What you need to know about the Facebook IPO

Facebook filed its paperwork for an initial public offering this week, putting it on track to be the largest tech IPO so far. The company hopes to raise $5 billion with the offering.

At VentureBeat’s offices, the writing staff kicked into high gear and cranked out a series of smart, informed and well-sourced stories on the IPO. Don’t miss Jolie O’Dell’s story about how Mark Zuckerberg has managed to retain overwhelming control of the company he started.

My own contributions included a brief on Facebook’s revenue and another piece on “the hacker way.” Also, I wrote my column this week on Facebook. It appeared the morning of the filing, so it’s missing much of the information that was revealed later in the day, but it’s a good introduction to the basic issues:

The offering will probably raise $10 billion in cash for the company and will value Facebook at somewhere between $75 and $100 billion, making founder Mark Zuckerberg, who holds an estimated 24 percent of the company, a billionaire many times over.  (Update: Zuck holds 28.2 percent of the company.) That valuation is not far off the implied valuation of about $80 billion that the company currently has on secondary market Sharespost.

It’ll likely be priced to pop, unlike Zynga’s IPO. In other words, the underwriters will set a share price that’s slightly lower than what they figure the true market valuation will be, so the stock will pop up to its “natural” level on the first day of trading, like an air balloon held underwater and then suddenly released.

But, like a balloon, what happens to Facebook next will depend on many factors.

Read the full story: Dylan’s Desk: 6 things you should know about the Facebook IPO | VentureBeat.

I was also on KQED radio this morning, on Michael Krasny’s “Forum” show, talking about the Facebook IPO. The high point: when someone called in to say how much he liked VentureBeat and that he spent more time reading our site than he spent on Facebook itself. I couldn’t have asked for a better endorsement of what we’ve been doing.

What you need to know about the Facebook IPO