The online space and its obsession with reviews have been mostly relegated to the B2C space. LinkedIn, which is the networking / social media place for ‘professionals’ (whatever that means) is seeing that their audience needs some review help as well. It makes sense. If you want someone’s opinion about a restaurant then why not seek it out for an accountant?
LinkedIn has purchased the start up ChoiceVendor as reported by Bloomberg Businessweek.
ChoiceVendor, a San Francisco startup founded in 2008 by two former Google (GOOG) employees, provides customer reviews about accountants, call centers, payroll services, and other vendors. Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed in a LinkedIn statement on Sept. 23.
It appears as if LinkedIn is following the practice of many of its users in the recruiting industry by looking to acquire talent as much as acquiring new products to offer.
“You’ll continue to see us do acquisitions for talent,” Jeff Weiner, LinkedIn CEO said in an interview with Businessweek.com. “Our top operating priority is building a world-class team.”
The talent, in this case, are the two founders of the company who are former Google guys.
With ChoiceVendor, LinkedIn gets co-founders Yan-David Erlich, a former product manager at Google and the creator of instant-messaging service Social.im, and Rama Ranganath, a former engineer at Google and Microsoft.
LinkedIn continues to grow in an almost stealth manner because of its status as being a networking tool for the professional community. With revenues estimated at $228 million for 2010 and a valuation estimated at $1.87 billion by Global Silicon Valley Partners, it looks like stealth works just fine.
So where will this lead for LinkedIn? An IPO is not out of the question for sure.
Adding talent and technology tools that appeal to business customers may help LinkedIn win favor with Wall Street should it decide to hold an initial public offering. “The better we execute, the more options we’re going to have ahead of us, and IPO would be one of those options,” said Weiner, a former executive of Yahoo!
Are you a LinkedIn user? How do you utilize the service? Would formalized reviews be a good addition? Tell us in the comments section. Thanks.