Potential LinkedIn rival network Viadeo acquires French startup

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Social network announces U.S. growth, development of lab

France-based social network Viadeo announced Monday that it has hit 50 million registered members and is launching a new “innovation lab” in San Francisco. Viadeo recently acquired Pealk, a French company that built a search app for LinkedIn. Citing a breach in terms of service, LinkedIn revoked Pealk’s access to its network last summer, and Viadeo swooped in to acquire the startup for an undisclosed amount. Pealk will rebuild its search service for Viadeo.

The lab in San Francisco will serve as a hub focused on “finding great ways to make social networks more useful on a daily basis,” Viadeo chief strategy officer Olivier Fecherolle told the press on Monday. Fecherolle says the Viadeo network will appeal to more than white collar workers.

With 200 million registered users, LinkedIn is still far ahead of its competition. The aim of the Viadeo lab team is to ensure the product differs from LinkedIn substantially, including a bigger focus on innovation and new ideas, the Viadeo team told the press.

Viadeo’s prime objectives, as defined by the company, are: Seek out new business opportunities by contacting potential customers, business partners, and suppliers; improve their online visibility and reputation; and manage and grow their network of professional contacts.

Members of the network range from business owners, entrepreneurs and managers from a variety of sectors.

Of the Pealk acquisition, Viadeo said it “has garnered unanimous praise worldwide and gives professionals a seamless, straightforward tool to search, filter, and organize profiles that can then be contacted. Designed for maximum productivity, it allows HR and sales professionals to make the most of Viadeo’s extensive database.”

Do you think Viadeo could rival LinkedIn?

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