Jan 16, 2017

Snap's IPO investors will get no say

Snapchat's parent company is taking "founder control" to another level as it inches toward an IPO later this quarter. The company is planning to issue non-voting stock to investors in its IPO, as it did in its previous private funding round, according to the Wall Street Journal. In November, The Information spotted the move in a newly filed document in Delaware.

What this means: Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy will have more than 70% of the voting power and 45% of the stock.

In context: While a bit more extreme than past cases, dual-stock structures aimed at leaving founders in control are not unseen, especially in Silicon Valley. Facebook and Google are two well-known examples. The rationale is usually that the founders want to keep taking big bets or having flexibility without a board telling them what to do (too much).

The fine print: Snap's setup also includes some protections for public investors, according to the WSJ's sources. If the founders' stock falls below 30%, all shares will convert to common stock. And if either founder dies, his shares can't be transferred—a clear signal that Snap believes the founders have a unique vision for the company that can't be imitated.

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Japan to close schools through late March to control coronavirus outbreak

A couple takes photos in front of the Olympic rings in Tokyo. Photo: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced Thursday that the government will ask elementary, middle and high schools around the country to close until late March as an attempt to contain its novel coronavirus outbreak, AP reports.

Why it matters: The government's decision — impacting 12.8 million students across 34,847 schools — comes as concerns mount about the spread of the virus in Japan, which has 189 confirmed cases and hundreds more abroad the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship.

Go deeper: The latest coronavirus updates

What the coronavirus means for Trump's presidency

Photo Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

A poor response to the coronavirus could be politically devastating for President Trump, and so far his administration has given the strong impression that it’s still scrambling as the risk of a pandemic mounts.

Why it matters: There’s only so much any president can do to stop a virus from spreading, and for now the coronavirus is still very much under control within the U.S. But if the disease get worse in the months ahead, and if the administration seems to be caught off guard, that spells trouble for public confidence in Trump.

Coronavirus updates: New global case numbers surpass China's

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus is now affecting every continent but Antarctica and the WHO said Wednesday the number of new cases reported outside China has exceeded those inside the country for the first time.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,800 people and infected over 82,000 others in some 50 countries and territories. As Denmark and Estonia reported their first cases Thursday, Scott Morrison, prime minister of Australia — which has 23 confirmed infections — told a news conference, "The risk of a global pandemic is very much upon us."

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