With almost nine million users around the world and $111 million in funding from venture capitalists, Waltham’s Care.com Inc. is preparing to test its fortunes on Wall Street.
The seven-year-old company that connects users of its website with home health nurses, elder care providers, or even baby-sitters and dog walkers has filed for an initial public stock offering of around $100 million, according to people briefed on the matter who asked for anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
The filing was made confidentially under a new federal law that allows small growing companies to begin the IPO process without attracting heavy coverage that often follows companies trying to go public. Twitter Inc., which held its IPO earlier November, initially filed under the confidentiality provision.
A Care.com spokeswoman declined to comment.
If Care.com does go public early next year it will arrive at a moment when technology stocks are climbing and the market is eager for IPOs. So far this year, 233 companies have filed to go public, compared with 140 last year, according to Renaissance Capital, an IPO research firm.
Speculation grew that Care.com may be looking to go public after it hired John Leahy away from Bedford’s iRobot Corp. to become the company’s chief financial officer. He had been chief financial officer for about four years at iRobot, a publicly traded company best known for its Roomba vacuum cleaners.
When Leahy was hired in April, Care.com chief executive Sheila Lirio Marcelo said he was expected to help the company continue growing, as well as to prepare for future financing events.
A Harvard Business School graduate, Marcelo started Care.com in 2006 and has grown it into something of the Amazon.com for caregivers, as well as one of the area’s fastest growing tech companies. It has more than 200 employees at its headquarters in Waltham and 400 worldwide.
The site started as an online marketplace to find care for children, seniors, and pets. It has since expanded to offer housekeeping, errand running, and services for people with special needs.
The site is now used in more than 15 countries for people to find and hire caregivers.
“We’re the one-stop shop for all different kinds of care, whether for nannies, tutoring, housekeeping, pet walking, and more,” Marcelo told the Globe earlier this year.
Care.com is also used by about 150 companies and organizations that offer the service to employees through their benefits packages.
The company expanded last year when it bought Breedlove & Associates, a nanny payroll firm in Texas, and Besser Betreut GmbH, a European site for care providers.
Much of its initial funding for the site came from the Cambridge venture capital firm Matrix Partners, where Marcelo was previously an entrepreneur in residence.
‘We’re the one-stop shop for all different kinds of care, whether for nannies, tutoring, housekeeping, pet walking. . . ’
Matrix participated in the company’s most recent investment, in 2012, when it raised $50 million.
At the time, it was one of the biggest investments made in a Web business.
Its other investors include Institutional Venture Partners, New Enterprise Associates, and Trinity Ventures.Michael B. Farrell can be reached at michael.farrell @globe.com.