Microsoft’s $26bn LinkedIn Investment seems to be Paying Off


Microsoft, being the giant global corporation they are, has a lot of money to throw around. Nonetheless throwing $26bn into the acquisition of professional networking platform LinkedIn was seen as a bit of gamble by many, as LinkedIn is far from the most profitable social media platform out there when compared to the likes of Facebook; however it is perhaps the most focused of the major players, and therein lay its value.

This value was recently demonstrated in the SSU 2018 Social Media Use Survey, in which LinkedIn ranked at number two - second only to Facebook among social media platforms - in regards to usage, spending & ROI. Microsoft were certainly confident of good prospects when they went ahead with the deal back in 2017, and soon began releasing a slew of integrations such as incorporating LinkedIn data into Office 365 programs including Outlook and Word. Now it seems their confidence has been validated as the company recently released their financial results for Q3 2018, ended March 31st, in which LinkedIn was a stand-out performer.

The results show that “LinkedIn revenue increased 37% (up 33% in constant currency) with continued acceleration in engagement highlighted by LinkedIn sessions growth of over 30%”. This brings revenue figures up to a whopping $1.3bn for LinkedIn alone. As for Microsoft’s larger Productivity and Business Processes segment, of which LinkedIn is just one part, this accounted for a staggering $9bn of the company’s $26.8bn in total revenue for the quarter.

While LinkedIn is still operating at a loss, this is largely due to long-term costs associated with the $26.2bn acquisition that will decline over time, bringing LinkedIn steadily back into the green. LinkedIn stands as Microsoft’s single most expensive buy in their history, so they will certainly be hoping this proves to be true.

In a call with investors on Thursday, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella addresses LinkedIn’s performance, stating, “From the start we recognised the opportunity for LinkedIn and Microsoft to combine forces and create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce and enable professionals to be more productive and successful. A little over one year in we feel great about the value we are delivering for members, customers and shareholders. Our integration model has helped LinkedIn accelerate growth while retaining its member-first ethos.”

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