Facebook is planning next week to file with the SEC for their long-awaited IPO, according to a report from Mashable. Assuming the report is accurate, a Facebook IPO would be the biggest among the plethora of Web 2.0 and technology companies that filed their own IPOs in the last year, which includes Zynga, Pandora, and Groupon, among many others. Facebook is expected to raise $10 billion on a total valuation between $75 and $100 billion, which is in line with reports from last year. However, those same reports expected a Facebook IPO sometime in Spring 2012, so it seems that Facebook is speeding up the process.
Earlier this week, Facebook unexpectedly announced that their new Timeline would be rolled out for all users in the next few weeks. Timeline has been available via opt-in for a few months, but Facebook had curiously kept it under the radar until their aforementioned announcement this past Tuesday. One theory that makes sense relates to the requirement for companies to keep silent for a period of time after filing S-1 paperwork. Considering Timeline is a vast change of direction for the company and could significantly impact future revenues, having all profiles shifted to Timeline before filing the IPO will allow the financial people at Morgan Stanley (who will be leading the IPO for Facebook) to most accurately determine the value of the company.
If Facebook does manage to raise $10 billion, it will be the largest tech IPO in the history of public trading. To put the $10 billion amount into perspective, tech giant Google “only” raised $2 billion from their IPO. In other words, this will be a major event for arguably the largest player among the numerous Web 2.0 companies that have been founded in the last 6-7 years.
What are your thoughts about a Facebook IPO? Do you think it will be the next Google in terms of stock price and continued profitability, or will it be a major flame out? Let us know in the comments!