Third time's a charm? tbd
Ning's goal is to offer social-networking tools for those with little to no coding skill, but the site was initially suitable only for those with at least a modicum of PHP programming knowledge. However, Ning's responsive tech support and nurturing community have helped the site grow into a formidable web presence with more than 80,000 users, enabling the company to land $44 million in new funding just two weeks before the Opsware announcement.
But with that new funding comes the added pressure of delivering a return on investment (previously, Ning was funded primarily by Andreessen). Silicon Valley venture-capital investors typically look for a minimum of 15-fold ROI, meaning Ning will have to sell for at least $600 million to be considered a successful investment -- a disturbingly high bar to meet for a company that still hasn't captured the attention of most web users after two years in operation.