Heavy-handed regulation imposed by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and greater caution on the part of investors who had had their fingers burnt before had supposedly closed off the option of an IPO. Any internet start-up worth its salt could expect instead to find itself swallowed whole by Google, Microsoft or IBM. Silicon Valley has been working on the rule-of-thumb assumption that a company needs at least $100m in revenues, and some experience of operating at a profit, before contemplating a public listing. Read more
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