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LinkedIn Boosted By $53 Million Investment

     
10:33 am on Jun 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

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LinkedIn Corp., a business-networking Web site, has received a $53 million infusion from blue-chip venture capitalists that values the company at $1 billion.

The investment comes as rival Facebook Inc., a site that originally targeted college students, has been attracting older users, leading to speculation that Facebook -- like LinkedIn -- could become a destination for professionals hoping to make new contacts, recruit employees or find experts in certain fields.

LinkedIn was the pioneer in that concept. The Mountain View, Calif., company has more than 23 million users and added 250 new employees in the last 16 months. It drew ...

LinkedIn Boosted By $53 Million Investment [online.wsj.com]
12:35 pm on June 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I-just-don't-see-it. Linkedin, especially, appears problematic. It is to "make new contacts, recruit employees or find experts in certain fields." To me, it looks like it is a-build-your own-website in a network.

I'm likely just showing my own ignorance.

1:05 pm on June 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I think the jury is still out on LinkedIn. I personally haven't seen much utility in their "introduction" model (e.g., I want to reach "A" who could represent a business prospect, so I contact my friend B, who is linked to C, who knows D, who is a friend of my target A). That's a big stretch, IMO.

On the other hand, I've had anecdotal feedback of job recruiting successes on LI. And I've made a few one-step introductions (introducing two people I know who didn't know each other).

Asking questions (and broadcasting them) has also produced a few useful contacts.

1:10 pm on June 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Hmmm, and I've been turning down all those LinkedIn requests, every single one of them. They kind of remind me of Challenge Response emails, I don't know why. I've never seen the "light" in regards to this particular concept.
2:07 pm on June 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Pageone, remember that LinkedIn premium subscriptions let users directly contact any user on the site instead of requiring an introduction from another member.
2:11 pm on June 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I use LI as a robust on-line contacts book (eg a changed email address doesn't break a link) without all the annoying sub-teenage pranks/noise/SPAM of other non-business network sites.

It works for me.

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2:32 pm on June 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I find it handy to keep in contact with business people I might have been working with in the past but have say moved company.

I would maybe pay a small amount for a subscription if went down that route. But unless they get way into recruitment I cannot see how it can be valued at 1 billion...?

2:32 pm on June 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

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>>pranks/noise/SPAM

I think if LinkedIn has a chance to fend off Facebook, it will be their lack of "noise." With all of the features and apps on FB, most communications I get don't seem relevant to business - even when coming from contacts I know via business.

Then again, maybe living in FB makes for a richer business relationship. Instead of just being about business, I now know that my attorney had a great time in Cozumel last week and that my top business prospect just finished washing his car. :)

3:45 pm on June 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

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with the quickly expansion of LinkedIn, i hope it will take more measures to strength its privacy protection policy. My personel impression to LinkedIn is good, it has its own unquie value for its users.
4:34 pm on June 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

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My professional opinion:
I really didn't see the value in linkedin until I started work for a large company. That is a website that is thrown around at my current employer quite a bit, like "send me your linkedin profile", or "hey we have a candidate for position x, and you're interviewing them on Monday. I'll send you their resume and linkedin profile".

My personal opinion:
I don't think facebook should be a place for professionals to recruit. I like that it's a social environment, and not a professional one, which makes me want a professional social environment. I want to post pictures of me having drinks while wearing the chicken suit and doing morally ambiguous things without worry that a potential employer will judge my professional abilities on my social activities.

I guess its time to start my own company then if this is the way the professional environment is moving towards.

6:28 pm on June 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

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Good investment, maybe. LinkedIn is easy to use, its got a useful Q&A - basically a forum. Not sure how they will make money either but I like the site and find it useful.
6:47 pm on June 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

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LI already makes a trading profit IIRC: for a start they do have paid services and Google ads.

That'll be a EB<everything> profit, but nonetheless!

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Damon

7:02 pm on June 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I think LI will have a better chance of monetizing the model that facebook will, but i'll think it will still be a huge challenge.
4:41 pm on June 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

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I've got to imagine a site boasting such a robust network of working professionals has a tremendous amount of value. Within the online advertising realm, at least in the Bay Area, it's a rarity to come across an individual who is not on LI.

It makes for a great way to stay in touch with colleagues, research candidates, and connect with old classmates and friends - all in a professional context...

7:08 pm on June 20, 2008 (gmt 0)

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>>at least in the Bay Area

That's a key issue, pb. In less tech-oriented areas, I see a lot lower penetration. But I'm also seeing incremental growth - one person in a company gets on, and then invites a bunch of contacts inside and outside the firm. The networks in the hinterlands are still kind of thin, but they are growing.

 

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