LinkedIn, the social network for the working world with close to 600 million users and now under the wing of Microsoft, has announced an acquisition as it continues to work on expanding the ways that people already on the platform use it. It has acquired Glint, a startup that provides employment engagement services for businesses and other organizations.
Terms of the deal are not being disclosed. For some context, Glint had raised nearly $80 million — including these rounds for $27 million and and $20 million in the last two years — was valued at around $220 million in its last round according to PitchBook. Investors included Bessemer Venture Partners, Norwest Venture Partners, Shasta Ventures and Meritech Capital Partners.
Daniel Shapero, VP of Talent Solutions at LinkedIn, said that the team from Glint will join LinkedIn and continue to work as a salient entity within it under current Glint CEO and founder Jim Barnett.
One big focus for LinkedIn over the years has been how to expand the amount of engagement — and therefore revenue — it derives from paying customers, and in particular businesses that are on its platform. Today some of LinkedIn’s revenue generating products include premium memberships, recruitment (Talent Soutions) and education, by way of Lynda.com. Glint is another step ahead in that wider strategy to build out more services for those users, alongside existing services like education, CRM tools and, most recently, business intelligence.
And the blog post from Shapero, who heads up Talent Solutions, is another indication of how this will fit into LinkedIn’s recruitment business. Today a business might use LinkedIn for recruitment. Now, tomorrow, it can continue to use LinkedIn for more services around those employees once they have been hired. Glint’s current list of products including Employee Engagement, Employee Lifecycle, Manager Effectiveness, and Team Effectiveness. As we have described before, Glint works by way of employee surveys, which it then analyzes using machine learning, natural language processing and predictive analytics. Its reports measure how employees feel about things like management, compensation and workplace culture and makes suggestions for how companies can improve their scores.
The idea is that this helps to reduce the expense of recruiting and training new employees.
LinkedIn has already been building out solutions to help employees with their career development (for example with its educational products), and this will play an adjacent role on the company-wide front, since some of the feedback can be used to help tailor training courses for employees, and so on.
“We believe that Glint has uncovered a modern HR best practice that every company should do: Regularly gather employee feedback on work, culture, and leadership, and give leaders the tools they need to translate those insights into action,” Shapero writes. “At LinkedIn, as a customer of Glint, we’ve experienced the value that this brings first-hand. Glint provides executives with the tools to answer questions about the health and happiness of the talent they have, while giving managers at all levels the access and insight they need to improve.”
LinkedIn tells me that Glint will not be shutting down its existing service as it integrates into LinkedIn.
The timing of this announcement is also notable: LinkedIn is kicking off its big Talent Solutions conference and this helps set the tone for where it’s hoping to take the division.
Updated with more about what happens to Glint post-acquisition