Viadeo, a France-based social network, has plans to launch an innovation laboratory in San Francisco, California, after buying local start-up Pealk using money from its $32m round raised last year.

Pealk built a people search application for business network LinkedIn but Viadeo’s purchase will see Pealk’s super search service rebuilt for Viadeo.

Boris Golden, Pealk’s co-founder and chief executive, will head up that activity and also lead the company’s Viadeo Labs team, based in San Francisco.

LinkedIn itself opened its own incubator in December with a similar aim of encouraging new thinking.

In April last year, Germany-based insurer Allianz and US-based bank Jefferies helped Viadeo raise $32m.

The series D round was also backed by French Sovereign Wealth Fund, the Fonds Strategique d’Investissement, and venture firm Idinvest and Ventech as well as private funds from the Middle East.

Jefferies acted as exclusive financial adviser to Viadeo, while US-based law firm Paul Hastings…

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