Lars Hinrichs, chief executive of Xing, a social software platform for professionals and executives, visited London last week to generate awareness of the site before a marketing campaign kicks off later this year.
Xing has 5m members, having almost tripled in size during 2007. It plans to expand internationally and establish itself as the leading UK rival to LinkedIn, the US professional networking site, which recently opened a UK office. Xing was the first Web 2.0 company to go public, in late 2006, and last year introduced targeted advertising.
Unlike Facebook, Xing makes money through a paid-for premium service. Members can post CV-style information which outlines their job skills, experience, contacts and professional recommendations, and can use the site's 'jobs marketplace' to connect with prospective employers
The network primarily serves the German-speaking world, with 1.2m members in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, but it has recently extended into Spain with the acquisition of social networks eConozco and Neurona.