LinkedIn prepares to expand to Europe

    The developers of the well-known social network LinkedIn received funding in the amount of $ 12.8 million from venture capital funds Bessemer Venture Partners and European Founders Fund (EFF). New partners will help LinkedIn open branches in Europe and withstand fierce competition with the German social network Xing (formerly OpenBC). LinkedIn is currently number one in Europe, and Xing is number one in Germany and is expanding rapidly.

    As you know, the social network LinkedIn is quite popular among Russian-speaking users, who make up almost the most extensive contingent there after the English-speaking ones. At least, that was before the appearance of the Russian clone called MyKrug .

    It can be assumed that LinkedIn owners will sooner or later want to capitalize their presence in Russia. First you need to develop a Russian-language version of the site.

    Reid Hoffman, director of LinkedIn Corp., said venture investors came in handy. The fact is that the business achieved profitability in March 2006 and is currently ripe for expansion. Venture investors, as expected, help startups not only with money, but also with assistance in business. So, the funds Bessemer and EFF funds were specially selected due to the fact that they have experience in opening foreign branches of Internet companies. For example, Bessemer used to help Skype's startup, and EFF launched the German branch of eBay.

    In general, LinkedIn received venture financing twice: $ 4.7 million in 2003 and $ 10 million in 2004. In August 2005, the company introduced paid services on the site, and in March 2006 announced that it had become profitable. At the time of the last round of investment two years ago, startup co-founder Konstantin Guericke called LinkedIn's business model “evolving." He said that the business plan involves copying the eBay model, that is, making profit from a small number of the most active users. For this model to work, you need to maximize the user base. For this reason, branches are opened in Europe.

    To date, 9 million users from North America, Europe, and Asia are registered on LinkedIn. The site has more than 350 corporate clients, and the number of registrations is growing at 100 thousand per week.

    Standard LinkedIn accounts are free, and the profits come from additional services such as InMail, online advertising, job offers, advanced search, etc. The company plans to increase revenues to $ 100 million by 2008, that is, ten times more than in 2006.

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