Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

LinkedIn Raises $53 Million at $1 Billion Valuation

In a much-expected financing, LinkedIn has joined the big funding club (Slide, Spot Runner) of late, by raising $53 million at a startling $1 billion valuation.

Why go public when you can just pretend?

Actually, unlike a lot of Web 2.0 start-ups, the professional networking site, which had 23 million active monthly members in June, has been profitable since 2006.

According to execs, it has revenues of about $100 million a year, from premium subscriptions and job listings, as well was advertising and corporate sales.

The new slug of cash comes from new investor Bain Capital Ventures, along with existing investors Sequoia Capital, Greylock Partners, and Bessemer Ventures.

LinkedIn had previously raised $27 million for a total of $80 million. Yipes!

“This additional funding will give us even more flexibility to execute on our vision for millions of professionals to increase their effectiveness by using LinkedIn to build relationships and exchange knowledge, opportunities and advice,” wrote LinkedIn CEO Dan Nye (pictured here) in a blog post tonight.

In an interview with LinkedIn’s founding CEO and Chairman Reid Hoffman (pictured here) today, he told BoomTown that the money raised would be used for corporate development and acquisitions.

“We’ll be doing small technology acquisitions to improve our service,” said Hoffman. He also noted that it was unlikely the company would be doing an IPO in the immediate future, which has been bandied about.

“We have no immediate plans” for a public offering, said Hoffman. “We still have a lot of ground to cover to grow.”

Comparing the the business-oriented LinkedIn professional network with hot social networks like Facebook, Hoffman noted: “They have page views and time on the site and are looking for a scalable economic model and we have an economic model and will focus on growing usage.”

LinkedIn certainly has been growing its coffers. It raised $5.2 million in its first round, $10 million in its second and $12.8 million in its third.

Here is a video of LinkedIn’s investors trying mightily to play down the $1 billion valuation, while also pumping it up.

You gotta love the cheerleading of Greylock’s David Sze, Bessemer’s David Cowan and Mark Kvamme of Sequoia, along with new investor Jeffrey Glass of Bain (who will join LinkedIn’s board as an observer):

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