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EDITIONS
Sunday, 24 June, 2001, 12:55 GMT 13:55 UK
Google mulls float plans
Google website
Google is looking at proposals by investment banks
Google, the internet search engine, is looking to brave the choppy equity markets with a flotation, according to the Sunday Business newspaper.

Analysts estimate that a float would value the company at $250m.

Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google
Sergey Brin: 'The odds are that we will go public'
The Sunday Business reports that founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page are considering taking the company public before the end of the year.

"The odds are that we will go public," Mr Brin told the newspaper.

They are reportedly considering deal proposals from investment banks Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank.

Three years old

Mr Brin and Mr Page launched Google three years ago when they were students at Stanford University.

Mr Brin pointed to additional respect, more cash and stock liquidity as reasons to float, though he added that the company has enough money.

The business, which is based in California, plans to break even before the end of the year, while analysts forecast annual revenues of about $50m by 2002.

Google has built its revenues from advertising and also from licensing its proprietary search technology to other websites and portals.

Quick searches

The search engine has become popular for its quick and relatively accurate searches. It has 8,000 Linux servers that handle an average of 100 million enquiries every day.

About 10% of those searches come from the UK.

Google's searches are not based on how often a term appears on a website, but on how many other websites are linked to it, especially popular sites such as Amazon.

The company also prefers to use a minimal front page, devoid of the typical clutter seen on many websites.

Google has avoided spending too much cash on advertising, preferring to rely on word-of-mouth.

The business takes its name from the mathematical term googol, which means the number one followed by 100 zeros.


Analysis

Economic slowdown

Background

TALKING POINT
See also:

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21 Feb 00 | Business
03 Aug 99 | Science/Nature
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