Xing.com on the acquisition and joint venture path
Xing.com is Europe’s number one social platform for business professionals. It is valuable for anyone looking to increase sales, for a job, an employee or an expert in any field. This is the platform for business professionals from all sectors. Based on the small-world network, there are more than 50,000 specialist groups where members can exchange opinions. They can also get together at specialist networking events.
Xing.com provides a secure and straightforward integrated messaging system. As of February 2014, Xing had seven million members worldwide and is aiming for 14 million in two years time. It is among the world’s top five social networks.
German speaking world dominates membership
Dominant in German-speaking countries Germany, Austria and Switzerland that comprise over three quarters of its members, Xing.com is used in over 200 countries and is also available in English, Dutch, Finnish, French, Italian, Hungarian Japanese, Polish, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, Turkish and Simplified Chinese.
Established in 2003
Xing.com started up in 2003 as the Open Business Club and was the brainchild of Hamburg-based Lars Hinrichs. It changed its name from openBC to Xing.com in 2006 and was floated in December that year.
Between 2007 and 2008, it bought up social networks eConozco and Neurona in Spain and later Cember.net in Turkey.
In 2009 Munich-based media company acquired a 25.1 per cent stake making it Xing’s largest shareholder. Burda is Europe’s leading media group both online and in print with publications such as Focus, Bunte, CHIP, as well as stakes in 41 online companies such as Glam media, Zooplus and Tomorrow Focus.
In December 2010, Xing bought Munich-based amiando AG, Europe’s foremost platform for ticketing and event management.
Xing’s most recent acquisition is the Austrian portal Kununu.
Competition from LinkedIn
The company is aiming for a turnover of 150 million euros by 2016. However, Xing has to expand its own profile in non-German speaking countries. Its main competitor in the English speaking world is LinkedIn that has expanded its own presence in German-speaking countries.
In contrast to Xing, LinkedIn has free membership as well as three payment networks – Business, Business Plus and Executive, which make it a prime site for professional recruiters and the human resources sector as a whole. It also has high profile members such as Barack Obama.
Latest partnership deals
Xing has been busy forging new deals in 2014. In January it signed a deal with publishing group Axel Springer. Xing’s Premium Membership customers will receive a free annual membership of the World Digital Base.
In February 2014, Xing completed a partnership deal with the Sixt international car rental company. Sixt customers are invited to become standard Xing members for free. They also have a one month free trail of the Premium Membership that has additional features such as advanced searches, private messaging and status updates.
Also in February 2014, Xing tried to improve the attractiveness of its paying Premium Membership by forging a partnership deal with online retailer Rewe Online. Normally, Rewe charges its customers five euros per delivery. This charge will be waived for Xing Premium members.