|Recruiting and Business Partnerships Emerge as Key Applications within LinkedIn's Network of 1.2 Million Registered Professionals|
LinkedIn, the leading provider of private and effective professional networking tools, today announced that it has secured $10 million in Series B funding. The investment was led by Greylock, the early-stage venture capital firm that has produced the largest number of initial public offerings. Of the over 250 companies Greylock has funded, 120 are now publicly held.
LinkedIn also announced the recent addition of 14 angel investors, including Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Netscape and chairman of Opsware, Joe Kraus, co-founder of Excite, Josh Kopelman, founder of Half.com, and Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal.
Sequoia Capital, the venture capitalists behind Google and Yahoo! and the lead investors in LinkedIn's Series A round, also participated in the Series B financing. Since Sequoia's Series A funding eleven months ago, LinkedIn's network of registered professionals has grown 30-fold from 40,000 to 1.2 million. During the same period, the number of connected contacts has increased from under one million to over 50 million.
LinkedIn's networking tools enable users to strengthen and extend their existing network of trusted business contacts in a systematic and time-efficient manner. Once connected on LinkedIn, professionals can search the extended networks of their contacts and discover inside connections to companies with whom they want to partner. Professionals also frequently use LinkedIn to find recommended employees and to obtain introductions to hard-to-reach industry experts.
LinkedIn has already facilitated over 250,000 introductions to help users reach job candidates, industry experts and business partners. Over 30 percent of these introductions were related to business partnerships, and 25 percent were for recruiting and reference checking.
Recruiting has emerged as one of the most popular applications of LinkedIn's online networking tools. By allowing hiring managers to find candidates through referrals from colleagues and business partners, LinkedIn mirrors the time-tested, real-world process of hiring employees based on recommendations from one's existing network of trusted contacts.
The investment from Greylock comes at a time when over 120 industry conferences, professional organizations and alumni associations have adopted LinkedIn for Groups, and usage of the LinkedIn search engine has doubled from one million searches per month in July to over two million searches per month in September.
David Sze, general partner at Greylock, commented, "We see LinkedIn as hitting the tipping point -- it is poised to transform a number of large existing markets. In the United States alone, businesses spend over $8 billion per year to recruit talent. We also believe that LinkedIn's contact and networking products can add tremendous value for every business professional."
Sze will be joining the LinkedIn Board of Directors. The company also announced the addition of Rob DeSantis, co-founder and former chief marketing officer of Ariba, to the Board of Directors.
LinkedIn CEO Reid Hoffman, who was most recently the executive vice president of PayPal, said, "Our strategy from the beginning has been to attract an elite group of businesspeople through a tool that protects their privacy, their inbox and their existing professional relationships. Having attracted a large number of venture capitalists and senior executives in over 130 industries, the LinkedIn network has now established itself far and away as the largest and most useful online business network across the globe."
Launched in May 2003, LinkedIn already has 370,000 registered users in Europe and 70,000 in Asia. A new professional joins the LinkedIn network every five seconds during business hours.
The Series B funding will be used primarily to accelerate the development of tools for premium services and to power LinkedIn's continued international expansion. The company does not anticipate the need for additional financing and expects to reach profitability with this round of investment.
Greylock is a private venture capital firm with committed capital of over $2.2 billion under management. Founded in Boston in 1965, it is now a bi-coastal firm with offices in Boston and Silicon Valley. Over the past 39 years, Greylock has provided equity capital and support to more than 250 developing companies, many of which have gone on to become leaders in their respective industries. Of these companies, over 120 have become publicly held, while more than 80 others have merged successfully with other leading companies. Greylock's early-stage investments include RightNow Technologies, Red Hat, DoubleClick, Internet Security Systems, Corio, Open Market, CheckFree, Trilogy, Xircom (now part of Intel), and Ascend Communications (now part of Lucent). Greylock has sponsored more companies to successful initial public offerings than any other early-stage venture firm. Greylock's principal investors are a group of six American industrial families who have been with Greylock since 1965, two of the nation's largest charitable foundations, and seven major university endowments -- Dartmouth College, Duke University, Harvard University, M.I.T., Princeton University, Stanford University and Yale University.
LinkedIn is the leading provider of private and effective networking tools used by over 1.2 million professionals across the globe. By managing their professional network on LinkedIn, users can strengthen and extend their existing network of trusted contacts. When searching their extended network, LinkedIn professionals discover inside connections they never knew they had to recommended job candidates, industry experts and business partners. LinkedIn is located in Mountain View, CA and is funded by Greylock and Sequoia Capital, the venture capitalists behind Google, Yahoo!, Cisco and Apple. LinkedIn is also backed by well-known angel investors, including the founders of Netscape, Excite, Half.com and PayPal. To learn more about these and other LinkedIn angel investors, visit https://www.linkedin.com/static?key=investors.