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Huzzle raises funds and LinkedIn makes money: news of the job board industry

Huzzle raises fundsHuzzle raises funds – you heard right. Don’t know what’s up with the name, but sometimes this industry gets weird. It also turns out that LinkedIn continues to find new ways to squeeze more money out of their platform – a lesson for the rest of us, right? And of course, AI. Let’s see what’s happened in the past few weeks:

  • Upwork revenue upUpwork reported first-quarter revenue rose 18.7% to $190.9 million. Gross margin at the talent platform also improved, and net income rose 7.4%. Revenue growth was driven, in part, by the final transition to the company’s new flat-fee pricing structure that was introduced last year. Upwork’s gross services volume — the total amount that clients spend on Upwork’s offerings as well as additional fees to talent and clients for other services — rose 1% to nearly $1.01 billion. Impressive.
  • LinkedIn tests Premium Company Page offeringLinkedIn is working on a new LinkedIn Premium Company Page subscription, which — for fees that appear to be as steep as $99/month — will include AI to write content and new tools to grow follower counts, among other features to raise the profiles of the company using them. The move is significant because it underscores how Microsoft-owned LinkedIn continues to diversify its business model — while also trying to make itself more useful overall. Other business-focused tiers include Premium Career for people on the job hunt, Premium Business for business intelligence, Sales Navigator for sales teams, Recruiter tiers for sourcing and hiring talent and LinkedIn Learning for professional development. Hmm. It may be working, because LinkedIn’s q3 revenue showed double digit growth:  $4.0 billion in revenue for the three months to March 2023 (Q3 FY2024), up 10% year-on-year (y-o-y) thanks to growth across all lines of business. Yow.
  • Multiverse acquires SearchlightMultiverse, the U.K. unicorn that builds apprenticeship programs for people to learn technology skills while on the job, has bought Searchlight, a startup that builds AI-based recruitment and assessment products. The plan will be to use Searchlight’s tech to create new AI products that Multiverse can use to expand its training services for professionals.  This acquisition addresses an area where AI is being employed: Edtech companies focusing on working environments want — and are expected by their customers — to use AI to build more efficient professional training services to fill recruitment gaps. Intriguing.
  • CareerArc acquires LuminaCareerArc has acquired Lumina, saying the deal supports its aim to build automated video creation into its offering to help solve a major challenge for recruitment marketing — content creation. Lumina visual job postings can be embedded into job boards and career pages to promote employer branding and increase applications. Founded in 2009, CareerArc said it plans to launch further updates to its employment content creation services later this year. Congrats!
  • Huzzle raises fundsLondon-based startup Huzzle has raised €1.67 million in pre-seed funding to transform the early careers space. Founded in 2021, Huzzle is building a three-sided marketplace that connects students, societies, and employers. Starting as a CRM for student organisations, it has grown into a career companion used by more than 80,000 students, generating over 1,000 job applications and event registrations per day. Interesting, but what’s with the name, eh?
  • introduces AI-driven resume, a recruitment marketplace based in Japan, introduced a new GenAI tool for resume creation, taking a cue from a survey that found CV writing as a key problem for most of the job applicants even after career counselling. According to Doda, it takes as little as one minute for the tool to complete a profile in local language focusing readability, comprehensiveness, accuracy, suitability, specificity and uniqueness. In a beta test, the profile maker got a satisfactory nod from 95% of users with 1.2 times improvement in writing and editing. We’ll be seeing a lot of this sort of stuff!
  • Jobcube expands into the USThe Japan-based aggregator Jobcube has expanded into the US market. It is part of the group company, Inc., which has been operating the job search service “Kyujin-Box” in Japan since 2015 and will leverage its accumulated knowledge to expand “Jobcube” to other markets aside from the US.  Jobcube aggregates and provides the details of more than five million jobs at any given time, including full-time, part-time, contract, and remote jobs. We can always use another aggregator…
  • InfoEdge billings riseInfo Edge, the Indian job board, reported standalone billings increased by 10.4% during the fourth quarter ended 31 March 2024. Last month, Google reinstated Info Edge’s mobile applications namely, Naukri recruiter and Shiksha, on its Google Play Store, after the tech giant began removing the apps of 10 companies in India in a dispute over service fee payments. Info Edge also posted full year standalone billings of INR 24.95 billion, up 5.4% compared with the prior year. Interesting.
  • JobCannon acquires Adsme:  Ukraine-founded recruitment startup JobCannon has acquired Ukrainian startup Adsme. JobCannon uses AI to simplify job searches and talent acquisition. Adsme’s technology allows for real-time forecasting of over 20 million results in visual and textual advertising on Meta Ads (Facebook, Instagram) and provides recommendations for optimising any of its elements. Congrats!
  • CV Wallet launches candidate verificationRectech startup CV Wallet has launched SaaS candidate verification for recruiters. Co-founder Richard Collins said “it is a combination of screening with proof, referencing light with a sprinkling of skills assessments, using AI and 3rd party data checks.” Good idea.
  • Randstad revenue falls: Randstad reported challenging market conditions in the first quarter. Client activity remained subdued. First-quarter revenue fell 8% year over year on an organic basis to €5.94 billion (US$6.41 billion). US revenue was down 15% year over year in the first quarter on an organic basis compared to a 16% decline in the fourth quarter. Hmm.
  • CareerIndex launches conversational AI interview serviceJapan-based marketplace operator CareerIndex has commenced a proof of concept of AI interview service ShaiN to manage preliminary interview volume and overcome time and geographical barriers. More than 500 companies have used ShaiN. ShaiN is a conversational AI interview, conducting initial recruitment interviews on behalf of employers, with questions based on proprietary interview methodology, improving evaluation, unifying hiring criteria and forming impartial shortlists. Tip of the iceberg!

Well, you can see that funding, acquisitions, and product introductions are happening apace these days. Not surprisingly, there were many more AI product intros that I didn’t have room to cover – but they are out there. Wonder what’s next? I guess we’ll find out.

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