Social Networks Go Pro: Viadeo Buys Unyk

Unyk logo

These days the Internet might be all abuzz with social networking applications, with Facebook and Twitter being lauded like they’re the next IBM’s and Microsoft’s of the Internet age. But social networking isn’t just about receiving status updates from drunk friends: professionals are trying to leverage the technology too, both as a recruitment platform and as ways to establish connections and partnerships between businesses. To that end, France’s Viadeo has just inked a deal to acquire Canada’s Unyk, which will make the combined entity second only to LinkedIn in the professional social networking world.

“This acquisition is highly complementary and more than doubles our subscriber base, while strengthening our global and local market presence,” said Viadeo CEO Dan Serfaty, in a statement. “We’re building a global platform, but remain committed to developing local offerings specific to each market we service, one of our key competitive differentiators.”

Unyk sports some 16 million users and has been adding 600,000 new users a month; all those members will become Viadeo member, expanding Viadeo’s user base to over 25 million. (Linked in has about 45 million users.) Since emerging in 2005, Unyk has focused on providing smart address book technology that can be seamlessly synchronized to email clients, phones, and other services, while Viadeo has focused more on traditional social networking, enabling users to establish connections to other professionals, maintain networks of contacts, and establish new business relationships.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.