Velocity’s Miller Out Of The Running For Top Yahoo Job Or Takeover — Velocity Interactive Group’s Jon Miller is not trying to acquire Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO), nor is he a candidate to replace Jerry Yang as CEO, Bloomberg reports, citing unidentified sources. Miller declined to comment on either point in an interview with Bloomberg. Earlier this month, activist investor and Yahoo director Carl Icahn said he had talked to Miller about plans that the former AOL (NYSE: TWX) CEO was raising money for an acquisition of Yahoo either in whole or in parts. Icahn said he told Miller that this was not a good time for any sale, as he felt Yahoo’s stock, which was trading around $11.35 at the time—as of yesterday, it was up to $13.36—remains undervalued.
No Surprise: VCs Say It Will Be Tough To Get Early Stage Funding In 2009 — If the credit crisis and Wall Street implosion haven’t made it obvious, take it from the VCs themselves: expect fewer startups to get off the ground next year. According to stats from the third National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) Predictions Survey, VC firms won’t have much extra time or money to invest in newer companies in 2009: 60 percent of respondents said there will be fewer seed rounds and 64 percent said there will be a decline in early stage funding next year. On the bright side, about half of the VCs surveyed said late stage funding would actually rise. More after the jump. Internet, media and entertainment to be hit: 58 percent of VCs expect investment in web-based companies to decline, while 71 percent said that the media and entertainment space would receive much less funding next year.
Thomson Reuters Plans To Issue Up To $3 Billion In Debt –This is probably not the best time to ask for more credit, but Thomson Reuters (NASDAQ: TRIN) is planning to issue up to $3 billion in debt over the next two years, Reuters reports, citing regulatory filings. The media company says the debt issuance would go towards supporting general business functions. It said that specific terms for the debt issuance would be provided at a later date.
LinkedIn Founder Hoffman Back As CEO; Yahoo’s Weiner Is Interim President — In a major executive shuffle, LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman is reclaiming his role as CEO and bringing former Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) Jeff Weiner in as interim president, per the LAT. Dan Nye, who’s held the CEO post since Hoffman recruited him for the gig in early 2007, did not reveal what his plans would be once he left the company in January. Nye’s departure comes somewhat out of left field (though the LAT says he’d been discussing it with Hoffman for months), as LinkedIn has flourished under his leadership. The professional social network raised more than $70 million in funding in 2008, including $22.7 million from investors including McGraw-Hill two months ago, and a mammoth $53 million round led by Bain Capital Ventures in June, lifting its valuation past the $1 billion mark.
Meebo To Launch Syndicated IM Service — Web-based chat and IM company Meebo next month plans to launch a syndicated IM service in conjunction with about 35 partners, including movie site Flixster, Web media company Sugar Inc., and social discovery company Tagged. “The service allows users to log into all of their networks at the same time,” Meebo chief revenue officer Carter Brokaw said at an industry summit on Wednesday.
ShopAtHome.com Sees Interest From Financial And Strategic Players, But Prefers To Remain Independent, President Say — ShopAtHome.com, (aka Belcaro Group), is on the radar of financial and strategic players, but it prefers to remain independent, said Marc Braunstein, president and co-founder. The Greenwood Village, Colorado-based direct response company receives numerous calls from such players and is “certainly a target” he said, but the preference for the company is not to forego its independence at this time. He added that the company is not looking for external funding. It has “low eight figures in sales.” Belcaro Group, founded more than twenty years ago, is owned by Braunstein and his wife, Claudia. The company banks with Citywide Banks and uses DLA Piper as its legal counsel. ShopAtHome.com provides consumers with online access to coupons, cash back rebates, and catalogs, which is a small piece of the business right now, he said. Retailers pay ShopAtHome.com to access its members. Over the years, the company has had in excess of 10m members, and attracts 100,000 to 150,000 new members a month, noted Braunstein. Source: mergermarket.