initial public offerings (IPOs) trading on American exchanges

Monday, May 14, 2012

Facebook - profile

Facebook is nothing less than a stunning force in marketing. Founded just 7 years ago in a college dorm room, the site now boasts over 750 million active users worldwide (Source: Wikipedia). In the U.S., the site is projected to boast over 150 million users next year (that’s almost half of all Americans!).

  • 5/14/12 : The social network raised its price range to $34 to $38 a share, resulting in a target valuation of up to $104 billion.
  • With a valuation of $65 billion, co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg's 24% stake is worth more than $15 billion, by far the largest stake in the company. Several other early employees and investors also have multibillion-dollar stakes in Facebook.
  • DST, of Russia, and the Silicon Valley venture capital firm Accel Partners each own 10% of the company, with each stake now worth $6.5 billion.
  • Facebook co-founders Dustin Moskovitz and Eduardo Saverin own stakes of 6% and 5%, respectively worth $3.9 billion and $3.25 billion. Sean Parker, an early investor and former executive of the original Napster music service, owns 4%, worth $2.6 billion. Peter Thiel, who founded PayPal and now runs a hedge fund, owns 3%, or $1.95 billion.

Facebook is the world’s largest social network, with over 500 million users. Facebook was founded by Mark Zuckerberg in February 2004, initially as an exclusive network for Harvard students. It was a huge hit: in 2 weeks, half of the schools in the Boston area began demanding a Facebook network. Zuckerberg immediately recruited his friends Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes to help build Facebook, and within four months, Facebook added 30 more college networks.

The original idea for the term Facebook came from Zuckerberg’s high school (Phillips Exeter Academy). The Exeter Face Book was passed around to every student as a way for students to get to know their classmates for the following year. It was a physical paper book until Zuckerberg brought it to the internet.

With millions more users, Friendster attempted to acquire the company for $10 million in mid 2004. Facebook turned down the offer and subsequently received $12.7 million in funding from Accel Partners, at a valuation of around $100 million. Facebook continued to grow, opening up to high school students in September 2005 and adding an immensely popular photo sharing feature the next month. The next spring, Facebook received $25 million in funding from Greylock Partners and Meritech Capital, as well as previous investors Accel Partners and Peter Thiel. The pre-money valuation for this deal was about $525 million. Facebook subsequently opened up to work networks, eventually amassing over 20,000 work networks. Finally in September 2006, Facebook opened to anyone with an email address.

In the summer of 2006, Yahoo attempted to acquire the company for $1 billion dollars. Reports actually indicated that Zuckerberg made a verbal agreement to sell Facebook to Yahoo. A few days later when Yahoo’s stock price took a dive, the offer was lowered to $800 million and Zuckerberg walked away from the deal. Yahoo later offered $1 billion again, this time Zuckerberg turned Yahoo down and earned instant notoriety as the “kid” who turned down a billion. This was not the first time Zuckerberg turned down an acquisition offer; Viacom had previously unsuccessfully attempted to acquire the company for $750 million in March, 2006.

For more than a year, the fastest growing demographic on Facebook in the U.S. has been adults ages 45-55. Today, seventy-two percent of Facebook’s users are between 25 and 54 - with nearly equal distribution among all consumer age groups (Source: Socialmediatoday).

Are you ready for this jaw-dropper? That means 93% of adult U.S. Internet users are on Facebook (Source: Hubspot).

Not only that, but U.S. consumers aren’t just dabbling around Facebook occasionally. They’re devouring it daily. A study last year showed that half of all Facebook users admitted they check it every day, often multiple times. And the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the average user spends more than 11 hours per month on the site.

That makes Facebook the biggest “time sink” on the Internet.

According to eMarketer, Facebook continues to entrench itself into consumer’s daily lives through diversification. No longer is the site primarily for keeping up with who is in a relationship with whom. What started as a “play” social network, eMarketer says, “has evolved into an all-purpose destination that is beginning to replace e-mail, instant messaging, video-sharing, gaming, and other activities that were otherwise scattered across unconnected venues.”

Considering these stats, it’s no wonder that around 80% of all businesses have by now created a Facebook page. In fact, a brand new Duke University survey of 249 U.S. Chief Marketing Officers indicated that, on average, they plan to dramatically increase use of social media over the next five years.

Facebook’s competitors include MySpace, Bebo, Friendster, LinkedIn, Tagged, Hi5, Piczo, and Open Social.

Mark Zuckerberg
Chairman and CEO, Facebook

Mr. Zuckerberg, or 'Zuck,' as he's known to friends and family, launched Facebook from his Harvard dorm room in 2004.

He soon dropped out of school and moved to Palo Alto, Calif., to focus his full attention on the company.

Upon the initial public offering, he will be one of the richest people in the world, on paper.

Mr. Zuckerberg owns 533.8 million shares.

Accel Partners
Led by Partner Jim Breyer

In one of the most storied bets by a venture-capital firm, Accel took a chance on Facebook in 2005 with a $12.7 million investment at a $93 million valuation.

Mr. Breyer kicked in $1 million of his own money and joined the board.

Accel owns 201.4 million shares.

Dustin Moskovitz
Co-Founder, Facebook

A college roommate of Mr. Zuckerberg and eight days younger, Mr. Moskovitz also dropped out of Harvard and moved to Palo Alto to focus fully on Facebook.

He left the company in 2008 to launch Asana, the maker of a Web-collaboration tool.

Mr. Moskovitz owns 133.7 million shares.

DST Global
Led by Founder Yuri Milner

Russian investor Mr. Milner, who founded and leads DST Global, wooed Mr. Zuckerberg in 2009 with a major investment in the social network.

DST Global made subsequent investments in Facebook, as well as investments in other high-profile Web start-ups such as Groupon, Twitter and Zynga.

DST Global owns 131.3 million shares.

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