There is – as always – plenty of news this month. But as you perhaps can guess from the title, the big news is Stepstone’s majority stake in Appcast. More in a minute. Just remember – big news can drop at any time in our industry, whether it is the dead of winter or the broiling heat of summer. It’s funny how a good heating and cooling system can help. All right, let’s get to it!:
- Stepstone takes majority stake in Appcast: The StepStone group acquired 85 percent of the US-American company Appcast for about EUR 70 million, or $78M US. Stepstone, which is part of Axel Springer, has a number of job boards in Europe, as well as a few U.S. properties, but this is the largest investment in a U.S. property thus far, at least that I know of. Interestingly, Axel Springer is itself seeing major investment from private equity firm KKR. At the same time, Stepstone is apparently not happy with the entry of Google for Jobs into the German market. Appcast’s founder Chris Forman is to remain with the company, which currently employs about 100 people. Smart move by Stepstone, and congrats to Chris and the gang! Is this the first step of the Stepstone takeover of North America? Stay tuned.
- iCIMS acquires Jibe: Speaking of acquisitions, iCIMS, a major ATS vendor, has picked up Jibe, a SaaS recruiting technology for sourcing, nurturing and marketing to candidates. Founded in 2010 in New York City, Jibe offers branded career sites, landing pages, and personalized recommendations, using machine learning to serve more relevant job search results to interested applicants and more relevant candidates to recruiters. Smart move by iCIMS, and of course congrats to Joe and the crew at Jibe!
- GirlBoss takes on LinkedIn: Girlboss, the multi-media brand for women founded by serial entrepreneur Sophia Amoruso, is relaunching as ‘LinkedIn for women’. With their free membership, women who sign up get access to other entrepreneurial women and the ability to ask and answer questions from their peer group. Profiles take LinkedIn one step further, according to the company, by including accomplishments, “life moments” and other elements to make the social network more personal — like a daily horoscope and a Meyers-Briggs type. Hmm.
- KiwiJobs lands some investment cash: Naspers-owned OLX Poland has acquired a majority stake in Kiwi Jobs, a blue-collar recruitment app, for an undisclosed amount. The investment will let OLX strengthen its jobs category in Poland. Kiwi Jobs was founded by Absolvent Group in 2017. It attracts candidates by ensuring they get an answer from employers within 48 hours of their application. Kiwi Jobs currently only operates in Warsaw but plans to expand to other major cities in Poland, including Wroclaw and Krakow. Interesting.
- expertlead raises funds: expertlead, a global community of tech freelancers, raised €7 million in Series A funding led by growth investor Acton Capital with participation from strategic investor SEEK and renewed investment from Rocket Internet. The fresh capital will be used to support expertlead’s international growth ambitions as well as to further the automation of its products. Founded in January 2018, expertlead’s mission is to support freelance tech professionals in all stages of self-employment: from project acquisition and client management to continued professional development, peer-to-peer learning and administrative tasks. I expect to hear more from them.
- Tara.ai gets funding: Tara.ai (formerly Gradberry), a platform that uses machine learning to help an organization get engineering projects done — from identifying and predicting the work that will need to be tackled, to sourcing talent to execute that, and then monitoring the project of that project — has raised a Series A of $10 million to continue building out its platform. Tara.ai evaluates a company’s own staff expertise, along with that from other recruiting platforms, to figure out which people to source from within the company. Eventually, that will also be complemented with sourcing information from outside the organization — either contractors or new hires. Very cool.
- SmartRecruiters gets chummy with Job.com: SmartRecruiters, the cloud-based ATS, announced a collaboration that will bring the job-matching engine Job.com to its SaaS. SmartRecruiters’ clients will be able to use Job.com’s integrated rewards-driven platform to source, track, and hire with successful candidates receiving a 5% signing reward. Offers are securely handled through smart contracts, and the process is fueled through incentivizing rewards, with hired candidates earning a reward equivalent to 5% of their new salary. Interesting.
Well, I think that’s enough, don’t you? If you want to find out who’s next in bought and sold, check back next month![Want to get Job Board Doctor posts via email? Subscribe here.].