LinkedIn competitor Viadeo claims 30 million members

Business networking upstart Viadeo has just gotten a little bit taller, claiming to have passed the 30 million member mark according to TechCrunch Europe.

This is a substantial increase on July 2009 when it only had 8.5 million members. It raised an extra $5 million in funding and obviously put it to good use, touting a multi-local strategy that focuses on providing the Facebook for suits service in 226 countries over five continents.

Viadeo’s main growth stems from Latin America, India, China and other large but quickly developing markets. The reasoning for this is that its localised versions are tailored to the culture they are serving.

This approach is more than simply a Google translator job, of course, with Viadeo CEO Dan Serafty saying that understanding the business and cultural needs of each territory is essential to providing an appropriate multi-local service.

He added that it “takes a deep understanding of the ‘local’ market, and does not mean exporting a particular attitude, experience or set of values.”

One sixth of Viadeo members are business owners or entrepreneurs, while 70 percent hold middle or senior management positions. Viadeo boasts that its members work in 322 different industries.

The service provides a three-pronged approach on networking, business, and career opportunities, allowing users to contact colleagues, classmates, and alumni, find new clients, showcase products and services, and get headhunted for a career advance.

Viadeo has some major competition, however, such as the German-based Xing or Silicon Valley giant LinkedIn. In 2009 Xing claimed 7.5 million members, while LinkedIn is currently soaring above both with 65 million. This puts Viadeo firmly in second place, which isn’t a bad position considering the numbers involved.

With such a willingness to embrace the attitude and values of another culture it’s no surprise that Viadeo is onto a winning formula in each of the areas it serves.