Reid Hoffman on the business of LinkedIn

Bambi Francisco Roizen · May 18, 2009 · Short URL:

LinkedIn Groups, CNBC, revenue and a future IPO

I had a chance to sit down with Reid Hoffman, CEO and LinkedIn at the TiE Conference this weekend, where Hoffman was a keynote interview. The professional network is one of the early pioneers of social networks, even though LinkedIn has always been a “business” or professional network, and not a place to throw sheep. It’s been around since launching in 2003, and after $100 million in venture funding raised, it’s reached 40 million registered users from around the world.  LinkedIn is profitable, and its last valuation was $1 billion. Hoffman's goal is to get every professional in the world to be on LinkedIn.

In this segment,  Hoffman talks about LinkedIn’s major initiatives, such as creating groups for companies, universities and conferences, and integrating them into the ecosystem, and expanding LinkedIn’s API. Hoffman talks about LinkedIn’s three revenue streams – subscription, recruiting, and advertising. The three revenue streams drive the same amount of revenue.  Hoffman also talks about LinkedIn’s relationship with CNBC and why LinkedIn is seeking partnerships to bring content to its users on LinkedIn.  LinkedIn plans on doing other partnerships like it. It already has other media partnerships with prominent players, such as the New York Times and Business Week.

As for what happens to LinkedIn in a couple years? “I care most about the growth of LinkedIn,” said Hoffman. “We have no immediate terms for an IPO, even though our economics look good… as we get more professionals in, we hope to accelerate to be relevant to every professional.”

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Bambi Francisco Roizen

Founder and CEO of Vator, a media and research firm for entrepreneurs and investors; Managing Director of Vator Health Fund; Co-Founder of Invent Health; Author and award-winning journalist.

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