In a recent Reuters
one of the largest business-related social networks is mulling over the
idea of an IPO. LinkedIn, with 53 million members worldwide is seen as
a strong IPO contender and a Reuters poll found it one of the Silicon
Valley's most eligible to go public.
Valued at $1 billion, the
firm backed by Goldman Sachs, McGraw Hill, SAP Ventures and Bessemer
Venture Partners raised $76 million in its last funding in 2008. While BloggingStock.com
affirms that an IPO is part of co-founder Reid Hoffman's exit strategy,
Hoffman sees an IPO as inevitable but is also not tying himself to a
specific date. "Probably at some point a balance will occur when that's
the right thing. (But) that will not occur in the near term," Hoffman
said at a London event to celebrate the network's reaching 3 million
In my previous blog, "Will Google Purchase Yelp To Create Its Own Foursquare
," I felt strongly that Google was coveting this
to get a more solid foothold in the location-based service space - a
nut it hasn't been able to crack (even with its own LBS Latitude).
While such a marriage would have added to Google's stock price, now it
appears that Yelp might be prime to go public on its own. In order for
Yelp's founders to walk away from a $500+ million deal with the social
engine giant, this does seem to indicate that the shareholders of this
local community Web powerhouse might be seeking an IPO opportunity, in
advance of Foursquare gaining any more ground in geolocation technology
- which, if that happens could undermine its chances.5- Zynga
of the more controversial IPO contenders is Zynga. On December 16,
Russia's Digital Sky Technologies which has a stake in Facebook (see
above), and other investors have bought $180 of securities in social
game company Zynga according to Chief Executive Mark Pincus. Industry analysts
have speculated that Zynga could raise $1 to $1.2 billion in an IPO.
Zynga makes games played by members of Internet social networks like
Facebook an MySpace, and profits by selling add-on tools and "virtual
goods." In my
blog, "Scamville? A New Online Game? Who's Up For The Challenge?"
I followed up Techcrunch's
Michael Arrington's harsh criticism of Zynga's "scam-laden lead gen-type offers." This was followed up by a Time Magazine
expose' in November titled, "Troubling Rise of Top Game Company.
as we all know, controversy is good for a company that is looking to
scale its membership base quickly. And as of September according to
both Inside Facebook's AppData
and Developers Analytics
, Zyngas boasts 129 million active users across its portfolio of more than 30 games.
list above are the most likely to go public if the economy continues to
stabilize. Other social media companies which might tap the public
markets include YouTube, Delicious, Digg, StumbleUpon, Flickr and
Now, do take our Top Social Media IPO Contender POLL
(below) and let us know your favorite(s). You can vote for more than
one or ALL or NONE. Or if we left one out that you think will
definitely go public in 2010, please list it in the COMMENT section