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Spiceworks raised $57m in new funding, which it plans to use to expand and branch out into peripheral services.

Spiceworks raised $57m in new funding, which it plans to use to expand and branch out into peripheral services.

Spiceworks, the makers of the popular social network for IT professionals announced Tuesday that it has secured $57m in a new round of funding led by Goldman Sachs. Sometimes known as the LinkedIn for IT pros, Spiceworks said it plans to use the funds to double down on expansion and product development – branching out into areas dominated by another darling of the IT world, GitHub.

Texas-based Spiceworks operates a social network that allows IT professionals to connect with IT managers – like a vertically-specific LinkedIn; it operates on a similar freemium / advertising basis.

The service claims about five million monthly unique users globally, which is a pretty big chunk of a pool of professionals pegged by some to sit between 10 to 15 million worldwide.

“Spiceworks has reached the tipping point all high-growth, successful social and professional networks experience as they evolve to reshape how we do business,” said Scott Abel, co-founder and chief executive officer of Spiceworks.

“As the professional network for IT, we have a unique opportunity to connect IT professionals and technology companies in entirely new ways. By coupling the best professional networks have to offer with tools and resources IT professionals and marketers need to do their jobs, we’re excited to reinvent a multi-trillion dollar industry,” he added.

Its plans include branching out to offer GitHub-like functionality, which includes offering its own developer-focused app store “to give IT professionals the tools they need to manage their entire technology environment.”

The company also intends to bolster its services by using big data to reveal trends in how IT pros buy and manage IT technologies and services, driving more service engagement – and more advertising revenue.

“The emergence of professional networks like Spiceworks represents the next wave of social innovation,” said David Campbell of Goldman Sachs, who joined the Spiceworks board following the latest round. “Spiceworks has a unique platform for technology brands to directly access a rapidly-growing, critical, and underserved market of IT professionals that commands over $525 billion of spend today.”