LinkedIn Corp. is a US social networking site for professionals. It was founded in December 2002 by a team with many members led by Reid G. Hoffman and officially launched in May 2003. It is used primarily for business connections. The focus of its services target professionals seeking jobs or contacts and companies hoping to fill vacancies.
Serial entrepreneur Reid Hoffman is viewed as “the start-up whisperer of Silicon Valley” and “king of connections.”
With regard to a focus on networking and being himself heavily interconnected Reid Hoffman exhibits a personality comparable with that of Lars Hinrichs, the founder of Xing AG.
From the beginning LinkedIn was heavily financed by venture capital (VC). By the end of 2008 it had raised $103 million in venture capital.
LinkedIn’s Initial Public Offering (IPO) was not just an event for the firm, its founders and (early) investors. LinkedIn Corp.'s IPO became a spectacle for Silicon Valley startups and investors. Its IPO was viewed as a litmus test for Wall Street's appetite for future offerings.
At the end of the IPO day, LinkedIn’s market capitalization was worth $8.9 billion.
Growth in terms of revenue was tremendous as was revenue after the IPO. However, profit remained meager.
In 2011 LinkedIn opened an office in Germany attacking the related perceived main competitor Xing in its homeland. But Xing does not regard LinkedIn as a significant competitor in its turf.