Professional social network provider LinkedIn has acquired mSpoke, a small startup that aims to make content more relevant through recommendation technology. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
The acquired company builds a so-called adaptive personalization engine, which “marries advanced machine learning technology with consumers’ implicit and explicit feedback to deliver the most relevant content on the web”.
mSpoke is also the maker of RSS content filtering tool FeedHub (website currently down).
Presumably, its recommendation technology will be used to present LinkedIn users with relevant content, such as personalized news and other updates, and what executives in similar careers are reading and doing on the network.
mSpoke is based in Pittsburgh and was founded in 2006 by CEO Sean Ammirati, chairman of the board Dave Mawhinney and CTO Dean Thompson. The company was also co-founded by seed investor and board member Ed Engler.
The mSpoke team has deep ties with Carnegie Mellon University.
Judging from LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner‘s quote, the purchase was both for mSpoke’s core technology and its people:
“mSpoke and LinkedIn’s shared focus on generating relevant content make this acquisition a natural fit for us. We’re actively investing in solutions that help deliver valuable professional insights to LinkedIn members. The addition of mSpoke’s talented team of technologists make it an even more compelling opportunity for LinkedIn.”
LinkedIn, which now counts over 75 million members worldwide, isn’t exactly the most acquisitive, despite its profitability and its $100+ million in capital raised.
Update: in fact, this is LinkedIn’s very first acquisition since its inception in 2003, as confirmed by PR manager Krista Canfield on Twitter.
The company has long been rumored to prepare for an IPO, but to date has not confirmed plans to do so in the immediate future.