MOUNTAIN VIEW, California: Professional networking website LinkedIn, which connects business people with shared contacts and interests, has joined a $1 billion (€645m; £512m) club.

The company, which was founded in 2003, has raised $53m in new funding from a private equity consortium, leading to its barrier-breaking valuation.

The profitable site has 23 million members in 150 countries and attracts 1.2m new professionals each month, helping them establish business relationships.

Vp of corporate development and strategy Ellen Levy says the cash will be used to grow LinkedIn's four existing revenue streams and explore new opportunities.

Data sourced from BBC Online; additional content by WARC staff