LinkedIn files for IPO: What you need to know

LinkedIn is ready for its IPO. Here are the questions people are asking and how LinkedIn answers them.

By , VentureBeat

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    LinkedIn files for IPO. The social network has carved a niche for itself among business types. So, will LinkedIn stock find a place with Wall Street?
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You’ve probably seen that professional networking site LinkedIn filed for its initial public offering today. Now that the first wave of excitement has died down, let’s take a look at the most relevant facts about the company and its IPO plans, drawn primarily from the filing:

How much does LinkedIn want to raise through the IPO? Up to $175 million.

How does LinkedIn describe itself? “We are the world’s largest professional network on the Internet with more than 90 million members in over 200 countries and territories. Through our proprietary platform, members are able to create, manage and share their professional identity online, build and engage with their professional network, access shared knowledge and insights, and find business opportunities, enabling them to be more productive and successful.”

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What does LinkedIn want to do with the money? “We intend to use the net proceeds from this offering for working capital and general corporate purposes, including further expansion of our product development and field sales organizations, and for capital expenditures. In addition, we may use a portion of the proceeds from this offering for acquisitions of complementary businesses, technologies or other assets.”

How big is the workforce? The company says it had 990 employees at the end of 2010.

What is LinkedIn’s business model? “We generate revenue from enterprises and professional organizations by selling our hiring solutions and marketing solutions offline through our field sales organization or online on our website. We also generate revenue from members, acting as individuals or on behalf of their enterprise or professional organization, who subscribe to our premium services.”

How much money is LinkedIn making now? In the nine months ending on Sept. 30, LinkedIn says it made $1.85 million in profits on $161.4 million in revenue. In 2009, it lost $4.0 million on $120.1 million in revenue

Who are LinkedIn’s current shareholders? Founder Reid Hoffman (pictured) and his wife Michelle Yee own 21.4 percent of the company. Sequoia Capital owns 18.9 percent. Greylock Partners owns 15.8 percent. Bessemer Venture Partners owns 5.1 percent. CEO Jeff Weiner owns 4.1 percent.

What does LinkedIn see as a potential threat to its future success? Among other things, the company lists security, government regulation, the fact that most of its traffic comes from a minorty of users, and the challenge of balancing members’ needs with moneymaking opportunities as risk factors.

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