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SeekOut, LinkedIn, and ZipRecruiter: news of the recruitment marketing industry

SeekOutTime for the first news roundup of the new year – and amazingly enough, there is plenty of it (including good news for SeekOut)! Facebook/Meta continues to lurch about, running afoul of privacy regulators around the world, and a new podcast is taking the job board world by storm (kinda!). Recruiting sites continue to raise funding, and SeekOut has big news. Let’s dig into it:

  • SeekOut becomes a unicornSeattle-area startup SeekOut just landed an additional $115 million to propel its valuation past $1 billion, earning it the coveted unicorn label. The service pulls data on more than 700 million potential candidates from a myriad of sources, including GitHub and published papers. The company’s annual recurring revenue has tripled over the past nine months, and is in the $25-to-$50 million range. The fresh funding follows a big 2021 for SeekOut, which raised $65 million in March. Congrats!
  • LinkedIn gets its own clubhouseLinkedIn, now with more than 800 million people listing their professional profiles to build out their careers, is rolling out a new events platform, where it will be listing, hosting and marketing interactive, virtual live events. It is starting out first with an audio-only product that it will be launching this month in beta, followed by a video version that it will launch in the spring, initially targeting Creators that use LinkedIn as organizers and hosts. If the audio event feature it is launching this month sounds familiar, it is: this is the Clubhouse rival that the company was working on back in March 2021. Better late than never?
  • SnagAJob gets a loanSnagAJob secured a $65 million loan from Runway Growth Capital LLC. Runway — which provides growth loans to venture and non-venture backed companies seeking an alternative to raising equity — said the senior secured term loan commitment would let Snagajob “continue investing in its next-generation technology and drive growth on the tailwinds of an evolving hourly jobs market.” In October, SnagAJob said it would sell its ATS PeopleMatter and on-boarding service HiringManager to workforce and inventory management software Fourth Enterprises LLC. Hmm.
  • Paradox lands big bucksParadox closed a Series C investment of $200 million. The round was led by Stripes, Sapphire and Thoma Bravo, and values the company at $1.5 billion. Paradox is known for Olivia, a conversational AI assistant that helps employers automate talent acquisition tasks such as candidate screening, interview scheduling and onboarding. The round “was entirely about team building. It’s a new starting line in a bigger race that resets expectations of the future we can create with our clients,” said Paradox founder and CEO Aaron Matos. Interesting.
  • MyNavi acquires Sribu.comJapan-based recruitment marketplace operator MyNavi Corporation has further expanded its operations in Southeast Asia by acquiring a crowdsourcing site and freelancer marketplace for an undisclosed sum. Indonesia-based crowdsourcing site and freelancer marketplace Sribulancer have an aggregate 550,000 registered workers and 50,000 clients. Established in 1973, MyNavi owns and operates a number of job boards that serve local, global and SEA markets. Congrats!
  • Fiverr rolls out new discovery tool: Fiverr is rolling out a Pinterest-like mobile experience that allows people to interact with a fresh feed of visual content curated particularly for them. The new function, dubbed “Inspire,” was created especially to assist users in coming up with new ideas and finding freelancers on the marketplace, according to the company. The new function, according to Fiverr, is intended to help customers locate a variety of services and talents that may be beneficial to their business or project. Intriguing.
  • ZipRecruiter looking for junk (bonds)ZipRecruiter is issuing its first ever junk bonds with the intention of raising $500 million in fast cash.  Though junk bonds are typically issued by struggling companies with poor credit ratings, Bloomberg reported that analysts at Moody’s believe ZipRecruiter either needs the money for an urgent acquisition or simply wants to tap the junk-bond market while rates remain unusually low. The company, which went public in May 2021, posted revenue of $212.7 million for Q3 2021, along with a $22.7 million profit. Hmm.
  • Backstage acquires ShareGridNew York-based Backstage has acquired ShareGrid, a Seattle startup that runs a marketplace for film and photo equipment rentals. The deal will boost Backstage’s freelancer marketplace and application suite for creators. Founded in 2015 by Marius Ciocirlan and Arash Shiva, ShareGrid has more than 150,000 members and is active in more than 100 cities. Interesting.
  • Career Bank is profitableJapan-based recruitment company Career Bank turned a profit in the first half, a turnaround from its loss in the comparable period last year. Compared to its operating loss of Y84.3 million last year, Career Bank posted operating profit of Y102 million ($882,000) during the six-month period to Nov. 30. The company said it promptly responded to recruiting needs, boosting the number of contracts with employers and resulting in a 33% growth in sales, which reached Y3.5 billion ($30.3 million U.S.). Congrats!
  • Vangst once again raises fundsAn investor syndicate led by Level One Fund just plugged $19 million in Series B funding into Vangst, a six-year-old, Denver-based outfit that pairs both short-term workers and full-time employees with job openings at cannabis companies around the U.S. According to founder and CEO Karson Humiston, Vangst currently features 500 “gigs” per week that the platform takes on average 48 hours to fill. Vangst charges its customers 50% more than it pays its part-time employees, so paying $15 per hour, it might charge a client $22.50 for that employee’s time. As for full-time roles, in exchange for vetting talent that it connects with companies, Vangst takes a percentage of each candidate’s first-year salary. Very interesting.
  • Port Inc. already in the metaverseJob site operator Port Inc. has introduced Japan’s first online job-hunting consultation service that offers a 3D virtual space for immersive interaction. Called job-hunting metaverse, the virtual space gives job seekers the feel of a face-to-face meeting, during which they can discuss concerns and interact with recruitment specialists and employment counsellors. With a VR headset, they can move as avatars to perform actions in digital reality. Founded in 2011 as a business using social media for recruitment, Tokyo-headquartered Port Inc. has since broadened its scope to cover fintech and property remodeling. Recruitment services are the company’s core business, with jobs site and other employment agent and recruitment information services. Wow.

Well. I guess things have been happening despite tsunamis, blizzards, and what-not! I think I’ll leave you on that metaversical note (!). Until next time…

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