LinkedIn's IPO leads to $352.8 million payday

Corporate-minded social network LinkedIn announced it had sold more 7.84 million shares in an initial public offering at $45 each, raising $352.8 million for the company. The high demand for stock in LinkedIn also caused it to raise its IPO price to $42 to $45 from an initial range of $32 to $35.

The windfall certainly benefits co-founders Reid Hoffman and Jean-Luc Vaillant, who founded the company in Reid's living room in 2002 with three others. It also may signal the beginning of another spurt of tech IPOs -- a rare commodity since the dot-com bust.

Skype was said to be preparing one before it was acquired by Microsoft, and rumors have persisted that Facebook and Twitter may also be considering IPOs of their own. That said, the economy is still poor, which is not the best environment for new companies to raise funds through going public.

The company plans to use funds raised from the stock sale to aid in acquisition efforts as well as fund current business operations. The stock will begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "LKND" beginning on Thursday.

LinkedIn claims about 100 million members worldwide and grows at a rate of one million new users per week, it says. About 70 percent of all its revenues come from a paid subscription model it launched in 2005, where recruiters and business professionals can pay for broader access to data on the site's members as well as advanced communications tools.

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