LinkedIn Acquires E-Learning Service Lynda.com for $1.5 Billion

In a deal worth $1.5 billion in cash and stock, LinkedIn has agreed to acquire popular online learning service Lynda.com. With this new acquisition, LinkedIn gains another resource to push content to users and promote interaction (LinkedIn already encourages users and influencers to provide content to its site). Originally founded as a service to learn Web design skills, Lynda has become the go-to destination for e-learning and professional development at a starting subscription cost of $25 per month.

According to The New York Times, Lynda.com “collected more than $150 million in revenue last year and has turned a profit since 1997.” The company has been around for two decades and recently secured an additional round of funding valued at $186 million, which CBS Insights says is “the biggest investment round by an education technology company in six years.”

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LinkedIn hopes to use Lynda.com to improve its number of visitors. “The company has labored to become more than just an online repository for résumés and job histories,” notes NYT, and has leveraged influential business personalities such as Richard Branson to contribute to the site.

LinkedIn named Dan Roth, a former editor at Fortune, as its executive editor, and introduced blogging capabilities for users last year. The company acquired Pulse and its newsreader app two years ago.

“We’ve followed Lynda.com for a long time, rooted in the conviction that access to high-quality, skills-based learning and development content should be available to every LinkedIn member and a fundamental part of our platform,” wrote Jeff Weiner, LinkedIn’s chief executive, in a blog post.