I am sure that many of you have heard that Microsoft bought LinkedIn for $26.2 billion. There are many questions to be asked but the first reaction by everyone was one of surprise - $26.2 billion!!
Microsoft could have bought Pizza Hut ($5.5 billion), Jeep ($5.5 billion) and Red Bull ($10.7 billion) combined.
They could have bought Kellogg’s or Subway or Budweiser or Subaru or RBS. I am sure that there are millions of other companies to be bought. So why LinkedIn?
The answer, according to Microsoft, is as follows:
LinkedIn is the world’s largest and most valuable professional network and continues to build a strong and growing business. Over the past year, the company has launched a new version of its mobile app that has led to increased member engagement; enhanced the LinkedIn newsfeed to deliver better business insights; acquired a leading online learning platform called Lynda.com to enter a new market; and rolled out a new version of its Recruiter product to its enterprise customers. These innovations have resulted in increased membership, engagement and financial results, specifically:
• 19 percent growth year over year (YOY) to more than 433 million members worldwide
• 9 percent growth YOY to more than 105 million unique visiting members per month
• 49 percent growth YOY to 60 percent mobile usage
• 34 percent growth YOY to more than 45 billion quarterly member page views
• 101 percent growth YOY to more than 7 million active job listings
Also, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella wrote: “This combination will make it possible for new experiences such as a LinkedIn newsfeed that serves up articles based on the project you are working on and Office suggesting an expert to connect with via LinkedIn to help with a task you’re trying to complete.
“As these experiences get more intelligent and delightful, the LinkedIn and Office 365 engagement will grow. And in turn, new opportunities will be created for monetization through individual and organization subscriptions and targeted advertising.”
What Nadella said and the combination of strengths absolutely makes sense. The business world is looking for services which will enable them to reach new talent, wherever the talent is, and it wants to be able to work with that new talent whenever needed.
However the staggering amount shows us that for some companies and individuals money is of no importance. $26.2 billion could have had a long-lasting, positive effect on African people’s health. Bill Gates knows this better than anyone. So maybe we cannot see it now but maybe in the future this transaction could create more wealth and happiness in the world than helping people in need right now would.