Social Networking Companies Garner Funding

LinkedIn announces a $4.7 million round as Spoke Software makes indications it has added an additional $10 million in the growing technology space.

Social networking got a boost on Wednesday—at least financially—as two burgeoning companies in the space gained additional funding. LinkedIn Ltd., of Mountain View, Calif., announced that it has secured $4.7 million in financing, while Palo Alto, Calif.-based Spoke Software Inc., according a posting on its blog, has secured an additional $10 million in funding.

Social networking refers to a growing number of Web-based networking sites and software companies that link people together based on their connections to one another. Perhaps the best-known is Friendster Inc., which connects people on its site through common friends for dating and forming new friendships.

LinkedIns first round of financing was led by Sequoia Capital, of Menlo Park, Calif., the venture investors behind such Internet companies as Yahoo Inc. and Google Inc. LinkedIn offers a networking service for connecting hiring managers, job seekers and professional service provides. Mark Kvamme, a partner at Sequoia, will be joining LinkedIns board of directors.

The company said that about 20,000 hiring managers have already signed up for its service and that it is helping to connect members with 1,000 referrals a month.

Spoke has not disclosed the new investors in its latest funding. The $10 million adds to $9.2 million the company announced in April from two separate rounds of funding.

Spoke officials could not be immediately reached for comment.

Spoke has said it is piloting enterprise social networking software for sales teams that will complement traditional customer relationship management and sales force automation software and services. It also operates the Spoke Network, an online networking site for business professionals.

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