After grabbing defeat from the jaws of victory this week, New Zealand’s America’s Cup team had little to celebrate. Only adding to the negativity is the lack of a decision by the Kiwi government on whether to finance another cup campaign. However, with a stock exchange listing just around the corner and Windows syncing client ready to launch next week, an offer of support has now come in from Kim Dotcom, New Zealand’s favorite adopted entrepreneur.
With what looked like an unbeatable 8-1 lead, Team New Zealand required just one more win to bring the America’s Cup home. But nothing is guaranteed in sport, a fact underlined by Oracle Team USA this week.
Jimmy Spithill’s team took eight successive wins and captured victory yesterday in San Francisco, an outcome which prompted a single word comment from New Zealand Prime Minister on Twitter that said it all – Bugger.
Of course, in defeat the best thing to do is regroup, reassess and return to fight another day, but sailing is an expensive game and at this point the government won’t commit to another round of funding, which is expected to run to many tens of millions of dollars.
However, when there’s an opportunity to get one over on the government there is one New Zealand resident who is rarely away from the action. Enter stage left Kim Dotcom, ready to show that where Prime Minister John Key falters, there’s a larger-than-life businessman and politician in the making ready to step in.
So with Dotcom suggesting that in the absence of government commitment Mega could bankroll the team, how much money should the fledgling file-hosting business expect to cough up? At last count the investment required is in the region of NZ$36 million (US$30 million), a not inconsiderable sum for any business, let alone one that’s barely eight months old.
But of course, Mega is doing very well. The company has just overtaken rival RapidShare and in terms of files stored is already 50% of the now defunct Megaupload. Nevertheless, $30 million is a huge sum to justify.
To date it has been Dotcom himself almost single-handedly driving the Mega marketing machine but with the company’s stock exchange listing around the corner, it’s certainly possible that the company will be looking to invest some advertising dollars. Whether Mega will be able to match the financial clout behind Team Oracle (Oracle’s Larry Ellison is the United States’ 3rd richest man) is doubtful though.
While the next cup is scheduled for 2017, Mega has more immediate matters in hand. Dotcom says that his file-hosting enterprise will exit beta next week and will launch both a new site and a sync client for Windows. This welcome addition to Mega’s arsenal will make it much more useful to current users of Dropbox and will bring in much-needed revenue as the company enters its second year of operation.