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LinkedIn buys PointDrive to boost its social sales platform with sharing

ICE Graveyard 26/07/2016 Ingrid Lunden

LinkedIn, now on the way to becoming a part of Microsoft, is putting some more firepower into its sales product: the company has acquired PointDrive, a startup that has built a service that lets salespeople share content with prospective clients to help seal the deal.

Terms of this deal are not being disclosed. PointDrive was based out of Chicago and had no VC funding disclosed in Crunchbase.

The news comes on the heels of LinkedIn sprucing up its Sales Navigator product with new features like a plug-in for Gmail, Salesforce integration and new mobile features. Sales Solutions is not LinkedIn’s biggest business unit (that honor goes to Talent Solutions, aka its recruitment business), but the service, which was built two years ago to help with social selling on LinkedIn, has been highlighted as a key part of the company’s potential synergies with Microsoft post-acquisition.

It seems that LinkedIn found PointDrive as a customer itself. “From presentations to images, to links and videos, what they’ve created has quickly gained traction with sales professionals in a wide range of industries,” writes David Thacker, a VP of product at LinkedIn, in a blog post announcing the news. “Our very own global sales organization became a PointDrive customer about a year ago and their product has become one of the most valued tools for our teams.” (Note: He did not comment on whether it was used to in the process of selling LinkedIn itself to Microsoft.)

Sales Navigator today comes in two tiers. A Professional edition is designed for individuals ($80/month) and Team edition for companies ($1200/year before volume discounts). It’s not clear how and if PointDrive will be priced separately yet. Before the acquisition, it sold in tiers of $25, $40 and $50 per month per user, depending on features like expanded storage, and Salesforce integration.

PointDrive’s app essentially offers users a web page that functions as a common workspace: salespeople can upload content that can be shared with their clients to better illustrate an advertisement or an exciting PowerPoint to show what great ROI they’ll get. It’s interesting because it points to ways that LinkedIn could potentially expand out its sales services to a wider pool of users beyond the recruitment industry that forms a large part of its customer base.

Sales Solutions as of last quarter saw its revenues increase by 55% year-over-year, and now represents 40% of our Premium Subscription revenue, LinkedIn Says.

More to come.

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