LinkedIn buys SlideShare for $118M

Professional networking site agrees to buy presentation-sharing platform SlideShare for about US$118.75 million, just as it raises outlook amid stellar earnings in first quarter 2012.
Written by Jamie Yap, Contributor

Professional networking site LinkedIn has agreed to fork out approximately US$118.75 million to acquire SlideShare, a content and presentation sharing site, just as its revenue and profit for the first quarter of 2012 more than doubled that of last year.

In a statement Thursday, LinkedIn said the US$118.75 million transaction will be a combination of approximately 45 percent cash and around 55 percent stock. The acquisition is expected to close during the second quarter this year, it added.

LinkedIn noted SlideShare users have uploaded more than nine million presentations, and citing ComScore figures, said it had nearly 29 million unique visitors last March.

LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner said: "Presentations are one of the main ways in which professionals capture and share their experiences and knowledge, which in turn helps shape their professional identity."

"These presentations also enable professionals to discover new connections and gain the insights they need to become more productive and successful in their careers, aligning perfectly with LinkedIn's mission and helping us deliver even more value for our members. We're very excited to welcome the SlideShare team to LinkedIn," added Weiner.

In the same statement, Rashmi Sinha, CEO of SlideShare, said: "We built SlideShare to help professionals share presentations and connect people through content. What we can build with LinkedIn, the largest professional network on the Internet, is the most natural extension of this vision. I am excited about what we can build together."

Deep Nishar, senior vice president of product and user experience at LinkedIn, said in a blog post Thursday that both LinkedIn and SlideShare had been "working closely together" over the past few years, and the acquisition "means good things to professionals everywhere".

LinkedIn's acquisition of SlideShare comes as it announced stellar earnings for the first quarter of 2012, ended Mar. 31.

In a separate statement Thursday, the company said revenue for the first quarter was US$188.5 million, a 101 percent increase from US$93.9 million in the first quarter of 2011. Net income also more than doubled in the first quarter this year to US$5 million, from US$2.1 million in the last year.

Weiner said LinkedIn's "solid performance" in the first quarter was built on the company's momentum in 2011. "We saw strength across all key metrics from member signups and engagement to significant revenue growth across our three product lines."

According to the company, revenue from the U.S. totaled US$120.8 million, representing 64 percent of total revenue in the first quarter of 2012, while revenue from international markets at US$67.6 million, made up the remaining 36 percent.

For the second quarter this year, LinkedIn said it expects revenue to range between US$210 million to US$215 million. It also upgraded its outlook for 2012 full year revenue to range from US$880 million to US$900 million, instead of the prior range of US$840 million to US$860 million.

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