Will OpenTable Spark An Internet-IPO Resurgence?

imageThe OpenTable (NSDQ: OPEN) IPO, the first venture-backed public offering since August, popped an impressive 60 percent on the first day of trading. We’ll find out over the next year if it’s the beginning of the end of the internet IPO drought (to be precise, there’s been a dearth of IPOs in general). Question is: If the market does open up again, which companies are good candidates to go public?

In a New York Times article in February, venture capitalist Alan Patricof said most startups now need to reach about $250 million in value before going public (he reiterated that in a conversation with me a few days ago). So we scanned different sources, from media outlets to analyst reports, to find companies with valuations above $250 million, and that aren’t overly dependent on advertising (because of the state of that revenue source). After the jump are four candidates that have emerged…

Facebook: Valuations ranging from a few billion to many billions and revenue from virtual goods (in excess of $100 million by some estimates) as well as advertising. Even if the company is losing a lot of money, as many speculate, the internet darling would likely be well received by public investors.
The Ladders: Valued in the hundreds of millions, and has a subscription-driven revenue stream. In addition, the job placement site is operating at a time when there have never been more people looking for jobs.
Linden Labs: Some value the virtual-world company at over $1 billion, and the company estimates users will make $450 million in virtual transactions this year.
Habbo: Virtual-world company for teens that has also been valued in the hundreds of millions and made about $75 million in revenue last year from virtual goods and advertising.

What others are we missing?

Photo Credit: Flickr/davidcrow

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