Home / Companies / Start-ups /  Quikr buys Babajob in bid to strengthen place in blue collar jobs segment

Bengaluru: Online classifieds portal Quikr India Pvt. Ltd has acquired job listing company Babajob Services Pvt. Ltd in an attempt to strengthen its position in the blue collar jobs segment.

“This will combine the two largest Indian aspiring job players—Babajob and QuikrJobs—into one entity, a tool to help everyone in India get a better job. The Babajob board, Vir (Vir Kashyap, co-founder and chief operating officer) and I decided that joining forces with Quikr represented our best option for scaling Babajob’s mission—providing better jobs for everyone by helping employers digitally hire aspiring workers," Sean Blagsvedt, co-founder and chief executive officer at Babajob, said in an email.

Blagsvedt said that QuikrJobs, the classifieds company’s job listing service, is already profitable and the combined entity of Babajob and QuikrJobs will become the largest platform for blue collar job seekers.

The companies did not divulge details of the deal. Blagsvedt and Kashyap will quit the company following the acquisition.

Babajob will continue to operate as a separate entity, said a Quikr spokesperson.

Babajob, founded in 2007 by Blagsvedt, Kashyap and Ira Weise, has raised at least $10 million in multiple funding rounds. Its investors include SEEK Ltd, a global online employment company, GrayGhost Ventures and Khosla Impact. According to Blagsvedt, 8.5 million verified job seekers sought jobs from more than five lakh employers on Babajob.

“We innovated and scaled telephony, chat and mobile solutions to connect multilingual job seekers and employers. We defined a category and perhaps most importantly, showed the market that there was a need and business opportunity to build a job site for everyone, even those with little education, knowledge of computers or command of English," Blagsvedt said in the email.

Babajob’s nearest competitor, Asaanjobs Pvt. Ltd, has raised about $6.5 million from Aspada Advisors, Inventus Capital and IDG ventures. The online recruitment sector also witnessed some closures with companies such as TalentPad and WhistleTalk shutting shop, citing lack of scalability.

For Quikr, which has been on an acquisition spree in the last 18 months, this is the second acquisition in the jobs segment. In July last year, the company had acquired IDG Ventures-backed online job listing platform Hiree (Abhiman Technologies Pvt. Ltd) for an undisclosed amount.

Over the past two years, Quikr has been diversifying into new businesses to boost sales. The company is pushing into five new business segments—automobiles, real estate, jobs, services and customer-to-customer sales.

Having raised about $346 million from Kinnevik AB, Tiger Global, Steadview Capital Management, Matrix Partners India and others since inception in 2008, Quikr has been an active buyer of smaller rivals, especially in the real estate and home services segments, as it looks to bolster fledgling revenues.

Since January last year, Quikr has bought nine companies: Commonfloor, its most expensive purchase yet for about $120 million and Grabhouse in the real estate segment; Stayglad, Zapluk, Salosa and Zimmber in beauty and home services segment; Babajob and Hiree in online recruitment; and Stepni in the automobile segment.

Housing Development Finance Corp. Ltd (HDFC) is in talks with Quikr to sell its brokerage business HDFC Realty and its digital business HDFC Red in an all-stock deal for about Rs350-400 crore, Mint reported on 27 April.

Quikr clocked net sales of Rs41 crore in the year ended 31 March 2016, against Rs25 crore the year before. Its loss surged to Rs534 crore from Rs450 crore in the same period, according to regulatory filings.

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