LinkedIn set to dole out more than $50m for maker of newsreader Pulse

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Pulse app

Professional social network LinkedIn is getting ready to buy the company behind newsreader app Pulse say people familiar with the matter.

The deal, reports AllThingsD, will most likely set LinkedIn back tens of millions of dollars with prices between US$50-million and US$100-million being floated.

AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher had previously reported that a deal was in the works and that Microsoft and Yahoo! were also potentially interested.

The San Francisco-based Alphonso Labs, which makes the Pulse apps across a variety of platforms, has raised US$10-million in funding from the likes of Redpoint Ventures, Greycroft Partners, Mayfield Fund, Lightspeed Investment Partners, New Enterprise Associates and Lerer Ventures.

The app lays claim to around 20-million users, who read more than 10-million stories a day.

While the acquisition by LinkedIn might seem odd at first, it does actually make sense. The social network has made a number of changes in recent times that have taken it from an out-and-out tool for connecting with other professionals to a central hub for consuming online content.

A couple of previous acquisitions have helped in that transition. The most high-profile of these up until now saw LinkedIn shell out US$118-million for SlideShare last year.

As Swisher points out LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner also knows a thing or two about content, having headed up Yahoo!’s content division during his tenure there.

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