* LinkedIn acquires San Francisco-based ChoiceVendor
* CEO says discussions with bankers not specific to IPO
By Alexei Oreskovic and Clare Baldwin
SAN FRANCISCO/NEW YORK, Sept 23 LinkedIn
acquired ChoiceVendor, a small provider of online business
ratings and reviews, on Thursday, and has had talks with
bankers about various other "opportunities," the CEO of the
fast-growing professional Internet social network said.
Asked if the acquisition -- its second in 2 months -- was
for under $5 million, Chief Executive Jeff Weiner said the
figure was "in the right range."
LinkedIn, whose membership rolls surpassed 80 million users
on Thursday, has had conversations with bankers about various
matters, though not specifically about an initial public
offering, he told Reuters in an interview.
"Given our growth this year, there's a lot of opportunities
for us and so there's a number of companies and bankers and
other folks interested in talking to us about where we're
going, where we're heading strategically, whether or not they
can help us in any respect," Weiner said.
"We've had discussions previously; we'll continue to have
those discussions," he said, adding that he wouldn't
"characterize it as being specific about discussing IPOs." He
noted that such conversations have occurred since he joined the
company as interim president in early 2009.
A source familiar with the matter told Reuters that
LinkedIn met with several major banks earlier this year to
explore the idea of an IPO.
LinkedIn ranks among the Web's fast-growing social
networking services, alongside Facebook and Twitter. Unlike
Facebook, which lets consumers interact with their friends
online by sharing photos and playing games, LinkedIn, which had
65 million members in May, is focused on connecting business
The privately held company, which does not disclose
financial results, makes money from advertising and premium
Weiner said the ChoiceVendor deal represented a "talent
acquisition" by LinkedIn, noting that the 8-person team,
including the two founders that are former Google Inc (GOOG.O)
engineers, will help accelerate numerous projects at the
company. ChoiceVendor is based in San Francisco.
The 7-year-old company made its first acquisition in
August, of mSpoke.
LinkedIn does not have any stated objectives regarding the
number of deals it does, Weiner said, but is "very open" to
In February, LinkedIn hired Robby Kwok as head of corporate
development to oversee the company's acquisition strategy.
(Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic and Clare Baldwin; Editing by