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Public Image?

With Internet companies back on the IPO map and VCs becoming interested again, should you follow the pack?

This story appears in the April 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

For nearly three years, stock IPOs for Internet-related companies languished, but last year, several of these companies went public, including RedEnvelope (www.redenvelope.com), a gift e-tailer; Provide-Commerce (www.providecommerce.com), which operates Proflowers.com; the popular travel company Orbitz (www.orbitz.com); and iPayment (www.ipaymentinc.com), which provides payment-processing services to small merchants for credit and debit card transactions. Even more promising, most of these IPOs exceeded investors' expectations.

There are more offerings to come this year. Salesforce.com, a hosted-CRM specialist, filed for a $115 million IPO in late 2003, which it plans to undertake this year. And speculation is high that search engine company Google (www.google.com) will file an IPO in 2004.

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