Starting on Monday Facebook executives will start making the rounds to investors as the company prepares for its initial public offering which is now set for May 18.
While company CEO Mark Zuckerberg will appear at some of those meetings its expected that other executives will make most of the rounds in order to gauge investor interest and to prepare for a round of funding that is expected to raise $10 billion, valuing Facebook at $100 billion.
If expectations are met Facebook will launch the largest Silicon Valley IPO in history and the largest since Google went public on August 19, 2004.
Speaking of the public interest in owning Facebook shares an analyst at IPO Boutique tells Reuters:
“I have not seen as broad-based interest in an IPO since Google. Investor demand is immense,” and “I expect a roadshow that will rival all roadshows where investors will be turned away at the door.”
In the meantime some investment firms are questioning the timing of Facebook’s IPO which comes just after the company announced slowing revenue growth at the worlds largest social network. Some analysts also want Zuckerberg and his team to prove that its $1 billion acquisition of Instagram was a smart move. On the other hand Facebook now has more than 901 million users and is expected to break the 1 billion user barrier by August 2012.
In the meantime Facebook continues to find new ways to monetize its platform, including recently rolled out mobile ads and various forms of on-site advertising methodologies.
Do you think now is the right time for Facebook to launch its IPO?