LinkedIn has acquired professional content-sharing platform SlideShare for $119 million, in a deal that will enable LinkedIn users to utilise SlideShare’s popular presentations feature.
Founded in 2006, SlideShare helps professionals discover people through content and vice versa. Content includes presentations, documents and videos.
Based in San Francisco, the company has raised $3 million in funding from investors including Jonathan Abrams, Mark Cuban, Dave McClure and venture capital firm Venrock.
To date, SlideShare users have uploaded more than nine million presentations.
SlideShare also enables the sharing of presentations across the web – nearly 7.4 million presentations hosted by SlideShare are embedded across more than 1.4 million unique domains.
Now SlideShare has been acquired by LinkedIn. Subject to the completion of customary conditions, the acquisition is expected to close during the second quarter of 2012.
The transaction is valued at approximately $118.75 million, subject to adjustment, in a combination of approximately 45% cash and approximately 55% stock.
According to SlideShare chief executive Rashmi Sinha, the SlideShare team “could not be happier” about the acquisition.
“When we started, the idea of sharing presentations on the web was a twinkle in our eyes,” Sinha wrote in a company blog post.
“We coded up the first version of the site over four months, and the site went live with simply a story on TechCrunch.”
“The day we launched, we were completely unprepared for the volume of presentations that were immediately being uploaded from all over the world.”
Sinha said the SlideShare service mostly grew via word-of-mouth and virality.
“The only business deal I aggressively pursued was when I heard that there might be a LinkedIn developer platform in the works,” he wrote.
“I activated every connection through advisors, investors and friends, determined that SlideShare be part of LinkedIn’s platform.”
“Since then, we have collaborated with LinkedIn on many more projects and have deepened our relationship.”
According to Sinha, the acquisition is a “natural culmination” of the existing partnership between the two companies.
Sinha is insistent the acquisition will not affect the nature of the SlideShare service. He said he will continue to run SlideShare, and the team “will continue to do what we’ve been doing”.
But in the future, Sinha said users can expect to see some integrations that take advantage of the “great fit” between SlideShare and LinkedIn.
LinkedIn chief executive Jeff Weiner said the company is “very excited” to welcome SlideShare, saying the service is “perfectly” aligned with LinkedIn’s offering.
“Presentations are one of the main ways in which professionals capture and share their experiences and knowledge,” Weiner said.
“These presentations also enable professionals to discover new connections and gain the insights they need to become more productive and successful in their careers, aligning perfectly with LinkedIn’s mission.”