I have to thank Lynda.com, the 20-year-old online learning company that LinkedIn just announced plans to buy for $1.5B, for my at least serviceable knowledge of topics from HTML to Excel. A slew of startups seeking to help people learn skills and improve their job prospects might have more than that to thank Lynda.com for if the LinkedIn purchase triggers any more buyout action in this field near-term.
As I documented last month, investors have been pouring big bucks of late into what I loosely call career-related startups ("7 Hot Career-related Companies to Watch"). Lynda.com, no start-up given its launching in 1995, even grabbed $186 million in funding recently before getting bought out.
I'm talking about startups doing everything from serving up short online learning videos (Coursmos, Grovo) to those focused more directly on hiring (Glassdoor, InterviewJet, etc.).
And then there's Lynda.com competitor Udemy, which has been around since 2010. CEO Dennis Yang reached out to comment on the LinkedIn acquisition, which he described as "a clear signal that online education companies have reached a stage of growth where investors and technology market leaders are taking notice."
Who knows, maybe LinkedIn will stock up. After all, it bought four companies last year and earlier this month made another deal, picking up social knowledge startup Refresh for an undisclosed amount (less than $1.5B no doubt).