The flotation, expected to value founder Reid Hoffman’s $21.4% stake at up to $642m, is thought likely to happen within the next few months and will involve the sale of at least $175m of new shares as well as the disposal of some existing stock by LinkedIn’s current investor
LinkedIn is growing at breakneck speed, almost doubling its membership to more than 90 million users last year in 200 countries. Speaking about the relative merits of LinkedIn and Facebook at an Internet conference in San Francisco in November, chief executive Jeff Weiner said the secret to LinkedIn’s long-term success would be that people like to keep their professional and private lives separate. “While many of us in college probably were at parties having a good time, I don’t know that many of us would look forward to having a prospective employer have access to pictures of those events,” Weiner said.
LinkedIn inched into profit in the first nine months of 2010, recording a $10m surplus, as revenues more than doubled to $161.4m. It offers a free service allowing members to create personal profiles emphasising their business qualifications, but makes its money through a premium subscription service, costing up to £63 a month, which gives members a greater level of contact with potential business contacts and employers and offers up its database to help users locate the people they need.