Like all CEOs in this position, Weiner, formerly of Yahoo, insists that he has his eye focused on business and he isn’t distracted by the allure of Wall Street. But when I spoke to him today, he also pointed to the recent strong showings by OpenTable and Solar Winds as signs that the stock market seems to be opening for business again when it comes to tech IPOs.
Not that LinkedIn needs money right away. Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn’s founder, says it still has more than half the $100m it has raised privately in the bank. It was also profitable last year and expects to be in 2009 – though on an ebitda, rather than cashflow, basis. Still, with the company reporting 42m members, and another 1m joining every 17-19 days as its international reach starts to take off, it wouldn’t hurt to have some more capital behind the operation.
Wiener’s appointment completes a management team that looks like it has been put together with Wall Street in mind. Steve Sordello, chief financial officer, held the same role before at TiVo and at AskJeeves, where he was involved in that company’s IPO.
Despite the downturn, Wiener says everything is going to plan – though the only one LinkedIn has actually disclosed was a $100m revenue target for 2008, which we’re told it met. With tech stocks holding their own after a three-month rally, the chances are growing for a pent-up wave of tech IPOs early next year, and perhaps even before the end of 2009. If it happens, LinkedIn is likely to be among the most prominent.
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