Palo Alto, CA — January 29, 2007 — LinkedIn Corporation, creator of the world’s largest and most effective business network, today announced that it has secured $12.8 million in funding from Bessemer Venture Partners (Bessemer), the oldest venture capital practice in the United States managing over a billion dollars in venture capital, and European Founders Fund (EFF), Europe’s leading internet investors. The funds will support the company’s rapidly growing user base, continued global expansion and investments in new products and markets.
In 2003, LinkedIn secured $4.7 million in Series A funding from Sequoia Capital, and in 2004 received a Series B round of $10 million from Greylock. “After reaching profitability in March 2006, now is a strategic time for us to acquire additional investment at favorable valuation,” said Reid Hoffman, CEO and Chairman, LinkedIn Corporation. “We selected Bessemer and EFF from many financing options, because of their global footprint, broad expertise and track record of investing across many industries, all of which can benefit from the power of LinkedIn.”
With this investment, Bessemer expands its portfolio of Web 2.0 companies. In addition to LinkedIn, Bessemer has also funded Skype, Yelp and Wikia. “We got to know LinkedIn CEO Reid Hoffman through working with him as a co-investor on launching Wikia, and we’re delighted that he has selected us as his equity partner,” said David Cowan, Managing Partner of Bessemer Venture Partners. “As heavy users of LinkedIn for deal flow, due diligence and hiring, we have seen first-hand how profoundly LinkedIn promises to transform several service markets.”
Focusing on early stage internet and wireless technologies, European Founders Fund is a highly selective investment company run by brothers Marc, Oliver and Alexander Samwer. The Samwer brothers founded alando (which became eBay Germany), and Jamba! (today part of News Corp.), and the internet companies they created have achieved combined sales of more than 1 billion EUR. With EFF, the Samwers are focused on investing in young technology companies, including European market leaders Leadpoint and LokaListen, to which they can bring their direct experience and extensive network of partners. “We wanted to invest in LinkedIn, because we see the enormous international potential as more professionals recognize the power of online networks,” said Oliver Samwer, founder, EFF. “Our investment supports their expansion and our established connections offer potential strategic alliances, partnership opportunities, and sharing of insights to continue building LinkedIn in Europe and beyond.”
LinkedIn has 9 million members worldwide and is growing at a rate of 100,000 members a week. While standard LinkedIn accounts are free, the company earns revenue through a number of premium services such as InMail, advertising, job listings, premium search, candidate sourcing capabilities and custom corporate subscription packages. The company recently launched LinkedIn Answers, a first-of-its-kind service that allows members to ask trusted contacts in the network business-related questions.
LinkedIn has more than 350 corporate customers, covering a spectrum of industries including tech giants Microsoft, eBay, Intuit and Adobe, leading mass market retailers such as Circuit City, Target and Walmart.com, and top consumer brands such as L’Oreal and NetFlix. Advertisers on LinkedIn currently include Jeep, Best Buy, Target, American Express, American Airlines and Virgin Atlantic Airlines. Its professional members represent all five hundred of the Fortune 500 companies, as well as a wide range of household names in technology, financial services, media, consumer packaged goods, entertainment, fashion, and numerous other industries.
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About Bessemer Venture Partners
As the oldest venture capital practice in the United States, Bessemer Venture Partners manages more than a billion dollars of venture funds, carrying on a tradition of hands-on, active venture investing that started in 1911. More than 100 Bessemer companies have gone public, including American Superconductor, Ciena, Gartner Group, Ingersoll Rand, International Paper, Maxim, Parametric, Perseptive Biosystems, Staples, VeriSign and W.R. Grace. BVP is located in Silicon Valley, New York, Boston, Shanghai, Mumbai, and Bangalore.
LinkedIn takes your personal business network online, giving you access to people, jobs and opportunities like never before. Built upon trusted connections and relationships, LinkedIn has established the world’s largest and most powerful business network. Currently, more than nine million professionals are on LinkedIn, representing all five hundred of the Fortune 500 companies, as well as a wide range of household names in technology, financial services, media, consumer packaged goods, entertainment, fashion, and numerous other industries. LinkedIn has more than four million members in North America, more than three million in Europe, and a million-plus in Asia.