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Online Professional Networks: Part Two

In a recent blog post, we spoke about the huge growth that is currently occuring in the Online Professional Network sphere.  Fuelled by reports that LinkedIn and Viadeo are set to go public.

In Part One of this blog mini-series, we detailed the stats of LinkedIn with their rather nice infographic.  This time round we’re focusing on Viadeo, who are rapidly gaining ground on Linkedin, having opened an office on Linkedin’s doorstep in San Francisco and who claim they are number one in Europe – being as they are a French company.

While the tech press tends to concentrate on LinkedIn, its rival has a substantial audience in a number of regions, as this infographic shows.

To put this in some context, LinkedIn boasts over 90 million members worldwide, including 20 million in Europe. While Viadeo is sitting at just over a third of the total users if we go by LinkedIn’s figures, we read that Viadeo stands by its claim of being number one in Europe and questions LinkedIn’s numbers.

Either way, France-based Viadeo is targeting developing markets for further growth. As the graphic shows, it sees significant potential in Asia and is set to open offices soon in Russia and Brazil.

Thenextweb.com report that Just weeks after LinkedIn filed to go public, it appears that rival social network for professionals Viadeo is thinking of heading in the same direction.

AFP reports that the company is “Studying the possibility” of an Initial Public Offering. Although the company doesn’t appear to be rushing into a decision, Dan Serfaty, co-founder of Viadeo, is quoted as saying “We’ve existed for five years, we have the size, we are credible. In terms of images and resources, it could be interesting,”

The Paris-based company isn’t yet even sure which stockmarket it might float on, considering emerging markets as one possibility. “The question arises of where we would do our IPO, in France or not. We’re number one in France, Italy, Spain, and in countries like China, Mexico, India and Brazil.” Serafty told AFP. “It could be that we would seek a listing on the stock exchange in an emerging market, because it would allow us to position ourselves as a social network in these countries.”

Demand Media and LinkedIn have kicked off a renewed appetite for tech IPOs this year. Zynga, Groupon and Facebook are all thought to be considering going public in the next couple of years. It looks like we can now add Viadeo to the list too.



Click here to see the full size version on thenextweb.com.