Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

LinkedIn Is Acquiring Contacts Start-Up Rapportive

Rapportive, which makes a browser plugin that overlays Gmail with contextual information about email contacts, is being acquired by LinkedIn, sources said.

LinkedIn declined to comment, while Rapportive CEO Rahul Vohra ducked our attempts to talk to him.

Sources familiar with the negotiations said LinkedIn offered Rapportive “low teens” of millions of dollars worth of cash. The deal has not officially closed yet.

Rapportive, which is still available only for Gmail, overlays an email correspondent’s social networking accounts alongside open messages and drafts. So, for instance, you can see a person’s most recent tweet and mention it in your email to them. Or you can realize that you’re not connected on LinkedIn to a person you just had a meeting with, and rectify that.

Rapportive hasn’t publicly disclosed how many people use it, but in September, Vohra was quoted as saying Rapportive users viewed more than 65 million contacts per month. He also said at the time that the company was preparing to sell premium products.

Competitors to Rapportive include Xobni (our coverage) and Mingly (our coverage). LinkedIn also bought a somewhat similar contact management start-up called Connected last fall.

Last spring, Google introduced its own competing “People Widget” for Gmail, which Rapportive then integrated with its own product.

Rapportive raised about $1 million in 2010 from investors including Charles River Ventures, Dave McClure, Paul Buchheit, Jason Calacanis, Gary Vaynerchuk, Shervin Pishevar and Venture Hacks.

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There’s a lot of attention and PR around Marissa, but their product lineup just kind of blows.

— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google