Google preps $250m IPO

Probably before end of year

Top search engine Google is planning to take on the wobbly money markets with a $250 million flotation this year, Sunday Business reports.

"The odds are that we will go public," founder Serbey Brin told the newspaper. And before the end of the year. Apparently the big boys have already been in touch with the company to offer their services, including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank. The company wants more respect, cash and liquidity, Brin said.

Google is a privately-run company and has been since it was started three years ago by Stanford University students Serbey and Larry Page. As such, no one has any idea how much money is going in or out. Of course, this hasn't prevented estimates - two of which are that up to $100 million has been invested in the company and that its annual revenue (from licensing its search engine to other sites) is around $50 million.

A sure indication that the dotcom frenzy has finished is the estimated $250 million float price. A year ago, we'd be looking at $3 billion or something equally fantastic.

The Google search engine has become a firm Net favourite thanks to its different approach in hunting for sites. A query string is fed through hundreds of companies and ranking is given to the number of links to that site from other sites. It is an efficient method and it deals with 100 million enquiries a day.

Factoid

The name Google came from mathematical term "googol", meaning the number followed by 100 zeros. ®

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