The largest professional-networking site plans an IPO after turning a profit in the first nine months of last year and more than tripling revenue between 2007 and 2009, it said in a filing on Thursday with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
Other companies that foster online interaction may follow suit. LinkedIn is at the forefront of social-Web startups that aim to replicate the successes of Internet pioneers, such as Google and Amazon, and avoid the fate of sites like Pets.com, which shut less than a year after its IPO.
LinkedIn is bringing the very hot concept of social networking to the practical business world, said Dixon Doll, co-founder of venture-capital firm DCM, based in Menlo Park, California. The whole social-networking phenomenon may be in the fourth or fifth inning and none of these have gotten public yet.
Social deals site Groupon, which rebuffed a $6 billion takeover approach from Google, is in talks with banks about a public offering this year, while Facebook may pursue an IPO in 2012, sources said.