Professional network LinkedIn is getting into the professional skills education market in a big way: The social company purchased Lynda.com, the online learning company founded in 1995 by technical skill instructional book author Lynda Weinman and co-founder Bruce Heavin. Lynda.com has long been the go-to resource for online learning on subjects like Photoshop, basic HTML, CSS, management practices and many more, offering instructional videos and tutorials from industry experts and vets long before e-learning was at anywhere near the level of interest it enjoys today.
The acquisition is valued at $1.5 billion total, combining 52 percent cash payout and 48 percent stock, with an expected close date sometime in the second quarter of this year. “Most” Lynda.com employees will join LinkedIn as part of the deal, according to a release from the companies.
In a blog post addressing the deal, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner talks about how the acquisition helps his company move closer towards a goal of connecting job seekers with jobs, by providing more equitable access to education and skill acquisition. Lynda.com CEO Lynda Weinman described the combination as a “perfect cultural fit” and discussed how it should help them continue to rarify the skills gap in the marketplace. LinkedIn head of content products Ryan Rolanksy describes a future in which job seekers are not only made aware of skills required for positions they’re applying for, but can also take courses to get those skill immediately through the social network.
LinkedIn isn’t saying exactly what its plans are for the education resource just yet, but Rolansky does say that Lynda.com remains open for business and accessible to users as they work together on what comes next.