LinkedIn has a Glint in its eye and cash burning a hole in its pocket

Microsoft's social-media-for-suits platform snaps up employee engagement startup

Microsoft-owned LinkedIn has announced it is acquiring Glint, a Human Resources outfit, which produces software to tell employers why workers keep leaving.

The deal, which was for an undisclosed sum (although insiders reckon it could be as much as $500m or more), is expected to close before the end of the year and will see Glint operating as a team within LinkedIn and current Glint CEO Jim Barnett reporting to Microsoft veep of Talent Solutions, Careers & Learning Daniel Shapero.

Slightly ominously for the Glint team, there are plans afoot to "functionally integrate the teams" within LinkedIn over the next 12 to 18 months. The Borg awaits.

Glint looks to be a good fit for LinkedIn, the social-media-for-suits platform, which often sees employees selling themselves with CVs that could be charitably be described as... creative. Glint provides executives the tools to understand the mood of employees and the insight on what needs to change to improve things, ideally before CV polishing starts in earnest. LinkedIn plans to lift this to create a "personalised LinkedIn Learning experience".

Microsoft snapped up LinkedIn back in 2016 for an eye-watering $26.2bn and the service claimed 433 million users at the time. In the software giant's last set of results, LinkedIn contributed $5.3bn to the pot along with 575 million members. So it seems reasonable that Microsoft allowed its acquisition to spank a few million on an acquisition of its own.

Since its founding in 2013, Glint has raised $80m in funding to realise its lofty goal of dealing with stroppy employees. The last round came in November 2017 as investors, including Bessemer Venture Partners, poured another $20m into the engagement platform.

LinkedIn was already a customer of Glint and clearly enjoyed the experience so much, it just had to buy the company. ®

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