There's still no official date set for the Alibaba IPO, but that hasn't stopped analysts and investors from speculating about the size of the company's initial public offering.
Facebook was valued at $104 billion when it made its public debut on May 17, 2012. At the time, that was the highest valuation of any American IPO.
By all accounts, Alibaba will smash that figure.
A Reuters report in February polled eight analysts who estimated that Alibaba could reach a valuation of $140 billion.
This week, the London-based, spread-betting firm "Gray Market" set the over/under line on Alibaba's valuation at an incredible $255 billion. That value was considered high, and the firm brought the line down. Currently the line is hovering between $235 billion and $245 billion.
Admittedly, Alibaba is unlikely to meet a valuation figure in the mid-$200 billion range. However, there's reason to believe the valuation total will climb past the estimated $140 billion…
Alibaba IPO: Why The Valuation Is Climbing
When news first broke about a potential U.S. IPO for Alibaba, analysts had valued the company near $100 billion, putting it right in line with Facebook's IPO. That figure started rising almost immediately.
Alibaba spent much of the past year adding new companies to its portfolio, diversifying its capabilities, and expanding its reach.
In the last year, the company has added an e-commerce site in the United States, a 60% stake in one of China's largest television media companies, and partial stakes in web browsers and social media sites. The company has bought at least a portion of 11 different companies and spent more than $2 billion in the past 12 months.
Before the acquisition surge, Alibaba operated a network of e-commerce websites in China that operated like Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN), eBay Inc. (Nasdaq: EBAY), and PayPal. Now, it's making strides to be more than just an e-commerce company.
Additionally, these financial reports have pushed the valuation even higher…