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LinkedIn to acquire online training site for $1.5 billion

Obama Participates In Linkedin Town Hall -  Linkedin CEO Jeff Weiner


LinkedIn acquires the online training site, for $1.5 billion, 52 percent in cash and 48 percent in stock,  would be the Linkdin network’s largest acquisition to date. offers 6, 300 online courses in Web design and development, computer programming, animation, video production and editing, education and business. A free 10-day trial is available to sample the courses first. But, then a basic subscription costs $25 a month or $250 a year, while a premium subscription goes for $37.50 a month or $375 a year.

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LinkedIn connects people with each other professionally. But it has been a resource for jobs and career opportunities and a platform for companies looking for the right talent. LinkedIn currently lists around 3 million jobs, up from just 300, 000 a year ago. founded in 1995, by Lynda Weinman, a computer instructor and author, with her husband, Bruce Heavin.’s revenue totaled about $150 million last year, employs nearly 500 full-time staff members and more than 140 teachers who earn royalties from their shared revenue model.

Integrating as part of its site is the company’s way of helping people learn specific career skills.

“The mission of LinkedIn and the mission of are highly aligned, ” LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner said in a press release. “Both companies seek to help professionals be better at what they do.’s extensive library of premium video content helps empower people to develop the skills needed to accelerate their careers. When integrated with the hundreds of millions of members and millions of jobs on LinkedIn, can change the way in which people connect to opportunity.”

“It’s not just enough to standardize the data around the skills required to obtain a role, ” Weiner said. “It’s also important that we can actually help people obtain those skills themselves.”

Ryan Roslansky, head of global content products for LinkedIn, elaborated further in a blog post about the deal. “Imagine being a job seeker and being able to instantly know what skills are needed for the available jobs in a desired city, like Denver, and then to be prompted to take the relevant and accredited course to help you acquire this skill, ” Roslansky said in his post. “Or doing a search on SlideShare to learn about integrated marketing and then to be prompted with a course on the same subject.”

In the last year, LinkedIn has more than doubled its Chinese user base, but still only 9 million of its 347 million members are in China. Weiner believes Lynda could be critical to helping it expand there, and in other areas of the emerging world. “Think about what this coursework could mean for people graduating from school and trying to figure out their career paths in these developing economies, ” he told WIRED in an interview today, just after announcing the Lynda acquisition. “We think it could be game-changing.” will remain a separate and independent site after the acquisition as LinkedIn figures out how best to integrate its online training. Subject to the usual conditions, the acquisition is expected to close sometime during the current quarter.

Jeff Weiner and Lynda Weinman are ebullient about the opportunities they are creating. In Weiner’s words, Lynda’s content makes it possible “for anybody to easily and effectively acquire a skill needed to get their first job, get a promotion, land a business deal or advance their career.” For her part, Weinman asserted that “the synergy between the two companies offered a match unlike any other.”



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