LinkedIn, the social network for professionals, just announced that the company will acquire SlideShare for $119 million. This strategic move strengthens LinkedIn’s position as one of the top digital destinations for professionals who are looking for tools beyond just social networking.
The company announced the news via a SlideShare presentation (of course) that detailed information about Slideshare’s reach. The online slide hosting service hosts over 9 million presentations, and gets 29 million unique visitors per month. More than 7 million presentations are embedded across the web, with 1.4 million unique domains containing embedded SlideShare content.
Deep Nishar, Senior Vice President of Products & User Experience at LinkedIn wrote in a blog post:
This acquisition means good things to professionals everywhere. Presentations are a core component of how professionals define and brand their identity. This deal enables professionals to discover people through content, and content through people. We’re excited to figure out the best ways our offerings will work together to help professionals around the world be more productive and successful.
The announcement comes on the same day as LinkedIn’s Q1 earnings report, which surpassed analyst’s expectations. Revenue for Q1 was $188.5 million. This is an increase of 101 percent compared to the Q1 revenue in 2011 – which was $93.9 million. Revenue isn’t the only metric that shows LinkedIn’s staggering growth over the past few years. According to comScore, pageviews have almost tripled since Q1 in 2010 from 3.6 billion to 9.4 billion, and membership has more than doubled from 64 million in Q1 2012 to 161 million presently.
According to SlideShare CEO Rashmi Sinha, the acquisition grew out of a natural partnership that LinkedIn and SlideShare developed over the years. LinkedIn members have been able to embed slide presentations on their LinkedIn profiles for quite some time. On the SlideShare blog, she explained the decision to sell:
You could ask why did we agree to sell? For one, I firmly believe that SlideShare will grow faster with LinkedIn. Second, I have watched as LinkedIn has grown from being a place to share your resume to a much richer site, where you go to keep up with what your professional network is doing and sharing. We like the path they are on, and are excited to join them on this journey.
The sale will close next month and will be split between 45 percent cash and 55 percent stock. Given LinkedIn’s stellar performance since going public, that’s a pretty good split.
Images courtesy of LinkedIn on SlideShare.