We reported last year on Pealk, a Paris-based startup that had used the legal access to the LinkedIn API that they had been granted to provide users with the same functinoality that recruiters pay upwards of $7,000 per year for. Less than 6 months later, the startup, which was shut down after LinkedIn revoked their access to the API, has been acquired by Viadeo, the French professional social network, for an undisclosed sum.
Pealk’s headhunting application was used and praised by thousands, as it not only provided premium LinkedIn features for free, but it brought a better uxer experience to LinkedIn than the profesional social network itself, allowing quick and easy search through multiple profiles, as well as side-by-side comparisons.
Pealk cofounder and CEO Boris Golden said he was “very proud and pleased with this buyout, which [he] considers to be the happy ending to an exciting adventure.” I hope that Viadeo will provide Boris and his team with the liberty to develop innovative and, moreover, sexy applications on top of Viadeo’s network, but having reluctantly signed up and subsequently abandoned the professional network due to its utter inutility and lack of UX, I worry that this is the death to the vision behind Pealk.
Viadeo, which counts 50 Million members all over the world today, has been outshined by its main competitor, LinkedIn, which announced it crossed the 200 Million member point earlier this month, and even that LinkedIn had more users in France than Viadeo. Nonetheless, Viadeo continues to grow in the emerging markets, with offices in Morocco, China, India, Mexico, Senegal, employing 400 people worldwide.