LinkedIn announced today it is buying Lynda.com, an online learning platform for $1.5 billion. This is the largest acquisiton by Mountain View-based LinkedIn. This is a mix of cash and stock deal with approximately 52 % in cash and approximately 48 % in stock. LinkedIn plans to close the acquisition by the end of second quarter of 2015 according to their press release. In 2013 LinkedIn acquired Pulse for $90 million.
I guess this merger makes strategic sense since we live in a world of lifelong learning and need to constantly update our array of skills. That is where Lynda comes in with its vast repertoire of online classes. Lynda Weinmann founded the company in 1995 to help “de-mystifying design software for my technology-phobic art students,” as she puts it in this post. “Our story is one only possible in the Internet age,” she adds. And that is so true.
Lynda is the go-to teacher for so many people around the world in this Internet age. “Check out Lynda,” is a refrain I have heard countless times in Silicon Valley and Bangalore. I have heard this refrain rom my film editing teachers, folks at Apple and folks that work for companies. For a monthly fee of $25 you have instant access to all sorts of classes from how to work on Excel to how to edit on Final Cut Pro or learn the basics of that new programming language you just read about.
Here is how Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn explains how LinkedIn and Lynda will work together.
LinkedIn has the members, the jobs, a unique understanding of the skills required to do those jobs, and a publishing platform that can be accessed by roughly 350 million people to share professionally relevant knowledge. lynda.com’s service has the premium library of skills-based courses.
Weiner goes on talk about how they can build:
the Economic Graph by mapping together the people, jobs, skills, and knowledge that are core components of it.
When the merger of the two companies is complete, we will have a powerful, centralized hub for learning and looking for that dream job. It will be interesting to see how this new avatar of LinkedIn in a few months time.
Here is a short video interview I did with Reid Hoffman, co-founder and Executive Chairman of LinkedIn. You can also listen to my 2- part podcast interview with Hoffman. Here is Part-1 and here is Part-2 of the interview.