LinkedIn Buys Lynda.com, Invests In Education

With an eye on educational services, LinkedIn is betting big on Lynda.com. The social network for business types has agreed to pay $1.5 billion in cash and stock for the online learning company.

Co-founded in 1995 by Lynda Weinman and Bruce Heavin, Lynda.com specializes in consumer-facing subscription-based courses. The company also caters to corporate, government and educational organizations with its lyndaEnterprise, lyndaPro, lyndaCampus, lyndaLibrary and lyndaKiosk products.

“The missions of Lynda.com and LinkedIn are well aligned,” Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn, said during a conference call on Thursday. “Lynda.com helps you learn the skills you need to achieve your full potential, [while] LinkedIn connects the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.”

advertisement

advertisement

Regarding Lynda.com, Weiner added: “The service offers access to a library of hundreds of thousands of high-quality videos and courses covering a vast range of professional skills taught by vetted industry experts.”

Analysts appear to be applauding the acquisition. “Lynda.com’s business model meshes well with LinkedIn’s broad strategy and focus on job training, hiring, development and job skills,” RBC Capital Markets analysts explained in a client note on Thursday.

LinkedIn is looking for additional revenue streams — and with good reason. While the company’s ad business remains healthy, it is unlikely to increase market share through 2017, according to a recent forecast from eMarketer. LinkedIn’s display revenues will increase from $310 million in 2015 to $430 million in 2017, the research firm projected, which will leave its share unchanged at about 1.1%.

That’s despite the fact that LinkedIn recently began letting businesses target potential business clients beyond its borders. A recently launched LinkedIn Network Display is helping brands reach professional audiences with display ads both on LinkedIn and off-platform across thousands of publisher sites.

Thanks to a successful mobile shift and international expansion, LinkedIn did recently posted strong quarterly earnings. Year-over-year, revenue for the fourth quarter rose 44% to $643 million on earnings per share of $0.02.

Next story loading loading..