Mixi’s IPO Doubles on Day One; $1.9 Billion Valuation

Japan’s popular social networking site Mixi debuted on the stock market today, and its shares doubled their IPO price on their first day of trade, with investors saying demand for stock could remain high despite fears it was overvalued. Some analysts think this is the benchmark by which other social networks, if they go public, would be valued, though I would say that’s reading into it a bit too much.
It raised $93 million in its IPO. The site, the second most popular in Japan after Yahoo.jp, finished at 3.12 million yen a share, and is valued at 222 billion yen ($1.9 billion), making a dollar billionaire out of its 30-year-old founder and president Kenji Kasahara, who holds 64 percent of the firm he started as a job-seeking site by himself while at university a decade ago.
On overvaluation: At Friday’s closing price, Mixi is valued at 209 times its forecast earnings per share for the year to March.
News.com blog: Metropolis, a leading English-language magazine in Japan, writes that Mixi is “happening in a uniquely Japanese way: it’s heavily mobile-based, it’s privacy-oriented, and it’s happening concurrently on both a mainstream and niche market level.”
Also read this excellent related story from BW: “In Asia, MySpace Clones Stalk Cyberspace

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