Facebook Files IPO Prospectus

Tyler Durden's picture

The most eagerly awaited IPO of the decade has just filed its S-1 statement (link). Some real time observations:

  • Symbol: FB
  • Proposed maximum aggregate offering price: $5 Billion
  • 845 million monthly active users (MAU)
  • 483 million daily active users (DAU)
  • Users generated on average 2.7 billion Likes and Comments per day in Q4 2011. Er..."liking" is monetizable?
  • 100 billion friendships
  • 250 million photos uploaded per day
  • FB generated $3.7 billion in Revenue in 2011, up from $2 billion in 2010
  • FB generated $1 billion in net income in 2011, up from $606 billion in 2010, a 40% growth rate, compared to the 165% growth rate from 2009's $229MM.
  • EBIT margin peaked at 52.3% in 2010 ($1MM in EBIT on $2 billion in revenue), has since declined to 47.3% or $1.756Bn on $3.711Bn in Revenue
  • $3.9 billion in cash and marketable securities
  • Effective January 1, 2013, Mr. Zuckerberg’s annual base salary will be reduced to $1.
  • Entities affiliated with Goldman Sachs own 65.9 million Class A shares or 56.3% of total, Zuckerberg owns 36.1% of Class A, and 57.1% of Class B (all pre offering)
  • Peaked model? - MAU additions peaked in 2010 when FB added 248MM to a total of 608MM; in 2011 it added 237MM to 845MM
  • What happens when Zynga goes: "Revenue from one customer, Zynga, represented 12% of total revenue for the year ended December 31, 2011"
  • Some revent valuation data points: In December 2010, we sold an aggregate of 2,398,081 shares of our Class A common stock to DST Global Limited at a purchase price per share of $20.85, for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $50 million.

Mark Zuckerberg's letter:

Facebook was not originally created to be a company. It was built to accomplish a social mission — to make the world more open and connected.

We think it’s important that everyone who invests in Facebook understands what this mission means to us, how we make decisions and why we do the things we do. I will try to outline our approach in this letter.

At Facebook, we’re inspired by technologies that have revolutionized how people spread and consume information. We often talk about inventions like the printing press and the television — by simply making communication more efficient, they led to a complete transformation of many important parts of society. They gave more people a voice. They encouraged progress. They changed the way society was organized. They brought us closer together.

Today, our society has reached another tipping point. We live at a moment when the majority of people in the world have access to the internet or mobile phones — the raw tools necessary to start sharing what they’re thinking, feeling and doing with whomever they want. Facebook aspires to build the services that give people the power to share and help them once again transform many of our core institutions and industries.

There is a huge need and a huge opportunity to get everyone in the world connected, to give everyone a voice and to help transform society for the future. The scale of the technology and infrastructure that must be built is unprecedented, and we believe this is the most important problem we can focus on.

We hope to strengthen how people relate to each other.

Even if our mission sounds big, it starts small — with the relationship between two people.

Personal relationships are the fundamental unit of our society. Relationships are how we discover new ideas, understand our world and ultimately derive long-term happiness.

At Facebook, we build tools to help people connect with the people they want and share what they want, and by doing this we are extending people’s capacity to build and maintain relationships.

People sharing more — even if just with their close friends or families — creates a more open culture and leads to a better understanding of the lives and perspectives of others. We believe that this creates a greater number of stronger relationships between people, and that it helps people get exposed to a greater number of diverse perspectives.

By helping people form these connections, we hope to rewire the way people spread and consume information. We think the world’s information infrastructure should resemble the social graph — a network built from the bottom up or peer-to-peer, rather than the monolithic, top-down structure that has existed to date. We also believe that giving people control over what they share is a fundamental principle of this rewiring.

We have already helped more than 800 million people map out more than 100 billion connections so far, and our goal is to help this rewiring accelerate.

We hope to improve how people connect to businesses and the economy.

We think a more open and connected world will help create a stronger economy with more authentic businesses that build better products and services.

As people share more, they have access to more opinions from the people they trust about the products and services they use. This makes it easier to discover the best products and improve the quality and efficiency of their lives.

One result of making it easier to find better products is that businesses will be rewarded for building better products — ones that are personalized and designed around people. We have found that products that are “social by design” tend to be more engaging than their traditional counterparts, and we look forward to seeing more of the world’s products move in this direction.

Our developer platform has already enabled hundreds of thousands of businesses to build higher-quality and more social products. We have seen disruptive new approaches in industries like games, music and news, and we expect to see similar disruption in more industries by new approaches that are social by design.

In addition to building better products, a more open world will also encourage businesses to engage with their customers directly and authentically. More than four million businesses have Pages on Facebook that they use to have a dialogue with their customers. We expect this trend to grow as well.

We hope to change how people relate to their governments and social institutions.

We believe building tools to help people share can bring a more honest and transparent dialogue around government that could lead to more direct empowerment of people, more accountability for officials and better solutions to some of the biggest problems of our time.

By giving people the power to share, we are starting to see people make their voices heard on a different scale from what has historically been possible. These voices will increase in number and volume. They cannot be ignored. Over time, we expect governments will become more responsive to issues and concerns raised directly by all their people rather than through intermediaries controlled by a select few.

Through this process, we believe that leaders will emerge across all countries who are pro-internet and fight for the rights of their people, including the right to share what they want and the right to access all information that people want to share with them.

Finally, as more of the economy moves towards higher-quality products that are personalized, we also expect to see the emergence of new services that are social by design to address the large worldwide problems we face in job creation, education and health care. We look forward to doing what we can to help this progress.

Our Mission and Our Business

As I said above, Facebook was not originally founded to be a company. We’ve always cared primarily about our social mission, the services we’re building and the people who use them. This is a different approach for a public company to take, so I want to explain why I think it works.

I started off by writing the first version of Facebook myself because it was something I wanted to exist. Since then, most of the ideas and code that have gone into Facebook have come from the great people we’ve attracted to our team.

Most great people care primarily about building and being a part of great things, but they also want to make money. Through the process of building a team — and also building a developer community, advertising market and investor base — I’ve developed a deep appreciation for how building a strong company with a strong economic engine and strong growth can be the best way to align many people to solve important problems.

Simply put: we don’t build services to make money; we make money to build better services.

And we think this is a good way to build something. These days I think more and more people want to use services from companies that believe in something beyond simply maximizing profits.

By focusing on our mission and building great services, we believe we will create the most value for our shareholders and partners over the long term — and this in turn will enable us to keep attracting the best people and building more great services. We don’t wake up in the morning with the primary goal of making money, but we understand that the best way to achieve our mission is to build a strong and valuable company.

This is how we think about our IPO as well. We’re going public for our employees and our investors. We made a commitment to them when we gave them equity that we’d work hard to make it worth a lot and make it liquid, and this IPO is fulfilling our commitment. As we become a public company, we’re making a similar commitment to our new investors and we will work just as hard to fulfill it.

The Hacker Way

As part of building a strong company, we work hard at making Facebook the best place for great people to have a big impact on the world and learn from other great people. We have cultivated a unique culture and management approach that we call the Hacker Way.

The word “hacker” has an unfairly negative connotation from being portrayed in the media as people who break into computers. In reality, hacking just means building something quickly or testing the boundaries of what can be done. Like most things, it can be used for good or bad, but the vast majority of hackers I’ve met tend to be idealistic people who want to have a positive impact on the world.

The Hacker Way is an approach to building that involves continuous improvement and iteration. Hackers believe that something can always be better, and that nothing is ever complete. They just have to go fix it — often in the face of people who say it’s impossible or are content with the status quo.

Hackers try to build the best services over the long term by quickly releasing and learning from smaller iterations rather than trying to get everything right all at once. To support this, we have built a testing framework that at any given time can try out thousands of versions of Facebook. We have the words “Done is better than perfect” painted on our walls to remind ourselves to always keep shipping.

Hacking is also an inherently hands-on and active discipline. Instead of debating for days whether a new idea is possible or what the best way to build something is, hackers would rather just prototype something and see what works. There’s a hacker mantra that you’ll hear a lot around Facebook offices: “Code wins arguments.”

Hacker culture is also extremely open and meritocratic. Hackers believe that the best idea and implementation should always win — not the person who is best at lobbying for an idea or the person who manages the most people.

To encourage this approach, every few months we have a hackathon, where everyone builds prototypes for new ideas they have. At the end, the whole team gets together and looks at everything that has been built. Many of our most successful products came out of hackathons, including Timeline, chat, video, our mobile development framework and some of our most important infrastructure like the HipHop compiler.

To make sure all our engineers share this approach, we require all new engineers — even managers whose primary job will not be to write code — to go through a program called Bootcamp where they learn our codebase, our tools and our approach. There are a lot of folks in the industry who manage engineers and don’t want to code themselves, but the type of hands-on people we’re looking for are willing and able to go through Bootcamp.

The examples above all relate to engineering, but we have distilled these principles into five core values for how we run Facebook:

Focus on Impact

If we want to have the biggest impact, the best way to do this is to make sure we always focus on solving the most important problems. It sounds simple, but we think most companies do this poorly and waste a lot of time. We expect everyone at Facebook to be good at finding the biggest problems to work on.

Move Fast

Moving fast enables us to build more things and learn faster. However, as most companies grow, they slow down too much because they’re more afraid of making mistakes than they are of losing opportunities by moving too slowly. We have a saying: “Move fast and break things.” The idea is that if you never break anything, you’re probably not moving fast enough.

Be Bold

Building great things means taking risks. This can be scary and prevents most companies from doing the bold things they should. However, in a world that’s changing so quickly, you’re guaranteed to fail if you don’t take any risks. We have another saying: “The riskiest thing is to take no risks.” We encourage everyone to make bold decisions, even if that means being wrong some of the time.

Be Open

We believe that a more open world is a better world because people with more information can make better decisions and have a greater impact. That goes for running our company as well. We work hard to make sure everyone at Facebook has access to as much information as possible about every part of the company so they can make the best decisions and have the greatest impact.

Build Social Value

Once again, Facebook exists to make the world more open and connected, and not just to build a company. We expect everyone at Facebook to focus every day on how to build real value for the world in everything they do.

Thanks for taking the time to read this letter. We believe that we have an opportunity to have an important impact on the world and build a lasting company in the process. I look forward to building something great together.


Legal Proceedings:

Paul D. Ceglia filed suit against us and Mark Zuckerberg on or about June 30, 2010, in the Supreme Court of the State of New York for the County of Allegheny claiming substantial ownership of our company based on a purported contract between Mr. Ceglia and Mr. Zuckerberg allegedly entered into in April 2003. We removed the case to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York, where the case is now pending. In his first amended complaint, filed on April 11, 2011, Mr. Ceglia revised his claims to include an alleged partnership with Mr. Zuckerberg, he revised his claims for relief to seek a substantial share of Mr. Zuckerberg’s ownership in us, and he included quotations from supposed emails that he claims to have exchanged with Mr. Zuckerberg in 2003 and 2004. On June 2, 2011, we filed a motion for expedited discovery based on evidence we submitted to the court showing that the alleged contract and emails upon which Mr. Ceglia bases his complaint are fraudulent. On July 1, 2011, the court granted our motion and ordered Mr. Ceglia to produce, among other things, all hard copy and electronic versions of the purported contract and emails. On January 10, 2012, the court granted our request for sanctions against Mr. Ceglia for his delay in compliance with that order. We continue to believe that Mr. Ceglia is attempting to perpetrate a fraud on the court and we intend to continue to defend the case vigorously.

The Enforcement Division of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been conducting an inquiry into secondary transactions involving the sale of private company securities as well as the number of our stockholders of record. In connection with this inquiry, we have received both formal and informal requests for information from the staff of the SEC and we have been fully cooperating with the staff. We have provided all information requested and there are no requests for documents or information that remain outstanding. We believe that we have been in compliance with the provisions of the federal securities laws relating to these matters.

Although the results of claims, lawsuits, government investigations, and proceedings in which we are involved cannot be predicted with certainty, we do not believe that the final outcome of the matters discussed above will have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, or results of operations. However, defending these claims is costly and can impose a significant burden on management and employees, we may receive unfavorable preliminary or interim rulings in the course of litigation, and there can be no assurances that favorable final outcomes will be obtained.


On Goldman's share holdings:

Consists of (i) 14,214,807 shares of Class A common stock held of record by The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.; (ii) 2,598,652 shares of Class A common stock held of record by Goldman Sachs Investment Partners Master Fund, L.P.; (iii) 1,010,587 shares of Class A common stock held of record by Goldman Sachs Investment Partners Private Opportunities Holdings, L.P.; and (iv) 48,123,195 shares of Class A common stock held of record by FBDC Investors Offshore Holdings, L.P. Affiliates of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. are the general partner, managing general partner or investment manager of each of Goldman Sachs Investment Partners Master Fund, L.P., Goldman Sachs Investment Partners Private Opportunities Holdings, L.P., and FBDC Investors Offshore Holdings, L.P., and each of these funds shares voting and investment power with certain of its respective affiliates. The address of The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., Goldman Sachs Investment Partners Master Fund, L.P., Goldman Sachs Investment Partners Private Opportunities Holdings, L.P., and FBDC Investors Offshore Holdings, L.P. is 200 West Street, New York, NY 10282.


Some valuation data points:

Class A Common Stock Financing

In December 2010, we sold an aggregate of 2,398,081 shares of our Class A common stock to DST Global Limited at a purchase price per share of $20.85, for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $50 million.


Commercial Agreements

During 2009, 2010, and 2011, The Washington Post Company and its related companies purchased $0.6 million, $4.8 million, and $4.2 million, respectively, of advertisements on our website. Mr. Graham, a member of our board of directors, is the Chief Executive Officer of The Washington Post Company. The purchases by The Washington Post Company and its related entities were made in the ordinary course of business on commercially reasonable terms. In addition, The Washington Post Company is affiliated with an advertising agency, Social Code LLC, that has advertising clients that do business with us.

During 2009, 2010, and 2011, Netflix purchased $1.9 million, $1.6 million, and $3.8 million, respectively, of advertisements on our website. Mr. Hastings, a member of our board of directors, is the Chief Executive Officer of Netflix. The purchases by Netflix were made in the ordinary course of business on commercially reasonable terms.

During 2010 and 2011, we made payments to GMG Lifestyle Entertainment Inc. (GMG) of $0.9 million and $0.7 million, respectively, for certain sales and marketing services. Rob Goldberg, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of GMG, is the brother-in-law of Ms. Sandberg, our Chief Operating Officer. The GMG relationship was entered into in the ordinary course of business and on commercially reasonable terms.

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ZippyBananaPants's picture

Why does all the media want people to think this thing is going to start trading today?



redpill's picture

Pump & Dump baby!  This thing will be oozing santorum within a week.

TruthInSunshine's picture

I plan on buying shares of Friendster.com and Myspace.com, instead.

ACP's picture

I think line 4 is supposed to read, "483 million fuckin' idiots."

Manthong's picture

I know more than a few women that have monetized "like".

ACP's picture

I'd like to monetize a few women.

Xkwisetly Paneful's picture

FB will be a cash machine as soon as they iron out the internet gambling rules in the US.

CrazyCooter's picture

And they have a corner on the online gambling market precisely how ... ?



ACP's picture

Maybe a new company called CaChynga?

chumbawamba's picture

Um, what does this company make, again?  I'm trying to figure out how you can generate a billion dollars in revenue by simply providing the world's largest chat room.

I am Chumbawamba.

Manthong's picture

Seems folks "friend" each other (with benefits) quite readily nowadays.

TuesdayBen's picture

Yo, Trav, when's the RaceBook IPO?

dark pools of soros's picture

you mean where everyone just get racist with everyone??   or Hatebook?   that one is good

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

Hate book....is that like Fight Club?

Comay Mierda's picture

How long until I can buy puts on this overvalued turd of a company again?

Michael's picture

During my housing bubble blogging days, an FB is known as a Fucked Buyer.

BLOTTO's picture


facebook (-----strike through not working)


RFIDBook - coming to a melon near you...


Oh regional Indian's picture

Face Book = Face Palm

Between social notworking and smart phones, BigB has us in his sights and in his minds 24/7. The Architect.

Come into my parlour, said the SpYder to the Fly. 




glenn17's picture

I was very encouraged to find this site. The reason being that this is such an informative post. I wanted to thank for this informative analysis of the subject. I ate every bit of it and I submitted your site to some of the biggest social networks so others can find this blog.

buy facebook fans

Don Birnam's picture


At the implied market capitalization of $100 billion, some $40 billion larger than both 3M and Altria, $8 billion more endowed than ConocoPhillps, and four times the value of Lockheed Martin.

Facebook. The very flower of absurdity; yet, will make those Wall Street grifters of record who are jobbing this issue fabulously rich-er.

Caveat emptor, fools who would consider this...

l.hauri's picture

I know what you mean. ANd he new Facebook timeline cover is stupid.

BorisTheBlade's picture

Fight Club is not so much about hate, but resurrection through fight. Pure love.

Facebook though: they monetize faces now, but there are so many body parts left, follow-ups to include: assbook, bellybook, nipplesbook, feetbook, handbook. I can see big potential here.

TruthInSunshine's picture

Anthony Weiner is planning to IPO weinerbook next February

Cheesy Bastard's picture

Um, what does this company make, again?


disabledvet's picture

if that's the case i should be buying.

Cheesy Bastard's picture

Ya know, it took me a while to figure that one out because I never facebooked, but finally I see what you did there.  Greenie for you.

Freddie's picture

LOL!  Too damn true.  Isn't mostly older people and losers now.  Kids are running away from FaceBook because their parents and granny use it.

Joeman34's picture

FB will be the next MySpace.  They're already losing subscribers to twitter.

Xkwisetly Paneful's picture

THey have the largest existing network.

The US government ran the largest proprietors out of business paving the way for these idiots.

The online poker rooms with thousands of tables going were cash machines until the US government stepped in.

And who better to take advantage of the shift in the DOJ stance on 12/31 than facebook,

the answer is nobody.

Besides that the herd here was out panning the Linkln IPO not that long ago as the stock is only trading $30 higher than the IPO.


TruthInSunshine's picture

Did you buy LNKD at the $121 intraday high on IPO day?

animalspirit's picture

Outside the U.S. the online gambling services are still alive and kicking.

While waiting for online gambling in the U.S. to become legal there are some under-the-rader services.  Like SealsWithClubs.org online poker -- uses bitcoins not dollars.  StrikeSapphire.com also is a bitcoin-based online gambling service but they don't allow users from the U.S.

Mr Lennon Hendrix's picture

The poker sites were ponzi schemes.

TruthInSunshine's picture

C'mon, it's not a stretch or conspiracy-rad theory to think government intelligence services work hand-in-hand with the Googles and Facebooks of the world to essentially use them [directly or indirectly] as cost-effective data aggregators.

(How short is collective human memory? Didn't we just learn that phone and internet companies were handing over all the data the U.S. government demanded, absent any warrant whatsoever, ala AT&T, Verizon, etc. a few years ago?)

To what extent government or governmental agencies participate in the formation and ongoing affairs of such entities is a matter of pure conjecture for those not privy to such 'sensitive' matters, but it's not the least bit "wildly speculative" to at least assert there's a better than not chance that a popular search engine or social networking site wouldn't be prime terra firma for intelligence gathering.

Moe Howard's picture

FB is the Air America of the internet age.

UP Forester's picture

Funny, an In-Q-Tel board member is one of the three men behind Farcebook....


Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

'zactly...having an account with google or facebook and their ilk could one day prove costly

spastic_colon's picture

dont forget everyone's favorite iSpy.....AAPL

palmereldritch's picture

Pre-crime - Internet Division

The investment arms of the CIA and Google are both backing a company that monitors the web in real time — and says it uses that information to predict the future.

The company is called Recorded Future, and it scours tens of thousands of websites, blogs and Twitter accounts to find the relationships between people, organizations, actions and incidents — both present and still-to-come. In a white paper, the company says its temporal analytics engine “goes beyond search” by “looking at the ‘invisible links’ between documents that talk about the same, or related, entities and events.”


Meet In-Q-Tel the CIA's Venture Capital Firm


casamader's picture

I think line 4 is supposed to read, "483 million fuckin' idiots." casas prefabricadas

irishlink's picture

Totally agree, All  my friends are in FB and I have never even wanted to entertain the idea. I do not want to see happy ,smily drunken party goers, Personel pictures of little kids etc. Has our lives become so stupidly busy that we cannot even have memory. We need technology to keep up with WHAT?  I want special moments to remain special TO THE PEOPLE INVOLVED not the entire world. When will people wake up and realise that we are becoming fodder to the mills of technology and consumerism.

chinaguy's picture

I had a FB acct. for about 6 years...finally cancelled it...I call it "Sheeplebook"

beechmi's picture

Are you sure? As I understand it, that's something about FaceBook most people don't understand. Once you set-up a profile it is impossible to truly delete. It may be 'inactive', but it is never 'purged'. FB maintains your data for as long as it chooses....

UP Forester's picture

Uh, NOTHING is purged from government databases, unless they're going to black-bag you under NDAA.

chinaguy's picture

correct, delete as much as you can & they hold the rest.

infinity8's picture

That's why you give false information when you set up a profile. I was absolutely badgered for a while about 2 yrs ago to set up a FB page. Finally did it with a fake name, birthday, location, etc. Logged in 2 or 3 times back then. Never have bothered to try to delete it - don't remember my password at this point.

Hugh G Rection's picture

"483 million fuckin' GOY idiots!  Hahahahah, willingly volunteer all your information to our Mossad network.  We will consume every last resource from your country, and your bought politicians/media will continue to lead you to slaughter.  The coup was complete on Sept. 11 2001.  All your country are belong to US!"