LinkedIn buys Lynda.com for $1.5 billion

Executives for both companies said the deal, which is LinkedIn's largest acquisition to date, is the "kind of fit that benefits everyone."
Written by Natalie Gagliordi, Contributor

LinkedIn has just announced its largest acquisition to date.

The social network for professionals is buying lynda.com in a cash and stock deal valued at approximately $1.5 billion.

Founded in 1995, lynda.com is a subscription-based online learning portal, where members can focus on a range business and technology skill sets. The website also offers a premium subscription for members in corporate, government and educational organizations.

Executives for both companies called the merger a "kind of fit that benefits everyone."

LinkedIn CEO and founder Jeff Weiner wrote in a blog post:

LinkedIn has the members, the jobs, a unique understanding of the skills required to do those jobs, and a publishing platform that can be accessed by roughly 350 million people to share professionally relevant knowledge. lynda.com's service has the premium library of skills-based courses. Together, we can bring opportunities and access to knowledge that everyone deserves. And together, we can more easily build the Economic Graph by mapping together the people, jobs, skills, and knowledge that are core components of it.

If you're unfamiliar with the Economic Graph concept, it's basically LinkedIn's lofty goal to digitally map the global workforce. This includes creating profile for every member of the global workforce, a profile for every company in the world, and a digital representation of every job and every skill set required to obtain those jobs.

That's where it's likely lynda.com will come into play, to help LinkedIn members obtain the necessary skills for the world's available jobs.

Following closing, most members of the lynda.com team are expected to join LinkedIn.

LinkedIn has been on somewhat of an acquisition rampage over the last couple months. The lynda.com deal comes shortly after LinkedIn agreed to acquired the predictive analytics startup Refresh. Just before that, LinkedIn bought the online recruiting and talent acquisition platform Careerify.

The deals have all been highly strategic for LinkedIn, bolstering specific areas that support its ambition with the Economic Graph and its overall goal of becoming an all out recruiting platform for the global workforce.

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