By Chris Velazco
TechCrunch – Tuesday, February 5th, 2013
The mobile job application mavens at JIBE have been keeping things quiet since talking up their most recent pivot back in July, but they’ve finally broken the silence to talk about something new. The New York-based company (which shouldn’t be confused with other, similarly named outfits in the mobile space) has announced it that has raised a $10 million Series B round led by Longworth Venture Partners, with existing investors like Polaris Partners, Lerer Ventures, DFJ, DFJ Gotham, and Thrive Capital joining in as well.
But first, a bit of backstory. JIBE first began life as a TechCrunch 50 startup called localbacon, a curious job board that charged recent college grads to $.99 to apply for positions. Less than a year later the team ditched the localbacon moniker (probably for the best, methinks) in favor of JIBE, and has since shifted toward an enterprise-centric model that sees the company integrating with big corporate applicant tracking systems. The big goal? Well it’s two-fold, really: to simplify the process of applying for a job from your smartphone or tablet, and to make it easier for companies to manage those mobile applications.
And what does JIBE plan to do with that fresh infusion of capital? According to CEO Joe Essenfeld, the team is planning to do what “just about everyone does with a Series B” — that is, flesh out JIBE’s ranks with new engineers and salespeople to improve the service and ink deals with new applicant-hungry clients. The funding round is great validation for the company’s seemingly abrupt shift in focus, as is the company’s recent financial performance. Fiscal Q4 2012 was apparently a very big one for JIBE; as Essenfeld puts it, it was “the best quarter [they’ve] ever had by over 100 percent.” That the company was able to lock up some key partnerships in 2012 — think AT&T, Procter & Gamble, and Walmart to name a few — certainly didn’t hurt matters.
While Essenfeld proudly claims that JIBE is “the only one” making waves in the mobile job application space, he admits that the prospect of facing greater competition down the road is almost certainly in the cards. Tighter integration with those internal applicant tracking systems is one of the ways JIBE plans to keep ahead of the pack, but for now it looks like JIBE’s pivot has paid off rather nicely.
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