LinkedIn has just splurged $1.5bn to acquire online learning firm lynda.com.
The deal, which is due to complete during this quarter, breaks down as 52 per cent cash and 48 per cent stock. At this point, “most” members of lynda's team are expected to join the larger company.
Set up in 1995 by Lynda Weinman and Bruce Heavin, the California-based company uses a subscription model to offer business, technology and creative skills training in English, German, French, Spanish and Japanese.
It includes offshoots lyndaEnterprise, lyndaPro, lyndaCampus, lyndaLibrary and lyndaKiosk, which serve corporate, government and educational organisations.
LinkedIn's chief executive Jeff Weiner said the two businesses were “highly aligned”.
“Both companies seek to help professionals be better at what they do. Lynda.com’s extensive library of premium video content helps empower people to develop the skills needed to accelerate their careers. When integrated with the hundreds of millions of members and millions of jobs on LinkedIn, lynda.com can change the way in which people connect to opportunity,” he added.
Weinman was equally enthusiastic. “I couldn't imagine a better pairing,” she said.
LinkedIn's head of content Ryan Roslansky gave a hint of what is likely to come from the deal:
Together, I believe we can make it even easier for professionals around the world to accelerate their careers and realize their potential through the learning and development of new skills.
Imagine being a job seeker and being able to instantly know what skills are needed for the available jobs in a desired city, like Denver, and then to be prompted to take the relevant and accredited course to help you acquire this skill. Or doing a search on SlideShare to learn about integrated marketing and then to be prompted with a lynda.com course on the same subject.
He also said it would “take a meaningful step forward in building the Economic Graph” – LinkedIn's project to effectively crowdsource a solution to “some of the most challenging economic problems of our times”.
No small feat..