Facebook's IPO is currently estimated at $5 billion, which would shatter Google's record $1.9 billion for largest U.S. Internet IPO. Moreover, that $5 billion could actually be more by the time Facebook goes public.
Let's start at the top with Mark Zuckerberg. The 27-year-old founder commands 533.8 million shares, or 28.4 percent, according to the SEC filing. Zuck's stake is worth about $28.4 billion. As Bloomberg noted, that would make Zuck richer than Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who are each worth more than $15 billion based on their Google stock.
Graffiti Artist Strikes it Rich
David Choe, hired by Facebook to paint wall murals in 2005, chose stock as compensation. Choe's shares are worth $200 million. This recalls Google's masseuse, Bonnie Brown, whose options were worth millions after the company went public in 2004.
The Social Whale Buys a Beluga
Facebook spent $68 million in cash and stock on acquisitions, such as Beluga, Snaptu and Gowalla last year. Google spent $1.9 billion in cash and stock on 79 companies in 2011. Experts expect Facebook could buy some big companies, such as Netflix, with its new public position.
Farmville game maker Zynga, which itself went public last December, accounted for 12 percent of Facebook's $3.71 billion in 2011 revenue.
How Much Data?!
Facebook stores more than 100 petabytes of photos and videos, according to the company. We're thinking a serious homegrown big data solution is in order, and something it could license to other companies.
Of Facebook's 845 million users, 425 million of them used Facebook's mobile apps or its mobile Website in December 2011, up from the 350 million that Facebook reported last. This clearly shows that mobile usage is growing faster than Facebook's desktop usage. Now, can Facebook monetize this?
I Like You a Lot
Facebook users tallied 2.7 billion "Like" button clicks and comments daily from October 2011 through December. As with the mobile apps, it will be interesting to see how Facebook can leverage those likes for ad cash. We believe the Timeline UI with social apps will be instrumental.
Facebook's ad sales accounted for 85 percent of the company's revenues, with the remainder including cash from virtual currency from platform partners. That 85 percent is still less than Google's ad sales, which comprised 96 percent of the company's revenues.
Servers and More Servers
Facebook spent $606 million for servers, network equipment, storage infrastructure and building the data centers to house them in. Is that all? Indeed, Facebook expects to triple that spend to $1.8 billion this year.