Photo: Illustration: Ellis Hamburger
Facebook finally filed to go public last week.It took the company 8 years, 850 million users, and $1 billion in annual profits before it was finally ready to pull the trigger.
With such a long buildup, there was bound to be a bit of a letdown when it finally happened.
Never fear. Here are 11 more companies we expect to go public in the next couple of years. None of them will approach the kind of frenzy that Facebook generated — well, maybe one will — but they’re all going to be interesting in their own right.
Take a look…
Glam's network of Web sites and advertising properties for women attracts more than 200 million unique users around the world every month, and is in the top 10 most visited Web properites in the U.S. It is rumoured to be going public in late 2012.
Box.net is in land grab mode, but if it turns the corner into profits it could be a hot enterprise IPO.
If it can continue to grow and cut its burn rate, it might be ready for a public offering in 2013 -- which will help investors get back some of the more than $160 million they've put into the company.
CEO Aneel Bhusri told Bloomberg last year that the company might go public in late 2012, and a report in December added fuel to the fire. Workday had estimated bookings of $300 million in 2011 -- that's double what it had in 2010.
Last fall, Zynga offered buy Angry Birds developer Rovio for more than $2 billion. Rovio turned the offer down because it's growing faster than Zynga, according to its chief marketing officer Peter Vesterbacka.
With Rovio selling more than 1 million Angry Birds shirts and plush toys a month, and with the icons showing up on everything from bandaids to stocking caps, it's easy to believe him.
Founder Kevin Ryan (disclosure: who is also an investor in Business Insider) told AllThingsD that the company is on track to be cash flow positive this year and is looking to go public in late 2012 or early 2013.
The site had $1.3 billion in revenue in 2010 (no word on 2011 yet) and turned down a $3 billion acquisition offer from Amazon, preferring to build a $15 billion company in the long run instead.
The company saw spectacular growth in 2011 despite some bad PR about individual rentals gone bad. The company told Reuters last October that a 2012 IPO wasn't in the cards, but the company has taken more than $100 million in investment so needs a big exit eventually.
Square has plenty of money to continue operating, but an IPO could eventually provide liquidity to the investors who have so far pumped more than $100 million into the company. An IPO filing would also answer the question whether Square is making money from these transactions, and how much.
Now, it's valued between $4 billion and $5 billion. There are only a handful of buyers who can afford that kind of price tag, so unless one of them ponies up, an IPO is the most likely exit.
Twitter CEO Dick Costolo has said that an IPO is not on the radar any time soon, and that the company has enough funding to keep it going for a long time. But eventually -- 2013? 2014? -- Twitter will have to provide a liquidity event for investors just like Facebook did.
To get there, Twitter will have to show some serious ad revenue growth between now and then, or unlock another business model.