LinkedIn Takes Funding for Global Expansion

LinkedIn Corp., known for its online business networking site, today announced $12.8 million in new funding from Bessemer Venture Partners and European Founders Fund (EFF).

“After reaching profitability in March 2006, now is a strategic time for us to acquire additional investment at favorable valuation,” LinkedIn Chairman and CEO Reid Hoffman said in a statement.

Hoffman said LinkedIn selected Bessemer and EFF largely for their global presence. Bessemer’s previous investments include the Luxembourg-based Skype and EFF launched eBay Germany.

When announcing the $10 million in funding led by Greylock partners, LinkedIn co-founder Konstantin Guericke called the company’s business model “evolving.”

The plan of the moment was to follow eBay’s business model of emphasizing “power” users. Profitability, even significant revenues, were considered a distant goal.

Today LinkedIn said it has nine million users in North America, Asia and Europe. The site has more than 350 corporate customers and is growing at a rate of 100,000 members a week, also according to its own measurements.

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.

“We wanted to invest in LinkedIn, because we see the enormous international potential as more professionals recognize the power of online networks,” EFF founder Oliver Samwer said in a statement.

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