LinkedIn, the social network for professionals, announced today that it raised , bringing the total to about $28 million. The startup, which is already profitable, raised the money mostly because it could (Rule No. 1 for raising cash: take it when you can). But the cash could help with expansion overseas, as well as new features and services like better search on recently launched LinkedIn Answers.
Keith Rabois, LinkedIn's vice president of business development, tells me to look out for a service in the works internally dubbed Alumni Classnotes that lets you keep track of people from your college, business school, or graduate school class who are also LinkedIn members. Linkedin already knows what college you went to since that is part of your profile page. Soon, LinkedIn will surface to you who else among its 8 million members went to the same schools during the same times that you did, and create a tab on its Website where you can keep track of all the professional changes in the lives of your fellow alumni. And, of course, you will be able to invite them to your personal network.
And another service that is already being tested quietly called LinkedIn Experts will be rolled out more broadly. It is a way to tap into LinkedIn's knowledgebase (i.e, the social version of a database). Here's how it works, accordig to Rabois:
It allows an investment fund or researchers to ask us to find the five top experts in a field. We will contact them. You chat with the expert for an hour for $500, and we keep half of it.
Perhaps LinkedIn should adopt a new slogan: Making connections pay.