Viadeo, the world's second-biggest social network for professionals behind LinkedIn, is deferring a plan for an initial public offering (IPO), preferring instead to focus on growth in emerging markets, its chief executive said.

The France-based start-up had been mulling an IPO in Europe, the United States or Hong Kong in a bid to surf on a wave of investor interest in technology start-ups that has sent valuations sky-rocketing in recent months.

Chief Executive Dan Serfaty told the Reuters Global Technology Summit that Viadeo would reconsider a listing in roughly 18-24 months.

We saw a tremendous level of interest by bankers, private equity investors and venture capitalists, said Serfaty. But we decided that our fundamentals were good enough that we could wait for a listing and instead focus on growing the business.

Viadeo's rival LinkedIn is in the midst of listing part of its capital on Wall Street and hopes to raise around $150 million to further its product expansion, hiring and acquisitions.

(Editing by James Regan)