Eduardo Vivas is on a roll. On Thursday, LinkedIn announced that it was acquiring his startup, Bright.com, for $US120 million.
That would make Bright LinkedIn’s biggest-ever acquisition, edging out Slideshare, which LinkedIn bought for $US119 million in 2012.
For Vivas, it’s a two-in-a-row home run, according to his bio on Bright.com. His previous startup, Social Hour, was bought in 2012 for $US51.5 million by mobile game network PlayPhone, VentureBeat’s Dean Takahashi reported at the time.
Vivas had left Social Hour before the acquisition, in 2011, to start Bright.com with another serial founder, Steve Goodman. (Goodman founded PacketTrap, acquired by Quest Software; Lasso Logic acquired by SonicWALL — both now part of Dell; and Learning Productions acquired by SkillSoft.) We’ve reached out to Vivas to ask for more details.
Turns out that leaving for Bright.com wasn’t a bad move. Bright raised $US20 million in venture investment. The $US120 million will be paid in 73 per cent stock and 27 per cent cash, LinkedIn says in its press release.
That’s not a bad return for a 3-year-old startup.
LinkedIn wanted Bright.com for its special software that analyses resumes and job openings and matches them together. Or as Vivas describes it: “Finding a job should be easier than splitting an atom.”
Along the way, Bright.com also amassed a lot of insight and statistics into the general job market, which is also valuable to LinkedIn.
Here’s the blog post from Vivas announcing the acquisition:
Bright launched three years ago with an audacious vision: to use data science to enable the labour market to operate more efficiently. This afternoon, we announced that we will be acquired by LinkedIn. We started this business in the shadow of the worst recession of our generation. We heard stories of talented people applying to dozens, even hundreds of jobs, without hearing back.
We heard stories of recruiting teams doing their best to screen through the mountains of incoming resumes. Today, employers complain that there are no qualified applicants, yet qualified applicants often have their resumes overlooked. This marketplace inefficiency called for a technological solution and we resolved to heed that call.
We assembled an incredible team. In their previous lives, they had been nuclear physicists, astrophysicists, geophysicists, neuroscientists, organizational psychologists, teachers (for America), and even a five-time Jeopardy champion. They were brought together by a belief that finding a job should be easier than splitting an atom.
We then commissioned the first large scale, controlled clinical trial of talent matching. We recruited hundreds of talent acquisition professionals and asked them to tell us if they would advance specific candidates in the hiring process for specific jobs. Based on these judgments, we were able to identify the relevant features that lead to successful hiring and build them into our matching algorithms. Along the way, we learned many valuable (and often amusing) lessons about the hiring process, which we published on Bright Labs. In the last two years, we’ve calculated billions of scores. Many different independent analyses have validated that we are the best at what we do and we’re very proud of our work.
We decided to join LinkedIn because of what we lacked — the ability to apply this technology across the entire economy. We share LinkedIn’s passion for connecting talent with opportunity at massive scale. And we agree that the old models for online recruiting are hopelessly broken. Our focus in this endeavour was always the individual — the broken hiring process hurts our economy at a macroeconomic level, but the most acute pain is at the household level.
Joining an organisation with the talent and resources of LinkedIn will only serve to further ignite our passion for solving this problem. We may become less visible than we were before, but it’s now more likely than ever that you’ll feel the impact of our work.
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