Ahead of an IPO that may (or may not) take place this year, privately traded shares of LinkedIn are beginning to soar in value. New rumors indicate that share prices make the professional networking company worth about $3 billion.
Douglas MacMillan and Ari Levy reported earlier this morning, "LinkedIn Corp. shares are being sold in an auction by secondary exchange SharesPost Inc. for $30 apiece, valuing the professional-networking website at almost $3 billion, according to three people familiar with the matter."
The exact figure cited by the individuals was $2.91 billion. That's up from a reported $2.20 billion earlier this month.
By comparison, AOL's market cap is $2.60 billion right now, and IAC's market cap is $2.85 billion. LinkedIn seems to be in a pretty enviable position as a result, considering the length of time AOL and IAC have been around and the amount(s) of attention they've gotten over the years.
So it should be very interesting to see what happens if and when LinkedIn goes public. And that could happen soon rather than later, considering the changes on its board of directors and the fact that a potential Facebook IPO is creating pressure for LinkedIn to act first.
Of course, a rumored SEC probe might also create a sense of urgency, although it wouldn't help the company's valuation much.