In the past week, I spent 10+ hours researching LinkedIn.

Here's a complete breakdown of this spectacular Microsoft's business unit.
Image upload

LinkedIn connects the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful, and transforms the way companies hire, market, sell, and learn.

Brief History
LinkedIn was founded in 2002/3 by Reid Hoffman and some members of the Paypal Mafia.
In June 2016, Microsoft acquired the company (former $LNKD), paying 26.2bn dollars.
Since its beginning, revenue and users have grown very rapidly.

Image upload

Business Model

LinkedIn had over 13.8bn dollars in revenue in Microsoft's FY 2022. It makes money through 4 different sources:

  • Talent Solutions
  • Marketing Solutions
  • Premium Subscribers
  • Sales Solutions

Image upload
Further breakdown on each segment.

Talent Solutions (subscriptions)

Provides insights for workforce planning and tools to hire, nurture, and develop talent. Its products are:

LinkedIn Recruiter/Lite
LinkedIn Jobs
LinkedIn Learning Solutions
LinkedIn Talent Insights

Last heard stats:

Image upload

Marketing Solutions

Helps companies reach, engage and convert audiences.
Advertisements reach:
Image upload
Last heard stats:

Image upload

Premium Subscriptions

Enables professionals to manage their professional identity, grow their network, and connect with talent through additional services like premium search

No heard stats for the past 6 Quarters. Statista estimates that in 2021, there were 49M subscribers

Sales Solutions (subscriptions)

Helps companies strengthen customer relationships, empower teams with digital selling tools, and acquire new opportunities. It has two products:

Sales Navigator
Sales Insights

There's no further disclosures on LinkedIn's complete financials. As of 2015, it had a gross margin of 86% and negative operating & net income margins.

Lastly, it's attracting creators for features such as the platform's Newsletter and to teach through Learning Solutions.
Image upload
Joey Hirendernath's avatar
This an insightful post, thank you for sharing. Was there any metric/stat you were surprised about in your research about LinkedIn?
Giuliano's avatar
@joeyhirendernath Thank you, I did the research for my upcoming article on Microsoft. Good question, I actually was surprised by the amount of products LinkedIn has as well as the advertising revenue run rate (with its growth rate). The curious thing is that almost all LinkedIn products are widely used and big businesses on their own. Fantastic platform.
Rihard Jarc's avatar
Interesting as always! what made you focus on LinkedIn specific?
Giuliano's avatar
@rihardjarc Thanks Rihard! I'm writing an article on the whole Microsoft business (it's taking some time) and thought LinkedIn's actual business model is not discussed very often.
Rihard Jarc's avatar
@giuliano_mana True. Never really was a fan of LinkedIn, but the revenue growth since $MSFT took it over is quite astonishing.