US-based e-book and audiobook platform Scribd has acquired professional content sharing platform SlideShare from LinkedIn at an undisclosed price.
“Scribd has accumulated a unique collection of user-generated and professional content that we make available to our readers via personalised recommendations, and the addition of presentations from the SlideShare community advances our vision. It allows us to continue diversifying our offering while driving even more readers to the books, audiobooks, magazines, and other professionally published works in our digital library,” said Trip Adler, co-founder and CEO of Scribd.
SlideShare, rebranded as LinkedIn SlideShare after acquisition in 2012, was founded by Amit Ranjan, John Wilson, Jonathan Boutelle and Rashmi Sinha in 2012. Following the official announcement of SlideShare’s acquisition by Scribd, one of the cofounders Ranjan wrote on Twitter that SlideShare had become a pale avatar of its former self as LinkedIn had stopped investing in the platform’s growth. Popular professional networking platform LinkedIn was itself acquired by US tech giant Microsoft in 2016.
“Back in the early days of SlideShare, we used to track Scribd as a strong competitor till the two products veered off in slightly divergent directions – ebooks v/s presentations. Cut out to 2020 the internet is a much bigger playground now, and it offers the opportunity of imagining a combined future that again reshapes digital content in this new age,” Ranjan wrote on Twitter.
In a jibe aimed at LinkedIn, Ranjan said that the company’s record as an acquirer was now “severely jolted. In hindsight, they couldn’t “get” the social nature of SlideShare’s content community. It wouldn’t be a stretch to compare them to Yahoo on the M&A front (think Flickr, Tumblr)!”
SlideShare’s archive of presentations and other content would continue to be live on Slideshare.net. Further, users looking to upload presentations on SlideShare won’t need to be Scribd subscribers. Scribd offers a Netflix-like subscription service e-books and audiobooks on its platform. Scribd is priced at INR 199/month for Indian users.