Last night we received news of what today is now official: After three years in Spain, the European business social network Xing is waving goodbye and puling operations back to its German headquarters, which now becomes its sole base. The same applies in regard to Turkey. While at first glance the news may come as a surprise, many say that they saw it coming, with little activity generated by Spanish users. All of this while competitor LinkedIn is growing its European presence.
In March of 2007 Xing acquired eConozco, which was then Spain’s leading business social network. This was followed by the acquisition of Neurona in June of the same year, also to in preparation for the company’s entrance into the Spanish market. Xing then opened a Barcelona-based office in March of 2008, shortly after integrating the two networks.
Today, 3 years later, Xing Spain is reporting 1.5 million users. The question of course is how stagnant is user growth and how many of these are actually active, paying users. The other issue is that a large share of the initial users from Neurona and eConozco were thought to be from Latin America and not Spain, though there are no official numbers.
Xing’s official line is that they’re pulling the 7 person team (mainly commercial and communication) out of Spain in order to reorganize and put more focus on evolving the product. Sources tell us that an administrative contact will remain in the country as Xing will continue to work with their Barcelona-based development team, managed directly from its German headquarters.