Five Social Media Startups Top $1 Billion Valuations


Photo: Smi23le

Why dance around it? Here they are: Facebook, Zynga, Groupon, Twitter and LinkedIn.According to secondary transaction service provider Nyppex, these five companies have all passed the billion-dollar valuation threshold.

It feels like 1999 all over again …

Bloomberg reports LinkedIn hitting a $2 bn valuation, based on SharesPost transactions. Though it has fewer – substantially fewer – registered users than Facebook, LinkedIn has been profitable for several years and has shown solid growth. Interestingly, it’s also an investor in Facebook.

Of course, this makes one wonder: when are the IPOs going to happen? My bet is that everyone is waiting for Facebook. Once the big one goes, it will be easier for the rest of the field to follow. Also, the capital at Facebook’s disposal will help determine the fates of some of the others (such as Zynga), based on its capacity and appetite for acquisitions.

The buzz is that the Facebook IPO is more likely to happen in 2012 than 2011 (although the world is ready for it to happen sooner). Since the 550 mn-user social media platform appears to be the key to the market, it appears unlikely the other $4 bn businesses will see paper turned into reality in 2011 either.

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