Carpinteria-based online learning company is being acquired by LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network on the Internet, the companies announced Thursday.

The $1.5 billion deal involves a combination of cash and stock, and is expected to close in the second quarter of 2015, according to a statement from Mountain View-based LinkedIn.

The company plans to harness’s subscription model and extensive collection of online courses in business, technology and creative skills, taught by industry experts in several languages.

By combining’s educational aspect and LinkedIn’s job-centric platform of 300 million members, LinkedIn executives hope to digitally map the global economy. will remain on its separate platform, at least in the short term, with plans to grow into the networking site, executives said in a webcast.

“The mission of LinkedIn and the mission of are highly aligned. Both companies seek to help professionals be better at what they do,” said Jeff Weiner, CEO of LinkedIn. “’s extensive library of premium video content helps empower people to develop the skills needed to accelerate their careers.

“When integrated with the hundreds of millions of members and millions of jobs on LinkedIn, can change the way in which people connect to opportunity.”

Lynda Weinman and Bruce Heavin founded in 1995, becoming profitable just two years later and raking in more than $100 million in revenue annually in recent years.

The company had been busy as of late, building capital, acquiring other web services and growing its video course list to more than 5,000, providing training for more than 4 million people worldwide.

What will become of its more than 400 employees — most of which work at its 12-acre campus headquarters in Carpinteria — and the campus iteslf wasn’t immediately known. 

Most members of the team are expected to join LinkedIn, according to LinkedIn.

Representatives from, which has historically been a devoted local sponsor of events, did not return requests for comment.

“This is such an exciting moment in the 20-year history of, and I couldn’t imagine a better pairing than and LinkedIn,” Weinman, co-founder and executive chair of the board of, said in a statement on the website. “When we were approached by LinkedIn, we instantly recognized that the synergy between the two companies offered a match unlike any other.”

Earlier this year, received an investment of $186 million led by TPG, a global private investment firm with offices in San Francisco. The online company has also received regular funding from Accel Partners, Spectrum Equity and Meritech.

In February, acquired video2brain GmbH, a European-based online video-training company. Last year, picked up Compilr, a software coding and development service that allows people to learn, write, compile and test code from its browser.

Back in April of 2013, when the company laid off 45 employees as part of a restructuring, boasted 460 employees working in departments throughout the website’s Calabasas, Ventura and Carpinteria offices, in addition to remote employees.

— Executive Editor Tom Bolton contributed to this story

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.