Facebook IPO Aims to “Rewire” How the World Works


As highly, highly anticipated, Facebook filed today for an initial public offering of stock to raise $5 billion, the most for an web IPO since Google. Finally revealing a peek at its business drivers, highlights from its SEC filing include that Zynga accounted for 12% of Facebook revenue last year, when its net income and revenues were $1 billion on $3.71 billion.

The site’s 845 million monthly active users (MAU) as of Dec. 31st include 179 million in North America (US and Canada); 212 million in Asia; 229 million in Europe; and 225 million in the rest of the world. FB, as its stock ticker will read, sees Brazil (which grew 268% last year, to 37 million MAU) and India (which grew 132% to 26 million last year) as key regions of growth. Its risk factors include mobile, government, slowing growth and Google+.[more]

S&P analyst Howard Silverblatt told USA Today, “A Facebook valuation of roughly $100 billion would rank the company just below McDonald’s, which is currently 25th, at $101.5 billion.” Buddy Media CEO Michael Lazerow, whose company develops social marketing campaigns for brands, commented, “When we started working with Facebook, the site only had 20 million users. The numbers speak for themselves themselves, and we’re excited about what’s yet to come.” As is Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg and the other Facebook millionaires to come.

Zuckerberg’s letter to investors includes this section on its global ambitions:

We have already helped more than 800 million people map out more than 100 billion connections so far, and our goal is to help this rewiring accelerate. We hope to improve how people connect to businesses and the economy. We think a more open and connected world will help create a stronger economy with more authentic businesses that build better products and services.

Another telling line: “Our culture emphasizes rapid innovation and prioritizes user engagement over short-term financial results.”

Will Facebook’s public debut make it the next Google, or post-IPO disappointment Groupon? Share your thoughts below.