Interviews

LinkedIn's first billion-dollar acquisition to link job seekers with appropriate skill courses

3 min read

10 April 2015

Deputy Editor, Real Business

Subscription-based education service lynda.com, which helps people learn new skills through online videos produced by hired experts, has been bought by LinkedIn.

The transaction is valued at approximately $1.5 bn (£1.1bn), and is being financed through a combination of 52 per cent cash and 48 per cent stock. It is first time that LinkedIn has paid a billion-dollar sum for a company, it’s closest having been Bizo in the summer of 2014 for $175m.

Through the acquisition, which is expected to close in the second quarter of 2015, LinkedIn is looking to align itself with career development by further focusing on connecting businesses and workers from around the world, according to a statement.

“The mission of LinkedIn and lynda.com are highly aligned. Both companies seek to help professionals be better at what they do,” said Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn.

“Lynda.com’s extensive library of premium video content helps empower people to develop the skills needed to accelerate their careers. When integrated with the hundreds of millions of members and jobs on LinkedIn, lynda.com can change the way in which people connect to opportunity.”

The transaction will enable users to log in, find a job and instantly see which skills are needed for them. From there on, LinkedIn has revealed users will be prompted to take the relevant course to help them acquire that skill.

Ryan Roslansky, head of global content products for LinkedIn, explained: “Imagine being a job seeker and being able to instantly know what skills are needed for the available jobs in a desired city, and then to be prompted to take the relevant and accredited course to help you acquire this skill. Or doing a search on SlideShare to learn about integrated marketing and then to be prompted with a lynda.com course on the same subject.”

Read more about LinkedIn:

This will allow LinkedIn to target students as well.

Weiner explained that colleges are using lynda.com to help students learn the skills they need during class. By combining the two, LinkedIn will be able to help students find their first job.

It has been suggested that lynda.com will be a part of LinkedIn’s Economic Graph, a service that attempts to map together people, jobs, skills and the required knowledge.

“It’s not just enough to standardise the data around the skills required to obtain a role,” Weiner said. “It’s also important that we can actually help people obtain those skills themselves.”

Lynda.com’s basic subscription costs $25 a month or $250 a year, while a premium subscription goes for $37.50 a month or $375 a year. 

LinkedIn has yet to reveal how its members will gain access to the lynda.com content and whether the same fees will be applicable.

Image: Shutterstock