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LinkedIn: Yes, We Had M&A Talks

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Not that this is a surprise, but LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman has finally admitted it has been having talks with the “usual suspects” for a buyout, but then decided not to. “I know we are going to be much more valuable in a year or two…We have had (buyout) conversations with all the usual suspects, but I think an IPO is by far and away the most likely outcome”, Hoffman told AP. The story says an IPO is likely in a year or two. The company is still projecting $75 million to $100 million of revenues in 2008…about 18 million people now have profiles on the site, roughly twice as many as a year ago, the company says.

3 Responses to “LinkedIn: Yes, We Had M&A Talks”

  1. I wouldn't be surprised if LinkedIn's value increases over the next 1-2 years. They seem to be doing really well. I have been a LinkedIn subscriber since 2006 – and I would say that what they are doing is really creating value for subscribers like me.

    As an anecdotal evidence: I actually am getting more and more "new" invitations from people who just signed up to LinkedIn – and these are people who I earlier invited a year ago. So it must be catching up.

    About the ad revenues? Probably going to increase. LinkedIn's positioning as a "professional, privacy-orientated networking site that is beneficial to its users" makes it a good medium for media planners and people who get "social marketing". However, once they start veering away from this, I think they'd be in trouble – deep trouble.

    Their value lies in their 'unique', strong proposition. Once they lose that – and only they can could lose that – they'd be in deep trouble with advertising. I would rather hear them talk about business models that go beyond "advertising". Because frankly, I don't think advertising is going to be sustainable too.

  2. They very well could go public. as for the variance in revenue it is estimated to be between $75 and $100 because they are not a public company. So they don't have to say how much they are worth. The estimate is probably based on subscriptions to the service, and advertising revenue.

  3. There's very little chance that these guys go public. This is standard bs/spin. One more thing that's a little baffling is the wide variance in revenue estimates — which is it, $75M or $100M?