Professional social network LinkedIn announced its intention to acquire online learning company Lynda.com for around $1.5 billion. The deal is expected to close during the second quarter of 2015 and will be a combination of 52% cash and 48% stock. LinkedIn has currently around 350 million members worldwide.
Lynda.com was founded in 1995 by Lynda Weinman and Bruce Heavin. The company had grown to over $100 million in annual sales on revenue until it raised a $103 million Series A in 2012 and a $186 million Series B in January 2015. Lynda.com has also acquired a series of smaller competitors throughout the past months.
In January, lynda.com offered 5,700 courses and 255,000 video tutorials. The company generated $150 million in revenue in 2014 with 55% coming from individual subscribers who pay $25 per month to access the course library.
According to LinkedIn CEO, Jeff Weiner, Lynda.com will be part of the network’s Economic Graph which aims to map the world’s people, jobs, skills and knowledge. LinkedIn has heavily expanded into higher education and certifications over the past months. Through the acquisition of Lynda.com the network adds the missing link, the actual learning, to its portfolio.
It is expected that most Lynda.com employees will join LinkedIn.