LinkedIn files for IPO

The business networking company has been widely rumored to want to go public; in its SEC filing it discloses that it's only mildly profitable but growing fast.

Caroline McCarthy Former Staff writer, CNET News
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.
Caroline McCarthy

LinkedIn has formally announced its plans to go public through the filing of an S-1 form with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission this afternoon, making it the first time that the business networking site has turned over many of the detailed facts about its financial operations.

"We believe we are transforming the way people work by connecting talent with opportunity at massive scale," LinkedIn explained in its filing. "Our goal is to provide a global platform capable of mapping every professional's experience, skills, and other relevant professional data to his or her professional graph, including connections with colleagues and business contacts."

Through a combination of advertising and business services, LinkedIn has managed to actually make some money in the process. Net revenue in the first nine months of 2010 was $161 million, with a profit of $10 million; in the same period in the previous year, it logged half that revenue and only $3.4 million in profit.

LinkedIn has more than 90 million registered members, up from 55 million a year before--a statistic that it's been more vocal about as a private company. But in the S-1 filing, the company warned that not all of its registered users are active and that a minority of members are responsible for the "substantial" majority of its 5.5 billion page views.