After 17 Years of Success, Lynda.com Falls for Investment Trap

Lynda.com without any doubt is one of the oldest, most popular and successful online training business. Its successful goes back to 1997 when this company was formally incorporated by Lynda Weinman and her husband Bruce Heavin, although the website is online since 1995. Since then it has become a learning resource for over 2M (two million) people, big companies and even Government organizations. Now Lynda.com offers 1,581 courses covering 140 different specialities which in other words is over 83,000 video tutorials. An idea of its success can be measured by the revenue it was able to collect on 2012 which was more than $100M (100 million dollars). This too without any investment, just the work of the married couple.

Lynda Weinman and Bruce Heavin

Lynda Weinman and Bruce Heavin

But for some reason, today they decided to take money from different investors and include them into their profit. The new partners are none other than Accel Partners, Meritech Capital Partners (A partner company of Accel) and Spectrum Equity (a private equity firm) which have invested $103M into the company. These partners have also become the Board of Directors.

Accel Partners and Meritech Capital Partners both have investments in Facebook and other important Silicon Valley giants. Both have links with IAO or Information Awareness Office (DARPA’s surveillance company formed in 2002) and In-Q-Tel (CIA’s venture capital firm).

This move further expands the wings of internet surveillance and makes another profit making business vulnerable. Why would Lynda.com need only $103M when they made $100M just in 2012?

Update

Lynda.com has tweeted about the deal and it is available here. A sentence from her letter:

In our 17-year history, we have never needed investment money because our business has been profitable and self-sustaining. We’ve been approached by investors for the past seven years on a fairly regular basis, and never seriously considered taking an outside investment.

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