LinkedIn Buys Pulse For $90 Million

LinkedIn on Thursday confirmed that it had acquired newsreader app Pulse as it seeks to offer more content to keep users sticking around. The professional networking site paid approximately $90 million in cash and stock for the startup, whose app boasts more than 30 million users in 190 countries.

News that the companies were in talks was first reported last month. The acquisition follows other steps that LinkedIn has taken in the last year to ramp up content and become more of a publishing platform to boost engagement. Those moves include creating a news page, its purchase of SlideShare, the redesign of profile pages, and the launch of its Influencer blog network.

With its growing mobile audience, the Pulse deal could also help LinkedIn enhance its delivery of content on handheld devices. As of the fourth quarter, the company said 27% of its traffic was coming from the mobile side. Data released by comScore last month showed LinkedIn was getting 18% incremental traffic from mobile in February.

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“We believe that [Pulse] will help us accelerate our ability to deliver to our members the insights they need to be better at what they do, on any device," said Deep Nishar, SVP of products and user experience, in announcing the acquisition today.

Following the expected closing in the second quarter, the Pulse team -- including engineering, product and design staff -- will join LinkedIn’s Mountain View, Calif. headquarters. LinkedIn will continue to maintain the existing Pulse app while the companies jointly work on developing new products.

LinkedIn’s $90 million purchase of Pulse was 90% in stock and 10% in cash, with the stock being issued to be handled through a private placement.

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