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LinkedIn Stockpiles More Cash

Posted by: Aaron Ricadela on October 23, 2008

Professional networking site LinkedIn is storing up more cash for the winter. The company, which commands some of the highest ad rates on the Web, announced on Oct. 23 it’s landed $22.7 million in new funding. That comes on top of $53 million the company raised in June.

LinkedIn’s last capital injection valued the company at more than $1 billion. New investors in this round, a continuation of June’s Series D, are SAP, Goldman Sachs, and The McGraw-Hill Companies, which owns Bessemer Venture Partners also put more money in. The June funding from Bain Capital Ventures, Bessemer, Sequoia Capital, and Greylock Partners valued the company at $1.015 billion.

The funding comes as venture capitalists are getting stingier with companies in their portfolios as IPOs have essentially vanished, and M&A values decrease. LinkedIn, which has 30 million members who use its site to find jobs and keep in touch with other professionals, has 375 employees, and has considered an IPO in 2009. “It’s a difficult period, but blue-chip companies can raise money,” says CEO Dan Nye.

LinkedIn is using the $75.7 million it’s raised in the past four months to expand overseas and add premium-priced features to its site. Today, it also launched LinkedIn Surveys, a tool that lets market researchers poll members of the site. Bringing in business software maker SAP as an investor could also let the two companies meld features of their products, Nye says.

But it’s “too early to tell” whether LinkedIn’s advertisers will slow down spending on the site amid the turbulent economy, adds Nye. “The fourth quarter will be solid,” he says. “Will it be great? We don’t know yet.”

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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