LinkedIn Acquires ChoiceVendor

LinkedIn continues its acquisition streak, buying ChoiceVendor:

Tomeo Geren, Newly Acquisitive LinkedIn Buys second company, ChoiceVendor

LinkedIn Corp. has acquired online business-services review company ChoiceVendor Inc. as its new corporate development team looks for areas to grow the company.

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. ChoiceVendor had raised $4.5 million in Series A financing from Battery Ventures in 2008. Battery has exited with the transaction, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The deal is the second acquisition by LinkedIn in as many months. In August the company acquired mSpoke Inc., which provides personalized recommendations.

“We think we acquired a very talented team with relevant work experience that aligned with some of our highest impact projects,” said Jeff Weiner, chief executive of LinkedIn.

ChoiceVendor had two sought-after founders: Yan-David Erlich, chief executive, and Rama Ranganath, vice president of engineering. Erlich was previously entrepreneur in residence at Battery Ventures and founder of Social.IM, which was acquired by iSkoot Inc. in 2008. He also previously worked at Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp. Ranganath was also previously at Google, where he was an early engineer on AdSense, and at Microsoft.

ChoiceVendor has shut down its service. Weiner said ChoiceVendor’s talent and technology will be essential in building out LinkedIn’s company profiles section, which provides information about companies and the people that work for them.

I think the company profiles area is a huge opportunity for LinkedIn. After all, with the exception for soloists or the unemployed, most professionals are part of companies, and the way that business is done, individuals market themselves as part of the corporate brand. Think about real estate or insurance agents, for example. If LinkedIn is going to continue to grow, it has to expand beyond the ‘looking for a job’/’looking for a new hire’ dynamic that dominates a lot of LinkedIn use.

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