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LinkedIn’s Largest Acquisition: Bright @ $120MM

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Last Thursday, the 3 year-old San Francisco based provider of data analytics to the recruitment market, Bright, was acquired by LinkedIn for $120MM (73% stock, 27% cash). Bright had raised a total of $20MM from investors including Toba Capital and Passport Capital, with the most recent round of $14MM in September 2013. The Company has ~50 employees, most of which will join LinkedIn’s product and engineering teams in Mountain View.

Bright’s algorithm uses a Bright Score to assess a job applicant for a particular job, taking into account, among other criteria, historical hiring patterns, competition, location, past experience, synonyms, etc. The goal is to identify the relevant features that lead to successful hiring and build them into a matching algorithms.

“We’re trying to map every skill to every job to every occupation clarification to every job function to every company,” says Steve Goodman, CEO of Bright, in a Mashable interview.

For recruiters, the score helps them weed out the top contenders for the position.  Bright has become the fourth largest job destination on the web with several large clients. According to TechCrunch in September 2013, the Company had listed over 30MM jobs and adds  20,000 new job seekers per day.

The deal is a natural fit for LinkedIn and it’s largest division, Talent Solutions. As Bright founder Eduardo Vivas says,

“We decided to join LinkedIn because of what we lacked – the ability to apply this technology across the entire economy. We share LinkedIn’s passion for connecting talent with opportunity at massive scale. Joining an organization with the talent and resources of LinkedIn will only serve to further ignite our passion for solving this problem.”

This is LinkedIn’s largest acquisition ever, and is continued evidence of a more aggressive dealmaking strategy.  Previous deals include Rapportive (email-embedded contact management tool) for $15MM in February 2012, Slideshare (slideshow and document sharing network) for $119MM in May 2012, and Pulse (news reader) for $90MM in April 2013. In addition to taking out a potential competitor, the acquisition also highlights the big data trend happening and the attractiveness/importance of data analysis/scientists (i.e. AI provider DeepMind acquired by Google here).

 

 

Christopher Chiou

Bay Area based for 12 years and originally from the NYC area. My career has been spent as a technology dealmaker, advising clients on M&A and capital raising, and as a principal investor backing great companies and teams. I'm passionate about technology trends, traveling, sports, politics, Knowledge, and Duke basketball.

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