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Public Image?

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

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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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