LinkedIn IPO’s with US$4.5bn valuation

19 May 2011

LinkedIn has opened trading with shares rising above US$80 each. The world will be watching today’s IPO of LinkedIn for two reasons: (a) it’s a compelling internet business valued at US$4.5bn and (b) it’s the first of the big US social media firms to go public.

While the other well-known social network, Facebook, may have a valuation that some say is approaching US$100bn in the private markets, LinkedIn’s gallop at the stock markets will be pivotal for potential investors in other social media plays that will no doubt follow.

The company will be valued at US$4.5bn, and originally expected to raise US$274m on day one.

LinkedIn, which was founded by Reid Hoffman in 2003, issued 7.8m shares today at US$45 per share. However, the stock surged from US$47 up to US$92. It is expected LinkedIn so far has attracted US$352m in trading.

The company employs more than 1,000 people worldwide and last year reported estimated revenues of US$161.4m, generating a profit of US$1.85m.

LinkedIn is in the process of creating 100 jobs in Dublin.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years