SAN FRANCISCO, April 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Viadeo, the Professional Social Network with over 45 million members worldwide, No. 1 in France and China, is announcing today the completion of a large fundraising round of $32 million split between the French Sovereign Wealth Fund, the Fonds Strategique d'Investissement, existing institutional shareholders, Idinvest and Ventech, and a pool of new investors including Allianz, Jefferies, the global investment banking firm, and Middle Eastern private funds. The new investment will allow Viadeo to accelerate its growth in Europe and China with Tianji its local brand, as well as other key emerging markets like Latin America, Russia, India, and Africa. This achievement serves as a testament to the value Viadeo brings to its users whether they are managers, corporate professionals, recruiters or entrepreneurs.
Viadeo: A leader in Europe and emerging countries
With over 45 million members, Viadeo is the world's No.2 Professional Social Network and is growing at 1 million new members each month. Viadeo achieved profitability in early September 2009 based on its ability to quickly grow and monetize its membership base, and to its robust business solutions for human resources and advertising.
With a clear focus on non-English speaking markets, Viadeo has secured a dominant presence throughout the world. It is an industry leader in Europe and Latin America and clear No.1 in China. The company continues to pursue an aggressive international development strategy with recent partnerships like the announcement of a joint venture in Russia in the second half of 2011.
"Multi-Local" and emerging countries: a winning strategy
Viadeo's success is based predominantly on its "multi-local" approach to Professional Social Networks, which focuses on leveraging and honoring the local language, business and culture of its members. This strategy has allowed the group to be very successful in emerging markets. In China, for example, Viadeo's subsidiary Tianji has seen tremendous growth in the last year, going from 100,000 to 500,000 new users per month with a total member base of 10M.
"We're a global society where critical business connections span multiple languages, geographies and cultures," said Dan Serfaty, CEO, Viadeo. "We have always been laser-focused on our 'multi-local' approach, which goes beyond simple translation and focuses on catering to, and understanding the business and cultural needs of each market. This approach has awarded us tremendous growth and success in both European and emerging markets."
Viadeo is a professional social network with over 45 million members. Viadeo is used by those who want to:
- Increase their business opportunities (to discover new clients, staff and business partners)
- Enhance their visibility and their online reputation
- Manage and develop their network of professional contacts
Viadeo's members consist of business owners, entrepreneurs and managers from a diverse range of businesses, both start-up and well-established. Every month Viadeo attracts more than 1,000,000 new members, 10,000,000 new connections are made and over 100 million profiles are viewed.
Based in Paris (head office), Viadeo also has offices and teams in the UK (London), US (San Francisco), Spain (Madrid and Barcelona), Italy (Milan), Russia (Moscow), China (Beijing), India (New Delhi), Mexico (Mexico City) and Senegal (Dakar). The company employs 400 staff worldwide.
The localization of sites is very important for Viadeo. In addition to Russian and Mandarin, Viadeo is available in six languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, and Portuguese.
Our Website: www.viadeo.com
Tianji (www.tianji.com), a Viadeo company, is the largest professional social network in China serving predominantly mid to upper level professionals. The site has captured the local elite market with graduates of top universities and also aims to serve anyone who is interested in doing business with China. Due to the nature of internet development in China, Tianji is serving a younger demographic than its Western counterparts, with an average age of 30. And multi-local approach of the group has allowed Tianji to create products and features distinctively suited for its Chinese members.
Tianji is growing rapidly at half a million new users per month with 10M members in China.
About Fonds Strategique d'Investissement
The Fonds Strategique d'Investissement (FSI) is a euro 20 billion sovereign wealth fund, 51% held by the Caisse des Depots and 49% by the French state. FSI is an equity investor taking minority stakes in French companies of all sizes, both directly or through specialised funds. FSI's purpose is to invest wisely in selected growing companies that can strengthen the country's competitiveness.
For more information, visit www.fonds-fsi.fr
Jefferies acted as exclusive financial advisor to Viadeo for this transaction. Paul Hastings and De Gaulle Fleurance acted as legal advisors to Viadeo and the FSI respectively.