LinkedIn is now a listed company. The company listed on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday, 19 May 2011 with the symbol LNKD. At one point the share price was as high as US$122. Before listing the given upper price for listing was US$45. This shows you just how much demand and appetite there was the stock. This should augur well for the other social networking companies like Facebook, Zynga and Groupon to mention but a few which have already made known their intentions to list. Given the pace of change within such industries, it will be quite some time before the other companies list and sometimes consumers in these sectors can be very fickle and switch to a competitor at the blinking of an eye. Remember Friendster and Myspace.
LinkedIn is the biggest Internet company to list since Google. Of course there are also fears that we have a bubble as some ask whether the valuations for the internet companies are sustainable. The listing of LinkedIn comes on the back of Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype for US$8 billion which seemed to place a significant premium on Skype. These are interesting times indeed. It seems the timing for LinkedIn’s listing is just perfect for the owners and no doubt some shareholders have been smiling all the way to be bank.
It will be interesting to see how listing will affect LinkedIn’s operations going forward. The company will be under greater scrutiny as a listed company for the various stakeholders. The shareholders will be keen to see growth on their investments while other stakeholders like regulators and potential investors will have their own needs.
The listing should hopefully see LinkedIn becoming a bigger brand as more people get to know about the company and probably sign up and make greater use of LinkedIn. The site already has more than 100 million members and the growth should continue. As a LinkedIn coach these are exciting times for us and we look forward to the future.