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LinkedIn to pay $1.5 billion for online learning website

Apr 09, 2015

LinkedIn is paying $1.5 billion in a cash-and-stock deal to scoop up Lynda.com, a subscription-based website that has taught professionally focused courses for 20 years.

Under the terms of the deal, which is expected to close during the second quarter, professional social network website LinkedIn (lnkd) agreed to pay about $780 million in cash and about $720 million in Class A stock to buy Lynda.com. Both companies generate revenue from a subscription model, although LinkedIn also allows users to access the company's website for free. Lynda.com, meanwhile, offers several tiered subscription services starting at a monthly price of $25.

Lynda.com was founded in 1995 and says it is often first-to-market on software training because of the close ties it has with major software companies. The company currently has over 2,900 courses on its website and says it adds an average of about 60 courses per month. The Carpinteria, Calif., -based company employees over 500 people. The team is expected to join LinkedIn after the deal closes.

Lynda was recently featured on Fortune's Unicorn list, a comprehensive list of startups that have earned a valuation of at least $1 billion according to private investors. Lynda was #63 on the list, which includes big names like Uber and Airbnb.

"The mission of LinkedIn and the mission of lynda.com are highly aligned. Both companies seek to help professionals be better at what they do," said Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn. An active Twitter (twtr) user, Weiner also announced the news in a cheeky tweet.

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