LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional social network on the internet with more than 400 million members in over 200 countries. The company is publicly held and has a diversified business model with revenues coming from talent solutions (62%), marketing solutions (20%) and premium subscription products (18%). Headquartered in Mountain View, California, LinkedIn is currently available in 24 languages and has more than 8,700 full-time employees with offices in 30 cities around the world. LinkedIn was founded in 2002 and went public in 2011 after its IPO on May 19. Professionals are signing up to join LinkedIn at a rate of more than two new members per second. There are over 39 million students and recent college graduates on LinkedIn. They are LinkedIn’s fastest-growing demographic. Lynda.com, recently acquired by LindkedIn, is an online education company offering thousands of video courses in software, creative and business skills. The company produces video tutorials taught by industry experts in each field. What started out as a series of 20 online video courses has since grown to +6,300 courses, on every topic ranging from coding to marketing to business, and more than 267,000 video tutorials which are now viewable from any Web browser, smartphone or tablet. With the acquisition of Lynda.com for $1.5 billion, LinkedIn has made the largest acquisition of its history and the fourth-largest deal ever in social media, allowing the company to enter the educational technology market overnight. Still it remains to be seen what LinkedIn is trying to accomplish with it. Is this acquisition another sign of an incipient internet bubble in the Valley or is LinkedIn really aiming to become a serious player in the education domain?
This case addresses the strategic dimension of LinkedIn’s acquisition of Lynda.com from different perspectives:
- Analysis of the value-creating system of both companies after the M&A, including identification of the different stakeholders and how this deal may reconfigure the roles and relationships among this constellation of actors.
- Analysis of the implications of the deal for LinkedIn’s corporate strategy and assessment of the potential synergies of the M&A.
September 2015 – June 2016
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