LinkedIn has filed for an IPO, a move that has also been announced in a post on their official blog. Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch and J.P. Morgan and UBS Securities will be managing the books for LinkedIn. The company expects to raise $175 million from the initial offer.
LinkedIn currently has 90 million users, with 40 million of these users in USA and the remaining 50 million spread across 200 countries. The company has around 1000 employees at the end of 2010. LinkedIn intends to use money from the IPO to further expand the product development, fuel global growth, and aggressively boost up its sales force to rack in more ad dollars.
LinkedIn considers Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter to be its main competitors, as they could at any point in time decide to encroach upon LinkedIn’s turf. According to the filing:
Other companies such as Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter could develop competing solutions or partner with third parties to offer such products. We face competition from a number of smaller companies in international markets, such as Xing in Germany and Viadeo in France, that provide online professional networking solutions, as well as Internet companies in the customer relationship management market, such as Salesforce.com (Chatter and Jigsaw).
LinkedIn has also recently revamped its Ad tools and have introduced features that allow marketers to target users more precisely according to their job title, age group, the company that they work for, and the LinkedIn group to which they belong.
Reid Hoffman (LinkedIns’s founder) and his wife owns 21.4 percent of LinkedIn shares, with Sequoia Capital owning 18.9 percent, Greylock Partners owning 15.8 percent, Bessemer Venture Partners owning 5.1 percent and CEO Jeff Weiner owning 4.1 percent. The remaining 34.7 percent shares in the company are held by other small investors (via private auctions) and company employees.
LinkedIn has been profitable for the sometime now as it earned $1.85 million in profits on $161.4 million in revenue for the nine months ending on Sep, 2010. At the end of Sep, 2010 LinkedIn had $89.6 million in cash. The company was valued at $3 billion in its latest secondary auction at SharesPost.