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Glassdoor Has Been Purchased by Japanese Firm Recruit Holdings

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In a recent acquisition, the website Glassdoor has been bought for $1.2 billion.  That’s a huge amount of money.  This acquisition is being called the largest U.S. tech acquisition of 2018.  Recruit Holdings, a large Japanese human resources company spent a lot of money to acquire the company.  Recruit Holdings owns other sites like Indeed.  Glassdoor hadn’t raised new money in about two years when it was valued by investors at around $860 million.  Which means, the company is going to need to figure out if they want to raise more money, sell the company, or go public. It’s been reported that they were at least considering an IPO in late 2018.  In fact, they have even been interviewing banks who could help them with this venture.

CEO Robert Hohman intends for the company to maintain its brand.  He made the following statement in a blog post:

“Our mission has been the same since day one: to help people everywhere find a job and company they love. That mission will not change as part of Recruit. Glassdoor will continue to operate as a distinct brand to fulfill this mission — and will be able to do so with greater speed and impact than we could achieve alone.”

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To date, Glassdoor has raised a total of $200 million from its investors, with its most recent round of $40 million in March 2016.  That last investment gave Glassdoor a valuation of around $1 billion.  Which, interestingly enough, isn’t a huge amount more than what Recruit is paying for the company.  This certainly points to Glassdoor’s lack of growth over the few years.  That said, the deal still looks like a win for those interested in backing it.

And why is that?  Glassdoor says it is used by 59 million people each month, many of whom come to the service to read about how companies are rated by the people who work, or worked there. While it is headquartered in the U.S., Glassdoor says it has information on more than 770,000 companies across 190 countries worldwide, including 40 million reviews covering company culture, CEO ratings, salary information and more.

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How do they make money?  Glassdoor’s revenue service comes from recruitment services, and working with 7,000 employees and 40% of those on the Fortune 500 list.  Recruit Holdings may not be well known in the United States, but they are a huge Japanese firm and has a history of purchasing overseas business.  Recruit was founded in 1960 and is listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange, and has 45,000 employees across 60 countries.  That’s a massive company.

Glassdoor claims that they want to maintain their brand, but is that possible?  The short answer.  I think so.  Recruit Holdings is an HR company.  Or rather, a group of companies.  So this acquisition not only makes sense, but it is also beneficial for Glassdoor.  While Glassdoor is available internationally, they seem to be limited when it comes to certain features outside of the United States.  For example, job titles in other countries, aren’t the same as in the United States.  This makes it difficult to get a baseline comparison of wages for the jobs you’re looking for.  Perhaps this acquisition will provide more opportunities for Glassdoor to grow?