Aug 23

China Internet Firm Momo Delivers Strong Results, But Stock Plunges

China social app developer Momo (MOMO) delivered a strong quarterly earnings report early Tuesday but the stock plunged as expenses soared.

XAutoplay: On | OffMomo said revenue rose 214% from the year-ago quarter to $312.2 million, beating the consensus of $286 million. Adjusted earnings rose 192% to 35 cents per share, ahead of views for 31 cents.

But Momo said that expenses jumped 189% from the year-ago quarter to $246 million. The increase was attributed to higher revenue sharing with broadcasters related to Momo’s live video. It also attributed the higher costs to an increase in marketing and promotional expenses to enhance brand awareness, attract users and promote its live video service, among other reasons.

Momo shares were down more than 18%, near 36.85, during afternoon trading in the stock market today.

The company expects third-quarter revenue in the range of $337 million to $342 million, representing a year-over-year increase of 115%-118%. The midpoint of $339.5 million is above the consensus estimate of $307 million. Momo has shown triple-digit revenue growth in 10 of the last 11 quarters. The company came public in December 2014, pricing shares at 13.50.

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Momo said its live video service, launched in the third quarter of 2015, continued its strong momentum, with revenue of $259.4 million, up 22% from the previous quarter.

“The usage of short video service has reached new milestones, and revenues from live video service has hit new record highs,” said Momo Chief Executive Yan Tang, in prepared remarks.

The growth in live video revenues was attributed to an increase in paying users, which reached 4.1 million in the quarter. Active users of Momo rose to 91.3 million, up 22% from the year-ago quarter. Momo’s primary product is a mobile dating app.

Earnings reports out of China have been strong in recent weeks. Momo follows strong earnings reports from Alibaba (BABA), (JD) and Tencent Holdings (TCEHY), all of which beat estimates. Those three are the largest internet companies in China by revenue. Alibaba shares were up 3%, near 174.10 and a record high. JD was up 1.4%, near 42. (WUBA), called the Craigslist of China, reported quarterly earnings late Sunday that zoomed past estimates. stock catapulted more than 20% on the company’s earnings news Monday. came public in December 2013 with shares priced at 17. The stock was trading near 64.65 Tuesday afternoon, up 0.8% for the day.

But shares of Chinese technology company Baozun (BZUN) plunged Tuesday after the company reported second-quarter earnings late Monday and offered an outlook for its third quarter that missed views.  Baozun shares were down 19%, near 28.


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Aug 22

GearLaunch Enhances Leading E2E Commerce Platform With Advanced Email Marketing Features

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–GearLaunch, the leading E2E commerce platform, today unveiled GL-Mail, a
suite of email marketing automation tools to supercharge customer
engagement, retention, and lifetime value. GL-Mail allows merchants to
effortlessly send marketing emails to customers with the most effective
combination of messaging, product recommendations and special offers
that result in maximized engagement and buyer conversion. The addition
of this feature to GearLaunch’s industry leading suite of e-commerce
tools and unique “Virtual Tradeshow” of available products helps
GearLaunch merchants retain customers and earn more profits from repeat
purchasers than ever before.

“GearLaunch stays ahead of the competition by carefully listening to our
customers and responding quickly with product updates and enhancements.
Even with the multitude of existing third party tools, one of our most
consistent requests has been for an email marketing tool that is tightly
integrated to GearLaunch’s unique workflow,” said GearLaunch Founder and
CEO Thatcher Spring. “Our vision is to offer automation of email
marketing best practices, constantly fine-tuning them to our platform
and specific customer needs. In many cases, merchants can more than
double the lifetime value of each customer with effective email
marketing. It’s all about helping our merchants earn more money by doing
less work.”

GearLaunch’s new email marketing suite includes the following features:

  • Select from a set of top-performing email campaigns
  • Assign specific buyer audiences and dynamic special offers to campaign
  • View and analyze results of campaigns including total profit, open
    rate, click-through rate, and conversion rate

GearLaunch not only offers the most complete and sophisticated E2E
commerce platform to date, but also provides an expansive set of
wholesale merchandise – a virtual consumer goods tradeshow on the
internet – with customizable products that vendors can personalize and
sell on their individual sites. Never out of stock and international in
reach, GearLaunch’s supply chain, logistics and post-purchase services
also include personalized customer support for buyers. GearLaunch
vendors are pre-armed with an infinitely scalable and hassle-free
inventory of products and business operational support services that
help them easily scale their businesses without hiring teams.

“We all know that the first sale is the hardest – and the most
expensive,” said GearLaunch marketing guru Ngan Ton. “With GearLaunch’s
GL-Mail, our merchants can build a highly effective CRM program directly
into their workflow to easily harvest repeat sales and significantly
increase the ratio of customer lifetime value to cost of customer

The breadth of GearLaunch’s features and functions includes not only the
tools to create online storefronts, but also back office support and
logistics tasks such as production, shipping, location-agnostic customer
support and advanced search and discovery tools.

Separating itself from the central destination marketplaces where
sellers simply list product in hopes of making a one-time sale,
GearLaunch places Internet entrepreneurs in full control of their own
businesses and the all-important customer relationship, empowering the
creation of sustainable and scalable business assets. This model allows
GearLaunch customers to grow independently of the shopping malls of the
Web, and scale their businesses without hiring large teams or sinking
money into inventory.

With a constantly expanding roster of product category offerings,
GearLaunch’s 2,500 power-sellers generated more than $90 million in
product sales last year, with many individual vendors achieving eight
and nine figure revenue streams. Almost any online-centric merchant
selling through existing affiliate and mainstream marketplaces can take
advantage of GearLaunch’s platform from anywhere on the globe.

More information can be found at:

About GearLaunch

Founded in 2013 by a team of e-commerce, CPG and retail industry
veterans, GearLaunch offers a sophisticated platform for E2E commerce, a
rapidly emerging category that focuses on the full e-commerce value
chain. The company provides the tools and resources for online retailers
to build completely independent and scalable online businesses, giving
them complete control of their customer relationships and enabling
infinite scale. With more than $90 million in sales during 2016 and 4.5
million products sold to date across more than 2500 merchant sites,
GearLaunch customers range from regional and specialty outlets to large
global brands.

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Aug 21

Who Owns the Internet?

“I wasn’t always so skeptical,” Franklin Foer announces at the start of “World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech” (Penguin Press). Franklin, the eldest of the three famous Foer brothers, is a journalist, and he began his career, in the mid-nineties, working for Slate, which had then just been founded by Microsoft. The experience, Foer writes, was “exhilarating.” Later, he became the editor of The New Republic. The magazine was on the brink of ruin when, in 2012, it was purchased by Chris Hughes, a co-founder of Facebook, whose personal fortune was estimated at half a billion dollars.

Foer saw Hughes as a “savior,” who could provide, in addition to cash, “an insider’s knowledge of social media” and “a millennial imprimatur.” The two men set out to revitalize the magazine, hiring high-priced talent and redesigning the Web site. Foer recounts that he became so consumed with monitoring traffic to the magazine’s site, using a tool called Chartbeat, that he checked it even while standing at the urinal.

The era of good feeling didn’t last. In the fall of 2014, Foer heard that Hughes had hired someone to replace him, and that this shadow editor was “lunching around New York offering jobs at The New Republic.” Before Hughes had a chance to fire him, Foer quit, and most of the magazine’s editorial staff left with him. “World Without Mind” is a reflection on Foer’s experiences and on the larger forces reshaping American arts and letters, or what’s nowadays often called “content.”

“I hope this book doesn’t come across as fueled by anger, but I don’t want to deny my anger either,” he writes. “The tech companies are destroying something precious. . . . They have eroded the integrity of institutions—media, publishing—that supply the intellectual material that provokes thought and guides democracy. Their most precious asset is our most precious asset, our attention, and they have abused it.”

Much of Foer’s anger, like Taplin’s, is directed at piracy. “Once an underground, amateur pastime,” he writes, “the bootlegging of intellectual property” has become “an accepted business practice.” He points to the Huffington Post, since shortened to HuffPost, which rose to prominence largely by aggregating—or, if you prefer, pilfering—content from publications like the Times and the Washington Post. Then there’s Google Books. Google set out to scan every book in creation and make the volumes available online, without bothering to consult the copyright holders. (The project has been hobbled by lawsuits.) Newspapers and magazines (including this one) have tried to disrupt the disrupters by placing articles behind paywalls, but, Foer contends, in the contest against Big Tech publishers can’t win; the lineup is too lopsided. “When newspapers and magazines require subscriptions to access their pieces, Google and Facebook tend to bury them,” he writes. “Articles protected by stringent paywalls almost never have the popularity that algorithms reward with prominence.”

Foer acknowledges that prominence and popularity have always mattered in publishing. In every generation, the primary business of journalism has been to stay in business. In the nineteen-eighties, Dick Stolley, the founding editor of People, developed what might be thought of as an algorithm for the pre-digital age. It was a formula for picking cover images, and it ran as follows: Young is better than old. Pretty is better than ugly. Rich is better than poor. Movies are better than music. Music is better than television. Television is better than sports. And anything is better than politics.

But Stolley’s Law is to Chartbeat what a Boy Scout’s compass is to G.P.S. It is now possible to determine not just which covers sell magazines but which articles are getting the most traction, who’s e-mailing and tweeting them, and how long individual readers are sticking with them before clicking away. This sort of detailed information, combined with the pressure to generate traffic, has resulted in what Foer sees as a golden age of banality. He cites the “memorable yet utterly forgettable example” of Cecil the lion. In 2015, Cecil was shot with an arrow outside Hwange National Park, in Zimbabwe, by a dentist from Minnesota. For whatever reason, the killing went viral and, according to Foer, “every news organization” (including, once again, this one) rushed to get in on the story, “so it could scrape some traffic from it.” He lists with evident scorn the titles of posts from Vox—“Eating Chicken Is Morally Worse Than Killing Cecil the Lion”—and The Atlantic’s Web site: “From Cecil the Lion to Climate Change: A Perfect Storm of Outrage.” (In July, Cecil’s son, Xanda, was shot, prompting another digital outpouring.)

Donald Trump, Foer argues, represents “the culmination” of this trend. In the lead-up to the campaign, Trump’s politics, such as they were, consisted of empty and outrageous claims. Although none deserved to be taken seriously, many had that coveted viral something. Trump’s utterances as a candidate were equally appalling, but on the Internet apparently nobody knows you’re a demagogue. “Trump began as Cecil the Lion, and then ended up president of the United States,” Foer writes.

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Aug 20

WebMD acquired by Internet Brands, a portfolio company of KKR, for $2.8 billion

WebMD Health Corp., operators of the popular WebMD website, is being acquired by Internet Brands, a portfolio company of KKR, for about $2.8 billion.

A subsidiary of Internet Brands will float a tender offer in the next 10 business days to acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of WebMD common stock for $66.50 per share, to be paid in cash when the transaction’s a done deal.

The valuation represents a premium of about 30 percent to WebMD’s share price on February 15 of this year — the day before WebMD announced that it was starting to explore and evaluate potential strategic alternatives — as well as a premium of around 20 percent over WebMD’s closing share price on July 21.

The financing for the transaction is fully committed, and the WebMD Board of Directors has approved the merger agreement. The acquisition is expected to close during the fourth quarter of this year, subject to the all of the customary closing conditions.

Martin J. Wygod, Chairman of WebMD, said the transaction “provides our stockholders with immediate and significant cash value and a substantial premium.” He said WebMD and its financial advisors reached out to more than 100 strategic and financial partners, garnering confidence that stockholders’ value would be maximized by the move.

Bob Brisco, CEO of Internet Brands, called WebMD “a trusted source for health information” with “unparalleled reach to consumers and healthcare professionals.”

Internet Brands’ health vertical serves millions of consumers and more than 50,000 healthcare practices utilizing a multi-brand, multi-product approach. The company is the leading SaaS/web hosting player in the health space, serving a wide variety of practice areas, including dental, chiropractic, veterinary, vision care, and mental/physical therapy. Its health SaaS businesses provide web presence, online marketing and practice management solutions to practices across the country. These businesses include Demandforce, Officite, Sesame Communications and Baystone Media.

The company’s consumer-focused health brands provide content and online communities for consumers in search of health-related information. These include,,, and

Equity financing for the transaction is being provided primarily by KKR’s private equity funds.

The news comes during a busy period for WebMD. The company posted an 8 percent increase in revenue for the fourth quarter of 2016 as well as improved bio-pharma advertising, and a bump in their health and information services. Medscape continues to be the company’s powerhouse, with 60 percent of the advertising revenue and 8.3 million physician sessions per month. The number of consumer visitors to the WebMD health network was also up on both desktop and mobile, with 64 million users during the quarter.

And as of March, people who use the Amazon Alexa voice-assistant service can launch the WebMD skill on any Alexa-enabled device — such as the Echo, Echo Dot and Amazon Fire TV — and ask a question about a range of health-related topics including conditions, medication, tests and treatments. Alexa will respond with WebMD-sourced answers in easy-to-understand language.

Rumors that WebMD was shopping around for a buyer have sprung up for years. In January 2016 the company denied rumors that it was in conversations with Walgreens and UnitedHealthcare. At that time, we dove into the company’s history and the ways in which it has navigated the emergence of digital health as a category.

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Aug 19

SCORE LA is in the business of helping start new businesses

Starting a new business requires fortitude, funding and sometimes a little luck. It may also need some sage advice from someone who has worked in the business world for decades and is primed to help guide entrepreneurs on their new ventures.

SCORE L.A. offers mentoring services for those starting a new business, buying an existing business or purchasing a franchise. The organization’s Los Angeles County headquarters is in Glendale, and it hosted a workshop on how to start a business this past Saturday in its local offices.

Led by Dick Mader, who founded wholesale publication distributor Mader News Inc. in Glendale, the workshop covered a variety of topics ranging from business plans to financing and hiring employees.

Mader said he started selling newspapers on a street corner. Coming from a 10-member family, each child had to find their own way financially sometimes.

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Aug 18

TORCHx by named RE/MAX Approved Supplier

Real Estate Marketing Platform to Reach 111,000+ RE/MAX Agents, Improve Sales Leads

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Aug. 18, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:WEB), a leading global provider of a full range of Internet services and online marketing solutions for small businesses, today announced that it is an Approved Supplier for RE/MAX and its more than 111,000 real estate agents. is the parent company of TORCHx by, a marketing platform designed specifically to help real estate professionals generate new business online.


“The lifeblood of successful agents in today’s competitive landscape is relevant and timely leads,” said RE/MAX Executive Vice President Mike Ryan. “We’re excited to add TORCHx to our program to help those agents generate more quality leads and turn those leads into business.”

“This strategic alliance with RE/MAX further reinforces as a leader in online marketing for real estate professionals,” said Jesse Friedman, business development at and TORCHx co-founder.

Built with more than 20 years of industry experience, TORCHx is an easy-to-use internet platform designed to provide brokers and agents with quality new business leads that turn into clients who are happy and engaged with their agents and brokers from start to finish.

TORCHx helps real estate professionals:

  • Get found: TORCHx builds customized websites that encourage would-be home buyers and sellers to connect with agents and engage online. The websites include content that is automatically generated for every neighborhood, city and county in a real estate professional’s database of listings.
  • Gain high-quality leads: TORCHx is a Google Premier Partner, meaning it is certified in providing expert search marketing support. The team works directly with Google, Yahoo and Bing to help bring the highest quality traffic to an agent’s site.
  • Build and maintain client relationships: TORCHx includes powerful tools to help users manage their relationships with new and existing customers. The platform can send automatic emails and texts to clients based on their online search behavior, and it tracks those interactions so that users are always armed with complete records of their relationships.
  • Work from anywhere: The platform’s powerful tools and features can be used on any device, giving agents and brokers constant access to vital information – in the office, on the road, at an open house or anywhere they may need it. will demonstrate TORCHx capabilities at booth #117 during the RE/MAX Broker Owner Conference in San Francisco on August 20-22, 2017. For more information on the conference, please visit here.


RE/MAX was founded in 1973 by Dave and Gail Liniger, with an innovative, entrepreneurial culture affording its agents and franchisees the flexibility to operate their businesses with great independence. Over 110,000 agents provide RE/MAX a global reach of more than 100 countries and territories. Nobody sells more real estate than RE/MAX, when measured by residential transaction sides. RE/MAX, LLC, one of the world’s leading franchisors of real estate brokerage services, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of RMCO, LLC, which is controlled and managed by RE/MAX Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:RMAX). With a passion for the communities in which its agents live and work, RE/MAX is proud to have raised more than $157 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® and other charities. For more information about RE/MAX, to search home listings or find an agent in your community, please visit For the latest news about RE/MAX, please visit


TORCHx is a best-in-class solution that combines the most important real estate tools essential to the day-to-day activities for real estate agents, teams and brokerages with a focus on lead nurturing and brand identity. The system includes a beautiful front-end website that features Multiple Listing Service (MLS) data integration, responsive design, market statistics and more. Real estate professionals can also utilize the integrated customer relationship management complete with lead tracking, email marketing, drip campaigns, automated search updates and other utilities. The team at TORCHx also handles the real estate professional’s online marketing, including search engine marketing and lead generation, which is managed by Google certified online marketing professionals. The TORCHx platform is being used by some of the highest producing real estate professionals in the United States. For more information about TORCHx, visit or call 877-293-3543.

ABOUT WEB.COM Group, Inc. (Nasdaq:WEB) is a global provider of a full range of Internet services to small businesses to help them compete and succeed online. meets the needs of small businesses anywhere along their lifecycle with affordable, subscription-based solutions including domains, hosting, website design and management, search engine optimization, online marketing campaigns, local sales leads, social media, mobile products, eCommerce solutions and call center services. For more information, please visit; follow the company on Twitter @webdotcom or on Facebook at


Corporate Communications


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Aug 17

How to Promote Your Business Online in the Ad-Blocker Era

In a nutshell, content marketing can be described as a strategic marketing approach, focused on creating, distributing and promoting powerful, relevant, compelling and consistent content to attract, retain and inspire a certain group of people. This technique has the capacity to distribute a powerful message in a way which users actually want to see and engage with.

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Aug 16

Bord Bia launch marketing course

In Ireland, research and insights, as well as analytics and reporting also register as areas of concern.

Addressing these problems, taught module topics on the ‘Think Digital’ programme will include Strategy and Planning, Analytics, Search Marketing and, Digital Display Advertising, Email Marketing, Social Media Marketing and Mobile Marketing.

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