LinkedIn IPO Rakes In More Than $350 Million

LinkedIn has started trading on the New York Stock Exchange for $45 per share after a successful IPO, the first for a major US social networking website.

The website, which has more than 100 million users, sold 7.84 million shares at for $45 per share, raising a total of $352.8 million.

After the IPO, the company is now valued at around $4.25 billion. Investor demand for the stock seems healthy, indicating that the market is optimistic about social networking platforms floating an IPO.

The company’s biggest stock holders, founder Reid Hoffman and three venture capital firms own a combined stake of about $2.5 billion. Hoffman plans to sell than 1 percent of his stake in LinkedIn, Bloomberg reports.

The three venture capital firms that hold the biggest stake in the company are Sequoia, Greylock Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners.LinkedIn was valued at just $15 million in 2003, representing an enormous return on investment for investors who got in on the ground floor.

Facebook, which dominates the social networking market with more than 500 million users, has yet to announce any plans for an IPO. The company was valued at $70 billion in a recent sale of its private shares.