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LinkedIn Rival Viadeo Raises $32 Million, Gets French Backing

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April 12 (Bloomberg) -- Viadeo, the second-biggest social network for professionals after LinkedIn Corp., raised $32 million from a pool of investors, including $13 million from the French sovereign fund, FSI.

Other investors include Allianz SE and Jefferies Group Inc, as well as Viadeo’s existing shareholders Idinvest and Ventech and Middle Eastern private funds which were not named. The money will be used to finance business in the emerging markets, Viadeo said today in a statement.

“We needed an investor that could stay with us for the long run, so we went to the FSI in October,” Viadeo founder Dan Serfaty said in an interview. “The FSI is really filling a gap. They’re the only ones in France that can provide financing of that size.”

Viadeo has no plans to list its shares on the stock market, Serfaty said.

LinkedIn, based in Mountain View, California, raised $352.8 million in an initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange in May.

With 45 million registered members, Viadeo is second to LinkedIn, which has 150 million members according to its website.

To contact the reporter on this story: Marie Mawad in Paris at mmawad1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kenneth Wong at kwong11@bloomberg.net