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LinkedIn to Acquire News Reading App, Pulse: Media Reports (LNKD)

According to news reports, professional networking website, LinkedIn Corp. (NYSE: LNKD) is close to acquiring Pulse, a news reading app, in deal estimated between $50 million and $100 million.

According to All Things D, sources familiar with the matter said that Pulse was in talks with several potential buyers that included the likes of Yahoo and Microsoft; however, it was LinkedIn which won the acquisition battle. The negotiations between the two companies have been said to be “near complete”, said the publication and the deal could be announced as early as this week.

Pulse app which is offered on Android devices, Apple’s IPhones, Ipad including the Web, competes with services such as Zite (which was acquired by CNN last year in deal estimated at around $20 million), Circa, Flipboard, and  Summly.

While it may appear strange at first why LinkedIn is investing on news reading app when most of its users are interested in networking or finding jobs, the fact is that the networking giant is gradually offering lot more features so that users keep visiting its website. In fact, LinkedIn has increased its content by twofold in the recent past.

Early in 2011, LinkedIn started news hub and later in order to get more hits and dedicated following, hired well-known entrepreneurs, thinkers such as Virgin Group’s Sir Richard Branson to blog at its LinkedIn Influential program.

Pulse, which was co-founded by two Stanford Graduates in 2010, boasts to have more than 20 million users who have access to over 10 million news stories every day. In that year, the app received tremendous boost when Apple’s ex CEO, Steve Jobs mentioned about it in one of Apple’s events. Thus far, Pulse has raised about $10 million from Redpoint Ventures, Lightspeed Investment Partners, New Eneterprise Associates, Mayfield Fund and Lerer Ventures.

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