LinkedIn to base its international HQ in Dublin


BUSINESS SOCIAL networking site LinkedIn is to base its international headquarters in Dublin, creating jobs in marketing, sales, finance and customer service.

LinkedIn, which claims 60 million members worldwide, has said it will spearhead its international growth from a new Dublin base, working with teams in its existing London and Amsterdam offices.

The Silicon Valley company said now was the right time to establish an international headquarters.

“Being based in Dublin gives us access to a highly skilled workforce and enables us to co-ordinate our business growth across Europe and beyond to deliver the best possible service to our members,” Kevin Ayres, managing director of LinkedIn Europe, said in a statement.

The company has nearly tripled its European membership in two years, rising from five million in January 2008 to 14 million now, of which three million are in the UK and one million in the Netherlands.

The company said it had a “growing member base in Ireland”. It had been expected for several months to announce that it would establish a base in Ireland. It said it would continue to centre product development in its Mountain View, California, headquarters.

Launched seven years ago, LinkedIn has emerged from a pool of competitors to become the site of choice for business users and is widely used in business circles by senior executives to consultants in some 150 industry sectors and 200 countries.

It has also established itself as a leading job search tool for both potential employees and recruiters.

Business users often prefer LinkedIn over general social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace because it is solely business focused and structured for business use – members will not have to look at colleagues’ holiday snaps or be pushed to play online games such as Farmville, popular with Facebook users.

Instead, LinkedIn users send prospective “contacts” invitations to “connect”, rather than friend requests. They can also join various private networking groups, write public recommendations for someone and receive regular updates on what others in one’s network are up to professionally.

More recently, LinkedIn has added the ability to connect in to other social networking sites like Twitter.

LinkedIn’s competitors include Xing (which targets the European business market), Plaxo, Doostang and ecademy, but LinkedIn currently is well ahead in membership numbers.

LinkedIn, which has raised $103 million to date in venture capital, currently employs 500. It also has offices in Mumbai, India, and in Sydney, Australia. It opened its Dutch office in January, and its London office in 2008.

The company said its Irish job vacancies would be posted on its website.