Facebook overtakes eBay in valuation

15 Nov 2010

Social networking giant Facebook – which will later today launch a new email service – has overtaken eBay to become the third-largest US internet company by valuation, it emerged today.

According to Bloomberg, Facebook’s stock is trading at more than US$16 on SecondMarket Inc, an exchange for shares of privately held companies, putting its worth at about US$41bn.

This is higher than eBay’s US$39bn valuation on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

Facebook trails Amazon.com, which has a US$74bn valuation. The leader of the pack is Google, which has a valuation of US$192.9bn.

When will Facebook fully IPO?

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It emerged last month that one of Facebook’s largest backers, Mail.ru, is to offer City investors the chance to take an indirect stake in the site through the London listing of a subsidiary worth up to US$5bn.

Mail.ru hired Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley to run the listing. Mail.ru’s largest investors are Alisher Usmanov, the Russian oligarch and Arsenal’s second biggest shareholder and two associates: the group’s chief executive Yuri Milner and Russian businessman Grigory Finger.

However, a full IPO by Facebook could still be years away. In late September, Facebook board member, PayPal co-founder and arch venture capitalist Peter Thiel suggested it would be 2012 “at the earliest” before Facebook would be ready to IPO.

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

editorial@siliconrepublic.com