Founded in 1995 by web designer Lynda Weinman and her husband, illustrator-designer Bruce Heavin, Lynda.com pioneered online education, offering a platform for students to learn about business, technology and creative skills. Today, Lynda hits a record-breaking milestone, entering into an agreement to be acquired by the world’s largest professional network, LinkedIn for US$1.5 billion.
Lynda and LinkedIn’s integration will help propel the growth of online education, especially as more startups head in to disrupt the traditional education sphere. In fact, the global eLearning market estimated to be worth $51.5 Billion by 2016.
James Cakmak, analyst at Monness, Crespi, Hardt & Co told Bloomberg Business that the deal should bump up LinkedIn’s revenue by 3 percent to 5 percent this year. LinkedIn’s sales had already increased across its business segments in the fourth quarter of 2014. Bloomberg Business reported that revenue from its core service which helps recruiters and companies find job candidates, generated $369 million, up 41 percent. Sales and Marketing Solutions for advertisers rose 56 percent, generating $153 million; and revenue from the premium-subscription segment increased by 38 percent to $121 million.
Cakmak told Bloomberg Business that Lynda.com is a gateway into the online education space for LinkedIn. He said, “It’s really about making sure their professional community has the tools to achieve what they want. That’s the near-term. I think the longer-term is greater penetration into educational institutions.”
Ryan Roslansky, Head of Content Products at LinkedIn describes in his blog about the possibilities of this collaboration, “Imagine being a job seeker and being able to instantly know what skills are needed for the available jobs in a desired city, like Denver, and then to be prompted to take the relevant and accredited course to help you acquire this skill. Or doing a search on SlideShare to learn about integrated marketing and then to be prompted with a lynda.com course on the same subject.”
With over 350 million active users on LinkedIn, LinkedIn is taking the huge leap forward from simply connecting employees to potential job opportunities, to being a scope for endless possibilities. Now, anyone is able to learn and acquire the relevant skills from Lynda with their professional training focused content for those who may not have access to the time and money needed for traditional education methods. The acquisition means that Linkedin will begin to become a full service platform.
Another possible reason for their integration is that LinkedIn is a community space where people can read, create and share content to see more stories and news by companies, Influencers and users. This is a good reason for users to continually go back on their site. With Lynda added in the mix, through their video based content, this could generate more revenue via video advertisements as well garner more attention in this learning space. As Facebook is already proving, video content is vital for the future of internet companies.