LinkedIn Buys ChoiceVendor, a B2B Review Specialist

LinkedIn acquired business-to-business ratings vendor ChoiceVendor, the social network's second purchase since bagging mSpoke in August. LinkedIn is buying talent for an IPO.

LinkedIn Sept. 23 announced its second acquisition, purchasing business ratings startup ChoiceVendor for an undisclosed sum.

The company, founded by CEO Yan-David Erlich and Vice President of Engineering Rama Ranganath, offered ratings and reviews of call centers, payroll services and other service providers across 70 vertical markets in the United States.

ChoiceVendor ceased operations and replaced its Website content with a brief note confirming the buy Thursday.

"The ChoiceVendor and LinkedIn teams are equally passionate about helping professionals make the best decisions," Erlich and Ranganath said on their Website.

"As part of LinkedIn, we'll contribute our knowledge and ideas to the products and services that reach LinkedIn's network of more than 75 million professionals."

LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner acknowledged in a statement that the buy was a talent acquisition.

"Our acquisition of ChoiceVendor is right in line with our top priority to build a world-class team at LinkedIn," Weiner said.

Erlich and Ranganath, who both worked at Google and Microsoft before founding ChoiceVendor, could reapply their technology to boost LinkedIn's services, providing business managers with valuable information about service providers.

ChoiceVendor's ratings and reviews software, which some liken to what Yelp provides for consumers, invites consistent user engagement.

Such technology would boost the social quotient that LinkedIn has been missing for the 75 million users of the Website.

LinkedIn, which integrated with Twitter earlier this year, needs to add more social features to its network to keep its users from flocking to Facebook to connect with colleagues and other business contacts.

The company also needs to attract solid talent as it girds for an IPO in the future.

The ChoiceVendor play comes after LinkedIn snapped up recommendation software maker mSpoke in August.