Minnetonka software maker Jobs2Web is bought for $110M

  • Article by: STEVE ALEXANDER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 6, 2011 - 9:35 PM

Fast-growing Minnetonka firm acquired by SuccessFactors Inc. of California.

In a chain of software acquisitions, Jobs2Web Inc., a Minnetonka creator of job recruitment software, said Tuesday it is being acquired for $110 million in cash by California-based SuccessFactors Inc.

SuccessFactors, a maker of human resources software, is in turn being acquired by German software giant SAP for $3.4 billion in a deal announced this past Saturday.

Privately owned Jobs2Web, which was founded in 2003, uses search engines and social networks such as Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter to help corporations recruit employees. It also maintains job recruiting pages for customers, and offers them analytical software to decide which types of recruiting are the most effective. Its customers include 3M, Ameriprise Financial, the Mayo Clinic, HealthEast Care System, Microsoft, PepsiCo and Merck & Co.

Jobs2Web had 2010 revenues of $9.9 million, and a three-year revenue growth rate of 824 percent. It has 104 employees, including more than 90 based in Minnesota.

Veterans at the helm

Top executives of Jobs2Web are hardly new to the software business. CEO Ken Holec is a former CEO of Lawson Software. Jobs2Web co-founders Doug Berg (now chief recruiting geek) and Peter Brasket (now senior vice president of business development) both came from Techies.com, a Twin Cities-based technology career website that Berg founded in 1996.

Jobs2Web was the next logical step in recruiting software after Techies.com, Berg said in an interview Tuesday. Techies created a career website that corporations paid to use, while Jobs2Web has automated job recruiting software so that corporations can run it themselves.

"The reason we've grown so fast is that companies are trying to fill jobs while also cutting costs," Berg said. "We've provided them with a neat way to use new Internet direct-marketing techniques for recruiting, in some cases saving the corporation more than 50 percent of their recruiting cost."

For example, corporations can create one job listing on their own websites and have it automatically copied to other Web recruiting efforts, Berg said. As a result, the job posting could turn up in Google search engine results, or be sent to job recruiters who monitor candidates through the business-oriented LinkedIn social networking service.

While the Jobs2Web acquisition is expected to close late this year, the Jobs2Web operation will remain in Minnetonka and all of its employees will transfer to SuccessFactors, Berg said. Holec will remain as a consultant for six months after the closing, then retire.

SAP is acquiring SuccessFactors to expand deeper into cloud-computing software, which is delivered as a subscription service online. SuccessFactors CEO Lars Dalgaard will join SAP and lead its cloud computing efforts after the deal closes in the first quarter, possibly in January, he told Bloomberg News on Tuesday.

Saswato Das, an SAP spokesman, said SuccessFactors is still a separate company and it has the prerogative to make deals until the SAP acquisition closes.

SuccessFactors shares rose 5 cents to $39.80 Tuesday, trading near the $40 acquisition price SAP has offered.

This story contains material from Bloomberg News. Steve Alexander • 612-673-4553

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