data from Thomson Reuters (plus some supplemental work by peHUB).
Zappos this evening issued a public statement that it wants to quash rumors that Sequoia Capital “forced” the company to sell itself to Amazon. The implication is that peHUB claimed that Sequoia “forced” the sale. To be clear, we made no such claim.
We wrote, in part:
“Two sources who do not hold board seats, but are directly involved with Zappos, indicated that Moritz and Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh came into conflict about the company’s future. Moritz, the sources say, wanted Zappos to sell while Hsieh wanted to remain independent.”
We stand by our reporting. A venture capitalist and CEO disagreeing about the future of a company happens all the time. The two groups may disagree on how best to serve shareholders, fight hard for
The decision to sell hot online shoe retailer Zappos to Amazon.com was more in line with the interests of Sequoia Capital than the company’s CEO, according to two sources close to the company. One of the sources says Zappos was financially strong enough to wait for the IPO market to recover, if it chose to [...]