The world is anticipating Facebook to file for an initial public offering this week, and most indicators point to $10 billion in stock and a valuation at over $100 billion.
Here are some of the key points about FB that you should know:
1. There had been leaked documents and plenty of speculation, but now we know Facebook is profitable.
The site chalked up $1bn of net income last year, almost doubling the $606m it made in 2010. Revenues shot up to $3.71bn last year from $1.97bn in 2010.
2. The site relies on advertising for the vast majority of its revenues, though that number has come down over the last three years.
Advertising generated 98pc of revenues in 2009, 95pc in 2010 and 85pc last year. Facebook admits that some of its advertisers may regard some of its products – including sponsored stories and adverts with social context as “experimental and unproven.”
3. Facebook believes that “rapid innovation and user engagement” over “short-term financial results.” We sort of knew this, but Mark Zuckerberg is making it very clear in the document that is effectively a brochure to potential buyers of the shares.
4. Zynga, the online video pioneer, which just beat Facebook to the stock market with a listing last year is responsible for 12pc of Facebook’s revenues.
5. Facebook plans to raise $5bn through the IPO, according to the document filer today.
6. The lead investment bank working on the deal is Morgan Stanley, with JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs also winning roles.
7. Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, is officially designated as a one of the two “key personnel” at the company alongside Mark Zuckerberg.
Poached from Google a few years ago, Sandberg is one of the most powerful women in Silicon Valley.
8. But make no mistake – Zuckerberg is the dominant power at this company. And he will keep effective control after the stock market listing.
Facebook’s shares are split between ‘A’ and ‘B’ shares, with the latter enjoying 9 more voting rights on major decisions compared with the ‘B’ shares. The 27-year old Harvard graduate owns 28.4pc of the ‘B’ shares.
He was paid a base salary of $500,000 in 2011, but will take home just $1 a year from 2013.
9. The US financial regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission, is investigating the trading of shares in Facebook on private markets. The networking site said it’s complied with all the regulations.
10. Randi Zuckerberg, the sister of Mark, stopped working for Facebook in August last year. And among the 3,200 other employees it has is the daughter of the chief executive of The Washington Post newspaper, Molly Graham. Her father Donald Graham is one of Facebook’s executive directors.
An excellent infographic from Social360
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