This post has been updated following a conversation with Indeed’s CEO and co-founder, Paul Forster.Indeed, a job search giant and one of the New York City area’s biggest startups, has been acquired by Japanese company, Recruit Co. Ltd.
The acquisition price wasn’t announced but you can bet it was for close to, if not more than, $1 billion. A source close to the company tells us Indeed is worth between $750 million and $1 billion, and the profitable company had discussed going public.
When we asked Indeed’s CEO and co-founder Paul Forster about the acquisition price, he stated: “It was a very attractive offer. It was a very exciting outcome for shareholders and employees and everyone involved in the business.” He also noted that his company has been profitable since 2007 and it’s the #1 source of hires in the United States.
Recruit’s offer does seem like it was lucrative for all parties involved. In a recent New York Times SEC filing, the media company stated that its investment in Forster’s company netted it $100 million.
Founded in 2004, Indeed has more than 550 employees. Indeed has 80 million monthly uniques and it works with more than 25,000 advertisers. Half of its traffic is international. More than 1 million resumes are added to Indeed every month.
When Business Insider visited the company in February it only had 360 people on its payroll and 60 million monthly uniques.
Its revenue is growing quickly too. We’re told Indeed will generate about $150 million this year and will net about $25 million with revenues growing 30% per year.
Recruit, its acquirer, has 22,000 employees and $10 billion in annual revenue. Forster says the two companies began discussions about six months ago, in early March.
What’s most amazing about the acquisition is that Indeed’s entire billion-dollar operation was almost entirely bootstrapped. Co-founders Paul Forster and Rony Kahan only took $5 million from Union Square Ventures, Allen & Co and The New York Times Company, and even then they didn’t really need the outside capital.
“They had bootstrapped the company, launched the service, and were well on their way. They didn’t need our money. But eventually we convinced them to take it,” USV’s Fred Wilson writes.
“We’ve been very capital efficient,” Forster tells Business Insider. “Part of our ethos has been to be very, very efficient and hire the right people at the right time. We’ve also been laser focused on building the most relevant job search company. Monetizing that has been very successful.” Indeed was the first auction-based, pay-per-click recruitment advertising service.
Indeed is not the first successful company Forster and Kahan founded together. In the early 2000’s the former finance professionals founded jobsinthemoney. Their company was acquired in 2003 by Financial News.
So what happened to Indeed’s IPO plans?
“We had the alternative option to go public and we were advised by Morgan Stanley in the deal,” says Forster. “All the indications were that we would have had a successful IPO if we had chosen to go that route. But this was a very compelling offer.”
For more on how Indeed became the top job search company in the world, check out:
- How Indeed, The World’s Largest Job Search Site, Exploded To 60 Million Uniques
- Behind The Scenes Of The World’s Largest Job Search Site, Indeed
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