LinkedIn to acquire Pulse for $50M?

Rumor has it that LinkedIn is looking to beef up its content offerings by acquiring Pulse

Financial trends and news by Faith Merino
March 11, 2013
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It’s official: LinkedIn is officially in the content game. The thing is, I’ve never been that impressed by the articles recommended to me on LinkedIn. “In the Future, Flights Will Be More Crowded”? Meh. A story on Meg Whitman doing a whole lot of nothing? No, thanks.

But it looks like LinkedIn wants to step it up. Word on the street is that LinkedIn is in end-stage discussions with news aggregation app Pulse over a possible $50-$100 million acquisition. AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher broke the news Monday morning.

It would really clean up the mess that is LinkedIn’s current content offerings. As of now, content on LinkedIn is posted and recommended by influencers. Some of it is okay, and some of it is pretty awful, which is why I don’t typically go to LinkedIn for my content needs.

A deal with Pulse would be a huge improvement, as it would mean users would be able to exercise more control over the kinds of recommended content they receive.  

Swisher reports that Microsoft and Yahoo were also in talks with Pulse. The startup has raised nearly $10 million in funding, including a $9 million Series A round from NEA, Greycroft Parners, and Lerer Ventures. Other investors include Lightspeed Investment Partners, Redpoint Ventures, and Mayfield Fund.

Last October, Pulse announced that users have now read four billion stories through its Web and mobile apps. When it first launched, it took 100 days to get to the 10 million mark, and now the startup says it sees that many stories read every day. The company also announced that it would start producing a new analytics report called Pulse Insights, based on its users’ habits.

Pulse has been holding its own amid the competition. Flipboard, one of the more prominent aggregators, has raised $60.5 million since 2010 and last August, the company announced that it now has 20 million users and sees three billion “flips” per month.

Flipboard look-alike Zite, which aggregates content based on your Twitter feed, was acquired by CNN for $25 million in 2011.

Additionally, Yahoo has reportedly been in talks to acquire Summly, the news summarizer created by 17-year-old British wunderkind Nick D’Aloisio.

A LinkedIn spokesperson declined to comment. 

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