Reuters reported this morning that LinkedIn, the business focused social network, plans to go public in 2011. This could be part of a move to ensure that LinkedIn has their IPO before Facebook, therefore avoiding risk of being overshadowed by the world’s largest social network.
LinkedIn is remaining mum on the subject, reported as saying “An IPO is just one of many tactics that we could consider.” The thing is, the timing couldn’t be better for a social networking company dedicated to the business space. Estimates for 2010 revenue are $200 million according to an excellent piece by the WSJ and the company has 85 million members, who are all dedicated to using the service for business contact management and recruiting purposes.
Over the last few years, the company has introduced a series of features like Groups and Apps that have failed to really ignite their user base, but LinkedIn has wisely kept those features as optional. At its core, LinkedIn is the quintessential online resume, and there’s no other service that comes close. That should translate to some serious investor interest, assuming that they can chart out a map for growth when they IPO. What’s their plan to increase revenues? They can count on user growth for the expected future, in my opinion, but how are they going to increase the percentage of users that sign up for their “Pro” service or their “Recruiter” service?
Time will tell, and for more information definitely check out the linked articles.