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Why you should care about the LinkedIn IPO

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LinkedIn, the social networking site for professionals, plans to go public in 2011. Wall Street banks Bank of America Merrill Lynch, J.P. Morgan Chase and Morgan Stanley are expected to handle the IPO.

Internet companies such as LinkedIn and Zynga, a popular maker of online social games, are considering offerings well ahead of a potential IPO of Facebook, two sources said.

Facebook is not expected to file for a public offering until late 2012, Facebook board member Peter Thiel told Reuters in September.

But that could change. Regulators are scrutinizing a $500 million investment and a commitment to raise at least $1 billion more in Facebook this week by Goldman Sachs and Digital Sky Technologies, one of the sources said.

The SEC is reviewing whether the number of shareholders in Facebook has exceeded a 499 limit in order to remain private. If the SEC decided Facebook has moved past the threshold, it could accelerate Facebook's timeline for an offering.

Linked in makes money in three ways: 1) LinkedIn users can sign up for subscriptions for extra services; 2) LinkedIn sells software as a service called “LinkedIn Recruiter,” to help businesses target and find appropriate job candidates among LinkedIn members; 3) selling online ads pitched to LinkedIn’s professional audience.

LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner said in November that LinkedIn had 85 million members, and was adding new ones at the rate of one each second. The company says more than half of LinkedIn members are outside the U.S.


So stay on the look out for LinkedIn, Zynga, and Facebook to go public and you can get your share of the market. Afterall, it's people like you who helped them grow.

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