So it’s the end of 2021, and depending on your perspective, you’re either happy to see it go – or you’re feeling pretty good about how it went. That about covers it, right? It’s been an exciting year for the Doctor, both professionally and personally, and while 2021 was a definite improvement over 2020, I must say that I am looking forward to 2022. Enough said! So what’s been happening in our industry over the past few weeks? Let’s take a look:
- Facebook kills Jobs feature: Facebook Jobs is shutting down outside of Canada and the U.S. Feb. 22, 2022. The social network introduced Facebook Jobs in those two countries in February 2017, expanding it to 40 more countries one year later. The ability to distribute free jobs via a partner integration with the Facebook Jobs API (application-programming interface) will no longer be available. Employers in Canada and the U.S. can continue to use the Facebook Jobs tools to create job postings on their pages free-of-charge on the Facebook app or desktop website, and those posts can be boosted as ads. So…kinda dead, kinda not? Depends on where you are!
- JobandTalent takes in really big bucks: Madrid-based Jobandtalent has raised a robust $500 million in equity funding and $75 million in debt financing in a Series E funding round. The company provides individually tailored matches between workers and companies in a wide range of sectors including logistics, e-commerce, warehousing, and manufacturing. The half a billion in new capital is expected to further drive expansion into the US, and other key markets. Yow!
- Turing raises big bucks, too: Turing — which uses AI to source, evaluate, hire, onboard and then manage engineers remotely (including the HR and compliance aspects) in a bigger platform that it calls the “Talent Cloud” — has raised $87 million, a Series D round of financing that values the startup at $1.1 billion. The platform’s total pool of candidates has grown 9x to 1 million engineers and developers from 140 countries in the last year, with that pool either looking for projects or already engaged in them. Turing’s platform has been built, not just for sourcing but helping those at the company attain other hard and soft skills. Very interesting.
- Textkernel acquires Sovren: Job-matching software firm TextKernel has acquired competitor Sovren. The deal, estimated at $34 million to $45 million, intends to expand Textkernel’s footprint in North America and the Asian Pacific. The combined companies will employ about 140 people and serve 2,500 clients, including some of the largest staffing companies worldwide. Congrats!
- SonicJobs lands funding: SonicJobs, which was founded in 2017 by Mikhil Raja, Francesca Boccolini and Francesco Masia, has raised $5.5M in Series A funding from investors including TriplePoint, Ufi Ventures and TMT Investments. Based in London, SonicJobs plans to use its new funding to expand further in the UK as well as launching in the US. SonicJobs uses robotic processing automation technology to modernise the way candidates search and apply for jobs. Congrats as well!
- 51Job revenue is up: Chinese job board 51job reported its revenue increased 19.3% year on year in the third quarter of 2021, thanks to the improved hiring demand in China. However, its net income continued to decline to just $7.24 million. Operating expenses continued to climb in the reported period by34.8% YoY to $85.6 million (RMB551.8 million), primary due to surging sales and marketing expenses that was up by 46% YoY as the company intends to maintain significant sales and marketing investments to strengthen its brands. Interesting.
- Jump helps freelancers gain stability: French startup Jump wants to disrupt the industry of umbrella companies, which provide an alternative to traditional freelancing jobs. They can hire workers on permanent contracts so that they get the stability and benefits that come with a full-time contract. But workers remain independent — they can work with multiple clients and negotiate their contracts directly. The company raised a $4.5 million (€4 million) seed round led by Index Ventures. Intriguing.
- Shiftsmart raises cash: Shiftsmart, a New York-based labor management resource, raised $95 million in Series B funding for its workforce management software that matches hourly workers with open shifts across a variety of industry verticals and roles. Since forming in 2015, the company has amassed a network of over 500,000 workers in over 50 countries who have flexibility and control over where they work, how much they work and how fast they can get paid, while employers can customize their staffing needs and reduce turnover. The hourly market continues to evolve.
- Grupa Pracuj IPOs: Polish job board company Grupa Pracuj has listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange at a PLN 5 billion ($1.2 billion U.S.) valuation. Grupa Pracuj operates the No. 1 recruitment vertical in Poland Pracuj.pl and the leading Ukrainian job site Rabota.ua. It also owns the applicant tracking system ERecruiter, programming school Coders Lab and has been a minority shareholder at the employee wellbeing platform WorkSmile since July. Congrats, folks!
- Sense lands funding: Sense, an AI-powered platform for talent engagement and communication, today announced a $50 million Series D funding round led by SoftBank Vision Fund 2. Funding will go toward the continued ramp up of Sense’s go-to-market strategy and increasing awareness of the company. It will also invest in international expansion with a focus on regions such as Western Europe. More AI.
- Stepstone to disappear from Sweden: Schibsted-owned Blocket will not renew its license to run StepStone when it expires at the end of 2021, ending seven years helming the job platform. Blocket will now focus solely on Blocket Jobb. Blocket also runs job aggregator JobbSafari.se in Sweden. Interesting.
- CareerBeacon acquired by Alongside: Alongside, an HR technology company, announced the acquisition of CareerBeacon, one of Canada’s leading job board and online recruitment solutions providers. With more than 2,000 active customers and an average of 5,800 jobs posted monthly in 2021, CareerBeacon provides a customer-focused approach, bringing value to job seekers and offering prompt support to employers as they find and manage new talent. Congrats!
- Duunitori is growing: Duunitori.fi, a Finnish recruitment site, expects its revenue to reach €13 million ($14.7 million U.S.) in FY2021, up from €7.4 million ($8.3 million U.S.) in FY2020. The company has been growing fast both in Finland and Sweden, where it launched recruitment site Jobbland.se in spring. Duunitori is the most popular recruitment vertical in Finland by traffic. Its main competitors are Schibsted-owned Oikotie Jobs (part of Oikotie.fi) and Alma Career’s Monster.fi. Impressive.
- Remember lands funding: Drama & Company, the operator of Remember, dubbed the Korean version of Linkedin, will raise KRW 160 billion (USD 134.2 million) in series D funding from investors including private equity fund Ark & Partners and Saramin HR. The company plans to use the new funds to recruit talents and acquire companies in order to grow Remember as a comprehensive business portal. Remember was launched in 2014 by Choi Jae-ho, Drama & Co.’s CEO, with hopes to develop it as a business people networking platform like LinkedIn. It now has 3.5 million users. Making progress.
Geez! That is a lot of funding, some significant acquisitions, and an interesting move by Facebook. This industry feels a little like a soap opera sometimes! Anyway, we’ll see what happens next year. Until then, have a great few weeks![Want to get Job Board Doctor posts via email? Subscribe here.]. [Check out JobBoardGeek, the Doctor’s new podcast!)