A billion-dollar valuation for LinkedIn?

With its well-heeled user base and fast growth rate, the business social network reportedly enlists investment bank to find investors willing to pump up its valuation.

On Monday, reports surfaced that business social network LinkedIn is likely looking to raise a round of venture capital (rather than find a corporate parent).

TechCrunch reports that investment bank Allen & Co. is hoping to help LinkedIn pull in that funding at a $1 billion valuation.

Spearheading the campaign is Dave Wehner, managing director of the Bay Area bank, who was reportedly a big part of Bebo's $850 million sale to AOL .

Why $1 billion? Well, LinkedIn says its target demographic has meant that it can pull in some pretty lucrative ad revenue, avoiding the " ad trap " that has hurt monetization efforts on the part of more general-focus social networks. The average user of LinkedIn (there are 20 million total) is reportedly 41 years old and makes about $110,000 annually.

That's made it possible for the social network to charge advertisers $75 per thousand impressions, which is almost unheard of in the social-media world.

Whether that's worth a full billion dollars, well, we'll have to find out.

About the author

Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.

 

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