CHICAGOINNO: EdTech Wants to Connect

Career College Central Summary:

  • Need to learn Spanish, HTML code, or InDesign? Soon, you can take a course on LinkedIn.
  • The Mountain View, Calif.-based company announced it is acquiring, an educational website that produces instructional videos on business, technology, and creative skills. The deal, worth $1.5 billion, indicates a growing financial interest in edtech, and marks a step by LinkedIn to be a source for more than just professional social networking.
  • is a subscription-based service that offers customers online courses and video tutorials. Starting at $25 per month for full access to the site's library, users can learn everything from building a WordPress website to learning Italian.
  • Initially the site started in 1995 as a way for founder Lynda Weinman to teach web publishing to students at an art college in Ojai, Calif. Now the Carpinteria, Calif.-based company teaches over 6,800 online courses to over 5.4 million individual and business customers, and made $140 million in revenue in 2014. In January, the company announced it raised over $186 million from venture capitalists and investors– the biggest round of edtech financing to date.
  • What's even better than $186 million in funding? A $1.5 billion acquisition. The deal, which will be finalized by next quarter and is LinkedIn's biggest acquisitions to date, is 52 percent cash and 48 percent stock, with "most" employees transferred over to LinkedIn, according to a release. No word yet on whether it will affect offices in Chicago, where LinkedIn has over 280 mostly sales and marketing employees.

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