LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) had a higher market cap than salesforce.com, inc. (NYSE:CRM) for the second week in a row, ending at $32.56 billion last Friday compared to a Salesforce market cap of $29.59, writes Alex Williams for TechCrunch. Salesforce was the first software-as-a-service (SaaS) company to pass $1 billion in revenues, but it may have to give up the mantle as industry leader.
LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) is best known as a social networking site for professionals, but a large portion of its income actually comes from SaaS and the customer relationship management (CRM) market. LinkedIn has an advantage over many other firms in that it can use its existing social network to complement CRM tools. It also has an easy way to get in touch with business leaders who might be interested in using LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD)’s CRM service, since many of those people already have accounts with the company.
This is in stark contrast to most other social networking sites that have made money through advertising. Attempting to convert users into paying customers of a separate but related service is novel, and the possibility of using the same dynamic with other niche social networks could be worth exploring.
Salesforce.com popular with investors
Salesforce.com, inc. (NYSE:CRM) is mostly a platform provider, giving companies and developers somewhere to operate. Salesforce has remained popular with investors because it was the first company to prove that the cloud-platform business model was viable, though many other companies have since followed its lead. Its growth mostly comes from new apps that it develops, but as the SaaS market matures it will have a harder time differentiating itself, and investor nostalgia isn’t worth much.
LinkedIn returning to equities market
LinkedIn Corp (NYSE:LNKD) stock prices dipped earlier in the month after it announced that it was returning to equities markets to seek an additional $1 billion in funding, but the price rebounded quickly. The company’s stock price has more than doubled so far this year on strong financials and sentiment, making it a good time to issue shares, since they will bring in maximum value ($1 billion is about 4 million additional shares at the moment). However, it’s probably not a great time for new investors looking for good value.