BuzzFeed Sees Disappointing Stock Market Debut
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 11: Members of the BuzzFeed News team work at their desks at BuzzFeed headquarters, December 11, 2018 in New York City. BuzzFeed is an American internet media and news company that was founded in 2006. According to a recent report in The New York Times, the company expects to surpass 300 million dollars in earnings for the 2018 fiscal year. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Drew Angerer via Getty Images

BuzzFeed witnessed a disappointing stock market debut.

Trading under the ticker “BZFD,” the media company’s shares were priced at $9.62 on Friday; by market close on Monday afternoon, however, shares were priced at $8.56.

The New York Times reported:

The choppy start came after BuzzFeed raised a lot less money than it had expected from the deal that brought it onto the stock market. BuzzFeed merged with a special purpose acquisition company, a transaction that could have raised over $250 million. But last week, the company revealed it had garnered only $16 million after a large number of shareholders declined to participate in the merger, allowing them to recoup money they had invested in the acquisition company…

Senior executives at other digital media companies are closely watching BuzzFeed’s debut. Many of those businesses, which have been funded by venture capital firms and by established media companies over the past decade, have faced an increasingly tough advertising climate and are looking for ways to pay back their early investors.

BuzzFeed is entering the market through a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) merger, a mechanism growing in popularity among debuting companies — including other media firms. For instance, former President Donald Trump revealed in October that he taking a new social media venture public.

“I created TRUTH Social and TMTG to stand up to the tyranny of Big Tech,” Trump said in a statement. “We live in a world where the Taliban has a huge presence on Twitter, yet your favorite American President has been silenced. This is unacceptable. I am excited to send out my first TRUTH on TRUTH Social very soon.”

“TMTG was founded with a mission to give a voice to all,” he added. “I’m excited to soon begin sharing my thoughts on TRUTH Social and to fight back against Big Tech. Everyone asks me why doesn’t someone stand up to Big Tech? Well, we will be soon!”

Likewise, Rumble — a free speech alternative to YouTube meant to fight cancel culture — will be listed on the NASDAQ under the ticker CFVI following a SPAC merger.

“Rumble is creating the rails to a new infrastructure that will not be bullied by cancel culture.” CEO Chris Pavlovski explained. “We are a movement that does not stifle, censor, or punish creativity and freedom of expression. We believe everyone benefits when they have access to more ideas and diverse opinions.”

“Being a public company will allow the people that believe in our mission to invest and join us as we seek to restore a free and open internet,” he added.

Among more established social media companies, Facebook is embarking on a “metaverse” initiative and changing its name to “Meta.” Meanwhile, longtime Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey suddenly stepped down from his position; Dorsey’s replacement, former CTO Parag Agrawal, does not think that Twitter should be “bound by the First Amendment” and that discourse on the platform should be policed in a way that shows “how the times have changed.”

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