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Employee shares of Facebook are selling for $21 on SecondMarket, valuing the social network’s common stock at $9.5 billion, Bloomberg is reporting today. That’s up 42 percent in the past four months, which SecondMarket takes to mean that an IPO is nigh, but could also just reflect Facebook’s recent announcement that it’s cash-flow positive. And $9.5 billion doesn’t include the preferred shares issued to investors.
However, a recent report by Next Up Research (reg. req.) put out by a competing private company stock exchange, SharesPost, puts Facebook’s value much lower. Interestingly, it doesn’t use data from SharesPost’s own stock trades — though that may be due to the fact that the exchange’s last noted Facebook transaction is from August at $12 per share — but rather uses revenue projections, value vs. comparable companies and Digital Sky’s recent investment in the company (which included purchasing of employee stock). Those three methods give Facebook a total valuation of $5.48 billion, $5.07 billion and $6.5 billion, respectively.