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Thursday, 19 June 2008 11:17

LinkedIn scores $53m funding

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Social networking site LinkedIn has secured its fourth, and largest, round of venture funding: a $US53 million injection led by Bain Capital Ventures with additional reinvestment from the company's existing investors including Sequoia Capital, Greylock Partners, and Bessemer Venture Partners.

The company said the funding was based on its rapid member growth, multiple business lines and future opportunity. LinkedIn's current revenue streams include advertising, subscriptions, job listings and corporate hiring solutions. It is in the process of launching several new, unspecified lines of business.

The company claims a membership of over 23 million professionals representing more than 170 industries, 150 countries, and including executives from all of the Fortune 500 companies. "Our investment in LinkedIn is based on the company's opportunity, solid and diversified business model, smart strategy for growth and strong management team," said Bain partner, Jeffrey Glass. "We look for companies that offer sustainable return on our investment with many multiples, and we expect LinkedIn will deliver by being essential to millions of professionals around the world."

LinkedIn secured its first funding, $US4.7m in November 2003 led by Sequoia Capital, the venture investors behind Yahoo!, Google and PayPal and also an investor in online contact updating tool, Plaxo. This was followed by $US10m in Series B funding in October 2004 led by Greylock, an early-stage venture capital firm credited with producing the largest number of initial public offerings. Of the over 250 companies Greylock had funded, 120 had become publicly held. LinkedIn also announced the addition of 14 angel investors, including Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Netscape and, Joe Kraus, co-founder of Excite and Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal.

There followed a third round, in January 2007, of $US12.8 million led by Bessemer Venture Partners, the oldest venture capital practice in the US and including the European Founders Fund (EFF). LinkedIn claimed to have achieved profitability in March 2006.

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