Bain deal values LinkedIn at $1bn

Bain Capital has led a $53m funding round for social networking site LinkedIn in return for a 5 percent stake.

Social networking remains an area of keen interest for equity investors. LinkedIn, the business-oriented social networking platform founded in 2003, has secured $53 million of funding from a group of venture capitalists led by Bain Capital.

The round, for an equity stake in the region of 5 percent, values LinkedIn at just over $1 billion, chief executive Dan Rye told the Financial Times. It takes total funding for the company to $80 million.

Investors in the business include Sequoia Capital, Greylock, the European Founders Fund and Bessemer Venture Partners.

LinkedIn, which is based in Mountainview, California, lets users manage their professional relationships online. The network says on its website it has 20 million members from more than 150 countries. It generates revenue through classified advertising and selling enhanced services to its members.

According to Nye, revenue will total $75-$100 million this year, double the turnover of 2008.

The deal is the latest investment in a social networking business. Previous transactions in the sector include Microsoft’s $240 million purchase of a stake in Facebook; News Corp’s $580 million takeover of MySpace; and AOL’s $850 million acquisition of Bebo.
Bain Capital is a multi-strategy private equity firm with approximately $50 billion in assets. Bain Capital Ventures, its early-stage investment arm, manages in excess of $1 billion.