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LinkedIn Files for Initial Public Offering

by Jack McGrath | January 28, 2011January 28, 2011 5:00 am PDT

LinkedIn, the business-targeted social networking website, recently filed for an IPO, meaning that it will soon sell public shares in the company. The Mountain View, CA-based company is one of the first high-profile networking corporations to enter the public domain.

Filing this request with the Securities and Exchange Committee (SEC), LinkedIn declined to comment on the number of shares that will be made available and their price range. However, the listing documents from this case give us one of the first looks into the profitability of large social sites.

During the first nine months of 2010, the professional networking brought in $165 million in revenue, grossing $1.85 million as a net income. The past year was financially strong considering the fact that LinkedIn lost $3.4 million during the same time period a year earlier. The company made stated that it does not expect to be profitable this year due to increased investment in infrastructure and expansion.

Though many online companies survive on advertising revenue alone, LinkedIn has a three-pronged approach – premium subscriptions, hiring solutions for resource managers and advertisements.  This diversification makes the company stronger, a sentiment affirmed by industry analyst Debra Aho Williamson:

The more diverse your business can become, the less exposure you have if there is downfall in a certain market. You want to see a rounded business.

Rather negatively, the company did say that it does not have a substantial majority of users visit on a monthly basis. In addition to this, LinkedIn is one of the smaller networking sites. Facebook, a competitor to the business-targeted site, reported $1.2 billion in revenue during the first nine months of 2010, raising questions as to how strong this investment would be.

Nevertheless, LinkedIn’s implied value is floating around $2.5 billion and they will only be selling around 10 percent of it to facilitate international expansion.

What do you think? Will LinkedIn’s IPO encourage other social networking sites to jump on the public bandwagon? Will LinkedIn survive as a public corporation? Let us know in the comments below.

[via The Wall Street Journal]


Jack McGrath

Rooted in his childhood obsession with dismantling and reassembling gizmos and gadgets around the house, Jack McGrath's knowledge of programming,...

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