Why LinkedIn should acquire AngelList

Had predicted earlier that LinkedIn shall acquire SlideShare; Two years back I wrote that Quora should be acquired by LinkedIn, though that has not happened yet, I strongly feel its imminent to happen. Adding to that list, I strongly feel AngelList will be acquired by LinkedIn.

While LinkedIn continues to grow (it recently crossed 200 Mn users), Naval & Nivi’s efforts on AngelList have been spectacular. Over 100,000+ companies/startups listed, 2% of them are hiring (through AngelList) and over 200,000+ early adopters (which includes people who matter) on the platform. And there is speculation that AngelList is raising investments at a valuation of over $150 Mn USD.

Among few user trends I am noticing with regards to AngelList – People from startup community on Twitter are replacing LinkedIn profile links with AngelList.

Here is why I feel LinkedIn should acquire AngelList –

  • LinkedIn appeals to larger audience across multiple sectors, but startups is where the action is. For startups, AngelList is more valuable than LinkedIn.
  • Startups (or companies) are present and more active on AngelList than on LinkedIn.
  • While LinkedIn is professional resume, business connections, AngelList is business in action for Startups. Take a business vertical and be immensely valuable to them, AngelList is perfect example for this.
  • AngelList is not just beneficial to startups, but also to the entire community of startup ecosystem. Its API now handles over 3 Million requests per day.
  • AngelList is rolling out features at a much faster pace than LinkedIn… Introductions, Hiring through AL, Investing directly in startups, showcasing marquee customers for companies, service providers and so on. 
  • It will be very difficult (next to impossible) for LinkedIn to replicate such products for a particular vertical like startups. But it might be easier for AngelList to move beyond the tech startup community.
  • Technology is shaping every domain. As startups are established in multiple business verticals, it will attract talent and early adopters from every segment on to AngelList… to a point that in future AngelList might be a threat to LinkedIn.

When Quora was small, its biggest challenge was to break beyond the startup community. I don’t foresee AngelList wanting to immediately expand beyond the startup community and its focus will continue to be startups for some time.

And yes these are the early trends. With that I include a possible acquisition of AngelList by LinkedIn to my list of Tech Predictions.

  • Sam Granger

    While it would make sense, I think that LinkedIn should first focus on their own site. LinkedIn by itself could be so much more than it currently is.

    * Endorsements = crap
    * Improve usability. Make it less cluttered.
    * Make LinkedIn more of a CRM/Project Management/Collaboration platform