LinkedIn Gets “HookedUp” With $13 Million
LinkedIn has been done pretty well for itself; over 9 million “experienced professionals” have joined the online network, and a value of about $250 million was placed on the company. It’s surprising, then, that LinkedIn recently went to the trouble of collecting $12.8 million more in a round of financing.
Reid Hoffman himself – LinkedIn’s CEO – dropped in on the “Comments” section of a GigaOm article to “help clarify why we raised money . . . .” (That money, by the way, came from venture capitalist entities such as the Bessemer Venture Partners and the European Founders Fund.)
Hoffman gave two (seemingly) simple reasons for passing the hat: “(a) we will be expanding internationally this year and (b) we want to start marketing the Linkedin use cases – e.g. how every professional can use Linkedin today to make themselves more effective at their jobs.”
The implementation of (a) may not be as easy as it sounds, though. Despite LinkedIn’s impressive accomplishments in the U.S., a company known as “Xing” has a strong foothold in Europe. Headquartered in Germany, Xing, like LinkedIn, is an online network for professionals, and would act as a direct competitor.
Yet that fact didn’t scare Keith Rabois, LinkedIn’s vice president of business development, when he spoke to MarketWatch’s Bambi Francisco. LinkedIn is about “a year behind popular social network Facebook in generating sales, according to Rabois. That means Linkedin is set to generate between $45 million and $60 million next year,” Francisco concluded.
Bessemer and the European Founders Fund were surely inspired by that statement. The venture capitalists were probably even more encouraged by the following line from Francisco’s article: “Linkedin CEO Reid Hoffman boldly predicts the company will hit $100 million in 2008.”