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Interview: BranchOut CEO Rick Marini Talks Facebook

What Facebook's IPO means, and its effect on other companies


Rick Marini is one of the pioneers of social networking. Back in 2002, he co-founded Tickle, which grew to 200 million registered users and $40 million in revenues. In 2004, he sold the company to Monster Worldwide (NYSE:MWW) for $100 million.

His next gig? Another social company, BranchOut. The company leverages Facebook to help users connect to find jobs and other business opportunities. Essentially, it is similar to LinkedIn (NYSE:LNKD).

Since the beginning of 2012, BranchOut has grown its active user base from 920,000 to 2.7 million. Customers include Salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT).

I recently had a chance to talk to Marini about the Facebook IPO and its effects on BranchOut and other companies.

Q: What are your thoughts on the Facebook IPO filing?

A: I expect it will remain business as usual for a publicly traded Facebook — at least for the short term. Similar to when Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) first went public, Facebook will run its business status quo for as long as possible, regardless of quarterly pressures.

A public IPO filing will help deliver respect to Facebook from Wall Street as it continues to grow and evolve from simply a social network into a global brand. With one of every seven minutes spent online taking place on Facebook worldwide, the company will want to maintain its stability.

Q: Does Facebook deserve this valuation?

A: Yes, Facebook deserves the estimated valuation of $100 billion. Never before has there been a platform like Facebook. It is the largest social network with nearly 850 million monthly users. More time is spent on Facebook than any other site. Approximately 16% of all time spent online is spent on Facebook.

They have $3.7 billion in revenue, and that number will continue to grow year-over-year as it has in the past.

Q: What about the impact on BranchOut?

A: The IPO will benefit companies like BranchOut because Facebook will continue to grow rapidly after going public. They will have even more cash to hire the best engineers to innovate on their product, as they recently did with Facebook Timeline.

Actually, Facebook Timeline was brilliant because it was a giant leap forward in getting everyone to record their lives on Facebook, whether it’s the music they listen to on Spotify, their work history on BranchOut, or their exercise regimen with Nike+ (NYSE:NKE).

Tom Taulli runs the InvestorPlace blog IPO Playbook, a site dedicated to the hottest news and rumors about initial public offerings. He also is the author of “All About Short Selling” and “All About Commodities.” Follow him on Twitter at @ttaulli. As of this writing, he did not own a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

Article printed from InvestorPlace Media, http://investorplace.com/ipo-playbook/interview-branchout-ceo-rick-marini-talks-facebook/.

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