Pinterest goes public

The online image search platform files confidentially for a US initial public offering and is looking for a valuation of $12 billion.

Read time 7min 50sec
Paul Booth.
Paul Booth.

Pinterest's initial public offering (IPO) filing was one of the main stories of a quiet international ICT market last week.

At home, the happenings concerning Microsoft and EOH dominated the local ICT market.

Key local news

  • Very good interim numbers from Stella Capital Partners (back in the black).
  • Satisfactory interim figures from Mustek, with revenue up 2.1% and profit up 22.6%.
  • A negative trading update from Blue Label Telecom.
  • The Buffet Consortium invested a minority stake in Blue Label Telecoms.
  • Sasfin invested a significant minority stake in fintech lender Payabill, a 100% digital lending business that provides working capital and trade finance to small businesses.
  • GoDaddy, one of the world's biggest Web site hosting providers, will launch in SA next month.
  • UK-based digital auction house BidX1 has officially launched in SA, and hopes to become a game-changer in the local property auction market.
  • A new JSE cautionary by EOH.
  • The appointment of Sello Moloko as chairman of Telkom SA.
  • The resignation of Asher Bohbot, a founder and non-executive chairman of EOH.
  • The departures of Jose Dos Santos, CEO of Cell C (takes on new role within Cell C); and and Jabu Mabuza, chairman of Telkom SA.
  • The retirement of Rob Sporen, a founding member and director of EOH.

Key African news

  • Satisfactory year-end figures from Maroc Telecom, with revenue up 3.1% and profit up 2.3%.
  • BRCK, a Kenyan Internet provider, acquired its rival Surf, becoming one of the biggest public WiFi networks in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • The appointment of Cameron Beverage as SAP Africa's regional director for southern Africa.

Key international news

  • Ant Financial, an affiliate of the Alibaba Group, acquired UK-based payments company WorldFirst, in its biggest overseas deal since a US expansion was thwarted.
  • Casa Systems bought the equity interests in Australia-based NetComm Wireless by way of a scheme. Casa Systems said the move will provide a full end-to-end solution for operators to deploy the fifth-generation fixed wireless services.
  • Alphabet's Google purchased Alooma, a data migration company, as part of its efforts to catch up with bigger cloud service rivals Amazon and Microsoft.
  • Intel acquired India-based start-up Ineda Systems, a low-key fabless semiconductor product company.
  • Micro Focus bought Interset in order to unlock machine learning and user and entity behaviour analytics capabilities to aid with threat detection analysis.
  • Millicom International Cellular, a cable and mobile operator in Latin America and Africa, purchased Spain's Telefonica in Panama, Costa Rica and Nicaragua for $1.65 billion.
  • NCR acquired BEC, a leading provider of hospitality point-of-sale technology.
  • Palo Alto Networks acquired Demisto, an analytics and automation vendor, bolstering its threat prevention and response to security teams. The deal was worth $560 million.
  • Very good quarterly figures from Five9 (back in the black), Interface, NetEase, nLight, Opera and
  • Good quarterly numbers from Acacia Communications (back in the black), Cadence Design Systems (back in the black), Cogent Communications, CyberOptics and Keysight Technologies.
  • Satisfactory quarterly results from Arris, Belden, Faro Technologies, Garmin, Intuit, Leidos, Lenovo (back in the black), Rogers, SBA Communications,, Synopsys (back in the black), Tower Semiconductor, US Cellular and Xperi.
  • Satisfactory year-end figures from Atos and Bouygues.
  • Mediocre quarterly results from American Software, BE Semiconductor Industries, Casa Systems, Consolidated Communications, Equifax, HPE, LSC Communications, OTE Telecom, Universal Display and Visteon.
  • Mediocre year-end numbers from Taiflex and Telefonica.
  • Mixed quarterly figures from Altice USA, ATN International, Baidu, CACI, GoDaddy, Grupo Televista, Himax Technologies, Pegasystems, Photronics, Quanta Services, Roku, Telefonica Brasil, Telephone & Data Systems, TIM Participacoes SA, Tyler Technologies and Verisk Analytics, with revenue up but net income down; and from Analog Devices and Ceragon Networks, with revenue down but net income up.
  • Very poor quarterly figures from InterDigital.
  • Quarterly losses from Adesto Technologies, Appian, Applied Optoelectronics, AXT, Cardtronics, Computer Task Group, CommScope, Conduent, Daktronics, Deutsche Telekom, Digimarc, Dropbox, EchoStar, Entercom Communications, Envestnet, Everbridge, Impinj, Infinera, Inovalon, Intelsat, iQiyi, Quad/Graphics, Sequans Communications, TDC, Telecom Italia, Veritone and Vonage.
  • A full-year loss from Uber.
  • The appointments of Bijan Abbasi Arand as CEO of MTN Irancell; Wolfgang Eder as chairman of Infineon Technologies; Mike Finley as CEO of Boingo Wireless; Lance Rosenzweig as chairman of Boingo Wireless; and Lior Samuelson as chairman of Cyren.
  • The resignation of Lior Samuelson, CEO of Cyren.
  • The retirements of Alireza Ghalambor Dezfouli, CEO of MTN Irancell; and Dave Hagan, CEO and chairman of Boingo Wireless.
  • The departures of Ken Sheridan, CEO of NetComm Wireless; Eckart Suenner, chairman of Infineon Technologies; and Evan Williams, a co-founder of Twitter.
  • A US IPO filing from Pinterest, which operates a platform for online image searches.

Research results and predictions

South Africa:

    • According to GfK South Africa's Weekly Monitor, the South African smartphone market enjoyed solid growth in 2018, with unit sales rising 7.2% year-on-year to around 13.5 million, and value growing 13.2% to just under R35 billion.
    • The addressable market opportunity for the Internet of things in SA is predicted to grow to R24.5 billion by 2021, according to IDC. But, although local businesses understand the value this emerging technology offers, they still tend to view it as a concept rather than a business solution.


    • Spending on IT security in the Middle East, Turkey and Africa region is set to cross the $2.7 billion mark this year, up 10.2% on 2018, according to IDC.


    • Global sales of smartphones to end-users stalled in Q418, totalling 408.4 million units, growth of just 0.1% over Q417, according to Gartner.
    • The worldwide hardcopy peripherals market decreased 4.8% year-over-year to approximately 26.7 million units in 4Q18, according to IDC.

Stock market changes

  • JSE All share index: Up 2.5%
  • FTSE100: Down 0.8%
  • DAX: Up 1.4%
  • NYSE (Dow): Up 0.6%
  • S&P 500: Up 0.6%
  • Nasdaq: Up 0.7%
  • Nikkei225: Up 2.5%
  • Hang Seng: Up 3.3%
  • Shanghai: Up 4.5%

Look out for


  • An IPO filing by Lyft.

South Africa:

  • The listing of the MultiChoice Group.

Final word

Gartner has identified its top 10 data and analytics technology trends for 2019.

GoDaddy, one of the world's biggest Web site hosting providers, will launch in SA next month.

1: Augmented analytics. By 2020, augmented analytics will be a dominant driver of new purchases of analytics and BI, as well as data science and ML platforms, and of embedded analytics. Thus, data and analytics leaders should plan to adopt augmented analytics as platform capabilities mature.

2: Augmented data management. Leveraging ML capabilities and AI engines to make enterprise information management categories self-configuring and self-tuning.

3: Continuous intelligence. By 2022, more than half of major new business systems will incorporate continuous intelligence that uses real-time context data to improve decisions.

4: Explainable artificial intelligence (AI). AI models are increasingly deployed to augment and replace human decision-making. However, in some scenarios, businesses must justify how these models arrive at their decisions. To build trust with users and stakeholders, application leaders must make these models more interpretable and explainable.

5: Graph analytics. A set of analytic techniques that allows for the exploration of relationships between entities of interest such as organisations, people and transactions.

6: Data fabric. Enables frictionless access and sharing of data in a distributed data environment. It enables a single and consistent data management framework, which allows seamless data access and processing by design across otherwise siloed storage.

7: NLP/conversational analytics. By 2020, 50% of analytical queries will be generated via search, natural language processing (NLP) or voice, or will be automatically generated. The need to analyse complex combinations of data and to make analytics accessible to everyone in the organisation will drive broader adoption, allowing analytics tools to be as easy as a search interface or a conversation with a virtual assistant.

8: Commercial AI and ML. Gartner predicts that by 2022, 75% of new end-user solutions leveraging AI and ML techniques will be built with commercial solutions rather than open source platforms.

9: Blockchain. The core value proposition of blockchain, and distributed ledger technologies, is providing decentralised trust across a network of untrusted participants. The potential ramifications for analytics use cases are significant, especially those leveraging participant relationships and interactions.

10: Persistent memory servers. New persistent memory technologies will help reduce costs and complexity of adopting in-memory computing-enabled architectures. Persistent memory represents a new memory tier between DRAM and NAND flash memory that can provide cost-effective mass memory for high-performance workloads. It has the potential to improve application performance, availability, boot times, clustering methods and security practices, while keeping costs under control. It will also help organisations reduce the complexity of their application and data architectures by decreasing the need for data duplication.

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