Investor Appetite Will Decide LinkedIn IPO

By Erin Harrison May 17, 2011

Early estimates that LinkedIn could raise $315 million have been increased by $90 million, according to media reports following its regulatory filing Tuesday. Ultimately investors will make that call on Thursday when the professional networking website has its initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange.

LinkedIn now plans to sell shares between $42 and $45 apiece, lifting the company's valuation to more than $4 billion, according to a regulatory filing. “At the upper end of that price range, LinkedIn could raise more than $405 million,” reported the LA Times.

LinkedIn, which started out in the living room of co-founder and chairman Reid Hoffman in 2002, officially launched on May 5, 2003. Hoffman, who is selling a small number of shares, will net an estimated $5.2 million, assuming the shares price at $45, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

The Mountain View, Calif.-based company is set to begin trading Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol LNKD, and “investors will be watching it as a barometer for the social networking sector, which includes such sought-after companies as Facebook, Groupon, Twitter and Zynga,” the LA Times said.

LinkedIn has three revenue sources: advertising, premium subscriptions and hiring solutions for human resources managers.

With social networking sites among the most sought after offerings, LinkedIn will be one of the first major players in the United States to go public this year, The New York Times said.

At the high end of its price range, the company is currently valued at about $4.3 billion, up from more than $3 billion based on earlier pricing, according to the Times.

According to the LinkedIn, the company operates the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 100 million members in over 200 countries and territories.

Erin Harrison is Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives, for TMC, where she oversees the company's strategic editorial initiatives, including the launch of several new print and online initiatives. She plays an active role in the print publications and TechZone360, covering IP communications, information technology and other related topics. To read more of Erin's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Chris DiMarco

Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives

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