Viadeo: Professional Networking

There are three big players in the professional networking business: LinkedIn, Viadeo, and Xing. LinkedIn is best known in the United States. But France's Viadeo and Germany's Xing are important competitors. Viadeo recently paid us a visit. The company's focus is on Europe and emerging economies. It has 25 million subscribers. It plans to enter the U.S. market through leveraging its international subscribers, such as those in Canada and Mexico.

Main services from the user standpoint:

  • User directory.
  • Users can belong to many different interest groups.
  • Each interest group provides:
    • Common bulletin board/wall
    • Directory of interesting events
    • Q&A/forums for advice sharing
    • User-contributed news


  • Most use is free.
  • Around 10% pay for services. This is pretty good compared with LinkedIn, which appears to have around 1% who pay.
  • Fee is around 6 euros ($9) per month if you're a paying subscriber.
  • Ferris Research estimates revenues at $40 million annually. The company is profitable and growing at a healthy clip. It's taken a total of 15 million euros ($23 million) external funding.
  • Revenue breakdown:
    • User subscriptions: about 50%
    • Recruiting tools sold to HR and consultants: about 25%
    • Advertising: about 25%


  • The collaboration tools are conventional but attractive.
  • The rich collaborative environment means that in principle, Viadeo can offer extremely targeted advertising, for which advertisers should be prepared to pay handsomely.
  • Viadeo's collaboration tools are an important point of differentation from LinkedIn, which is directory-centric.
  • Viadeo's localizations--e.g., it is currently offered in Dutch, English, French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish--are another important differentiator.
  • Around 10% of subscribers pay up. This is pretty good compared with LinkedIn, which appears to have around 1% who pay.

... David Ferris

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  1. […] has managed to get an 8% conversion rate of its members into a paying subscription.  According to Ferris, revenues hit $40 million in 2009 — although I have reason to believe that might yet be a […]

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