Twitter and Condoms

Two companies. Two successful IPO debuts in the same week. But two different stories.

Let’s start with Twitter.

Twitter shares surged 73% at market debut this week, and closed at $44.90, after hitting $50 at one point – or almost double its $26 offer price. Financial Times reports that at that level, Twitter was more valuable than market heavyweights such as Time Warner and Yahoo! In fact, by some reports, there is also a sentiment that by pricing its  shares at only $26, Twitter has ended up leaving an awful lot of money – nearly $1.3bn –  on the table!

[Amidst heaps of articles out there currently on Twitter, if there is one article that you need to read this week, this would be  it – Bloomberg Businessweek’s cover story on the ‘Surprising Sophistication of Twitter’.  

Twitter Businessweek

(Cover Page, Bloomberg Businessweek, November 11 – 17, 2013)

A small teaser from the article:

Millennia from now an intelligence coming across a single tweet could, like an archaeologist pondering a chunk of ancient skull, deduce an entire culture.

Deducing an entire culture from a single tweet? Do read the full post to appreciate the wealth of data that gets encapsulated in each tweet that we send out and its implications.]

For hints on how Twitter could possibly go about driving growth and revenue, one just need to look at these two statistics:

  • 77% of current Twitter users are from outside the United States. And given the potential swing of the demographics in many Asian economies in the coming years, Twitter’s target user base in these markets is expected to grow at a sustainable pace.
  • However while the advertising revenue that Twitter currently realises from every 1,000 interactions from the US is $2.58, this figure is only 36 cents for the other 77% of the interactions. (source)

These clearly underscore the tremendous growth potential that Twitter has in several Asian markets.  No wonder then Twitter has started to strengthen its focus in markets like India over the last 1 month.

Meanwhile on the other side of the world earlier this week…

Karex, a Malaysian company – the world’s largest maker of condoms –  has debuted on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange with a 30% surge in share value on day one. The company, which supplies to prominent global brands like Durex besides also selling its own brand Carex, has nearly 10% global market share in condoms. (source)

Carex_Condoms_Firefly(Carex Condoms, Agency: Grey Group, Kula Lumpur, Source)

Today by Karex’s own estimates it cranks out almost 10 times more condoms than Trojan – the key condom brand in the U.S. Karex’s IPO was a tremendous success amidst analysts’ forecast that greater awareness of family planning in developing Asian countries will spur demand for condoms.

So while one company that went public this week has a story of exponential growth expected from the ‘powerhouse’ Asian markets, another company that went public during the same week from the other side of the world has a story that counts on the contrary – family planning and control in population growth in the Asian markets!

Couldn’t help noticing the contrasts.

Two companies. Two successful IPO debuts in the same week. But two slightly different stories.

(Featured Image, Source)

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