Months after its hugely successful public listing, LinkedIn is ready to expand its operations in India, home to the professional networking company's second-largest user base after the United States.
On Tuesday, LinkedIn, which has 135 million members worldwide and over 12 million in India, set up a technology centre in the southern Indian city of Bangalore -- the first such centre outside its headquarters in Mountain View, California.
The company, which stepped into India in late 2009, now has about 100 employees in three Indian cities -- Mumbai, New Delhi and Bangalore -- and 1,797 employees worldwide, according to its quarterly report.
The Bangalore R&D centre, which will employ about 35 engineers by the end of this year, will help build and operate the company's core products and applications.
LinkedIn -- started in the living room of ex-PayPal executive Reid Hoffman in 2002 -- makes money by selling premium subscriptions to its members and helping companies with hiring and marketing.
Companies like HCL Technologies Ltd and ING Vysya Bank Ltd use LinkedIn's hiring products, while companies like Jet Airways Ltd and Volkswagen AG use its marketing products in India.
LinkedIn is betting big on India, which boasts about 100 million Internet subscribers, hoping the increasing use of the Internet by businesses for recruitment and the rapid rollout of 3G services will attract more users and help boost growth.
"Mobile is a key part of the LinkedIn strategy and our products are available on every conceivable mobile device. It is our fastest growing segment," said Deep Nishar, senior vice president of products.
Nishar, an ex-Google employee, said more than 12 percent of the company's new weekly members in India join through mobile Internet.
LinkedIn is among a clutch of closely watched Internet social media companies, including Zynga, Twitter and Facebook, that have stoked investor interest and seen their valuations balloon.
LinkedIn's shares more than doubled in their debut in May, and analysts feared that investors, frantic to buy into the first major U.S. social networking IPO, would overlook risks that could sour growth in the future.
But the company, whose performance is closely watched as a sign of how other Internet companies will do, is unperturbed and recently raised its outlook for the year.