Deals

LinkedIn buys Pulse for $90M as its publishing ambitions take shape

Stepping even further into the media fray, LinkedIn announced today that it has acquired the popular news reader app Pulse.

LinkedIn ended up paying $90 million for Pulse, 90 percent of which was stock and 10 percent cash. We heard last month that a deal between the two companies was possibly in the works, but at the time it seemed far from final.

The acquisition makes a lot of sense for LinkedIn, as it’s now focusing on becoming a major media destination, and not just a professional social network. We’ve noticed the power of LinkedIn’s news feed and LinkedIn Today, the company’s catered selection of interesting stories, in our own traffic records.

Pulse’s apps aggregate news updates from more than 750 publications, as well as social networks. So far the company has more than 30 million users. With the death of Google Reader (and seemingly, RSS in general), Pulse’s apps are now even more appealing to news hounds. (Yes, there’s an importer to easily bring your Google Reader feeds over to Pulse.)

“We believe LinkedIn can be the definitive professional publishing platform – where all professionals come to consume content and where publishers come to share their content,” said Deep Nishar, LinkedIn’s SVP of products, in a blog post today. “Millions of professionals are already starting their day on LinkedIn to glean the professional insights and knowledge they need to make them great at their jobs … Pulse is a perfect complement to this vision.”

In a brief Slideshare presentation explaining the acquisition, LinkedIn notes that it Pulse’s current apps “will continue to be support,” but the two companies are working on “new and innovative ways to publisher, discovery, and share your professional knowledge.”

Pulse co-founder Akshay Kothari confirmed that the companies apps won’t change in a blog post of his own: “LinkedIn is the perfect partner as we continue our journey. The company shares our passions and values, our belief in the power of knowledge and elevated discussion, particularly for professionals looking for insights to help make them better at what they do.”

The deal is sure to have pleased Pulse’s investors. The San Francisco-based company raised $10 million in funding from Redpoint Ventures, Mayfield Fund, and others.