LinkedIn – How Reid Hoffman Started Up The Worlds Business Social Site
LinkedIn’s Startup Story
The story of the world’s biggest business social site LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com – has very similar beginning, as many other high tech and highly successful ventures. Only it was not started in a garage and not by a college drop out 🙂 . The founder of the popular site and its CEO – Reid Hoffman launched the site from his living room ;)… The idea for a professional social network was born back in 2002, when Hoffman and some friends of his, the other four founders – Allen Blue, Jean-Luc Vaillant, Eric Ly and Konstantin Guericke, decided to start a business social site. So, they started work and the next year, on the 5th of May 2003, the project went online. The day became known under the name “Cinco de Linked In”. They invited their friends to join the network, so at launch time, the site had around 350 members. Just a month later, their number grew to more than 4 000… The site was growing so fast, that just after several months of existence, it was noticed by some venture capitalists, who wanted to invest in the business. The chance to do this was given to Sequoia Capital – the company that funded Google in it’s early years and some other big names as well. They provided $4.7 million to the new, but very promising social start up. Everything developed extremely quickly, at the end of the year, after just several months of existence, LinkedIn had 81 000 members and a decent amount in the bank.
Tremendous Growth Rate
LinkedIn grew at an amazing speed! By the end of the next year (2004), its members reached 1 600 000. That year the company got another financial injection of 10 million dollars, from a group of investors. By December 2005, the members grew to more than 4 000 000. This was the time, when the company introduced its paid subscription service, which brought the business to profit after only three years. In 2007, the site has become one of the big names in the social industry, having more than 9 000 000 users from all around the world. Thousands of big companies were using the services of the site for finding employees.
In 2008, the registered users reached more than 30 000 000. This was the time, when the worst financial and economic crises hit the world. The company was not much affected, but 10% of the workforce was dismissed. Also a big financial injection from $75 million help the site get back on its way to growth. However, at the end of the next year (2009), the members of the site increased at a slower rate and reached 55 000 000 .
LinkedIn – IPO
On 20th of May 2011, a very successful IPO was held and LinkedIn went public. The company offered 7.84 million shares at $45. After the launch, the price of it’s shares more than doubled, reaching $94.25. The market valued the company at $8.8 billion dollars, which is 23 times the revenue in 2011.
What Is LinkedIn Today?
Today, LinkedIn is the biggest business social network in the world. It has more than 400 000 000 members from around the globe and their number is constantly growing. Most of the biggest companies in use the network for their activities, for example all of the Fortune 500 business are members there. By the end of 2015, the site had 2,4 million monthly visitors from the USA and nearly 48 million monthly visits globally. Linkedin.com is available in 200 countries in more than 10 languages. The site is blocked in China like most of its big siblings – Google, Facebook and Twitter.