Workforce.com

Jobfox Scores $20 Million in Venture Funding

Company plans to open six offices in high-volume markets—New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Seattle and Chicago—as well as double its staffing to 120 employees by the end of the year.

January 10, 2008
Jobfox is starting 2008 with $20 million in new financing, which the job board will use to expand its domestic and international presence.

The company plans to open six offices in high-volume markets—New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Houston, Seattle and Chicago—as well as double its staffing to 120 employees by the end of the year, according to spokesman Barry Lawrence.

The venture financing round was led by Draper Fisher Jurvetson and included Menlo Ventures and New Enterprise Associates.

Lawrence says the funding brings total working capital to $40 million for McLean, Virginia-based Jobfox. The new offices will primarily hire sales and marketing personnel, but will likely also include technology experts who can generate innovations, Lawrence explains. “Pushing the Web 2.0 envelope is important for us,” he says.

Rob McGovern, Jobfox founder and former CareerBuilder CEO, began experimenting with prototypes of Jobfox in late 2003, culminating in the official national launch last summer.

Jobfox differentiates itself from a conventional job board by offering technology that matches the most suitable candidate for a specific job opening.

“Think of us as the e-Harmony of the recruiting world,” Lawrence says.

The financing may generate much-needed market buzz for Jobfox and its peers—Itzbig.com and QuietAgent.

“There had been a lot of noise about these sorts of matchmaking vendors in the summer, but I haven’t heard much recently,” says Kevin Wheeler, a recruiting industry analyst and president of consulting firm Global Learning Resources.

Wheeler says it could be a result of recruiters getting cold feet with the new technology. “Humans in general tend to have a herd mentality,” Wheeler says. “It is going to take a few brave and bold individuals to take charge, and once that happens everybody will follow.”

Jobfox is aware of the challenges and is launching measures to reduce the intimidation factor of adopting the technology.

“Our system is easy to use,” Lawrence says. “Our staffers and our salespeople are always willing to show customers how to make the most of the tools that we offer.”

In 2007, the company increased sales of its program by 1,050 percent over 2006, according to Lawrence. He declined to disclose the actual dollar value of those sales, but says significant growth is expected for this year as well.

The expansion will go beyond the U.S., he says, adding that London and other major European and Asian hubs are on Jobfox’s radar. The company recently sealed a co-branding partnership with Fairfax Digital, an Australia provider of online news and classifieds.

Fairfax Digital owns national job board MyCareer.com. Lawrence says Jobfox will examine similar strategic alliances around the globe.

Gina Ruiz