Business Networking site LinkedIn said that it has received $AUD 56 million in venture capital funding from Bain Capital Ventures and three existing investors in exchange for a 5 per cent stake in the $1 Billion company.
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With this infusion of capital, LinkedIn is poised to roll out corporate services and explore potential advertising deals.
LinkedIn connects professionals with shared contacts and interests and currently has 23 million members in 150 countriess.
According to the Los Angeles Times, LinkedIn says it can “generate as much as $100 million in revenue this year from premium subscriptions, blue-chip advertisers, job listings and corporate services”.
As an invitation-driven service, LinkedIn boasts it now averages a new user every two seconds and research firm Nielsen Online says LinkedIn is pulling in 146 per cent more unique visitors year over year.
The LA Times says in May it was the fourth most-popular social network, with 7.7 million U.S. visitors. And its audience is the kind that impresses advertisers, with the average user is 41 years old and makes about $US110,000 per year.
However LinkedIn also faces rising competition from a bevy of rivals, including publicly traded German professional networking site Xing.com as well as niche players in all segments of its business, notes the LA Times.