LinkedIn Buys IndexTank Hosted Search, Connected Contact Management
LinkedIn (NASDAQ:LNKD) Oct. 11 acquired its second company in less than a week, picking up enterprise search provider IndexTank for an undisclosed sum.
The deal comes six days after the professional networking company acquired contact management software maker Connected Oct. 5, also for an undisclosed sum. Both purchases are intended to fortify LinkedIn's platform for its network of over 120 million users.
IndexTank's search software API enables businesses to add real-time search capabilities to their Websites or applications. Like any service hosted in the cloud, IndexTank houses the search capabilities on its own servers, providing all of the maintenance and back-end support for query generation and retrieval.
In that vein, IndexTank is a bit like Google Site Search, which provides on-demand indexing to let companies pick pages on their Website so that they are indexed within 24 hours.
However, IndexRank founder Diego Basch told GigaOm earlier this year his goal is to make IndexRank return results within 5 seconds. IndexTank counted Reddit and Spoke as two of its customers. So how will IndexRank help LinkedIn? Basch explained:
"One day every smartphone owner could use LinkedIn to find opportunity. We need to be able to manage billions of people profiles and jobs. I believe IndexTank's world-class search technology and experience will be instrumental in taking LinkedIn to this next level."
LinkedIn has agreed to maintain the IndexTank service running for the next six months, and will open source key components to allow cloud providers to offer a service fully compatible with the IndexTank API.
Meanwhile, LinkedIn's purchase of Connected addresses a different challenge: that of helping LinkedIn's users better manage their contacts and connections as the network grows. Connected makes a real-time address book to keep users, well, connected.
"We're excited about the acquisition by LinkedIn because they share our passion for helping individuals maximize the value of their professional connections," wrote Connected co-founders Sachin Rekhi and Ada Chen.
"As part of the acquisition, we will be joining the LinkedIn team and working to truly revolutionize contact management. We'll now be able to do this better and faster and bring this functionality to LinkedIn's audience of over 120 million professionals."
It's interesting to see LinkedIn, a company that long eschewed acquisitions, expand its team and fine-tune its product with prudent purchases. Will this bring in more members? It's unclear, but it can't hurt at a time when the company is enjoying its young status as a publicly traded company.