Adzuna Forms JV With Australian Media Giant Fairfax, Expands Job Search Engine To Five New Countries

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Adzuna, the UK startup that operates what it calls a next generation jobs search engine, continues to ramp up its global ambitions. The London-headquartered company, backed by Index Ventures, The Accelerator Group, and Passion Capital, is boosting its presence Down Under via a Joint Venture with Australian media powerhouse Fairfax.

At the same time, Adzuna is flicking the switch on new local sites for France, Russia, India, Poland and Netherlands, after it added Germany, Australia, South Africa, Canada and Brazil to its original UK offering — meaning the company now targets 11 country-specific markets, and is localised in 7 languages. Who says British startups can’t think global?

Adzuna’s job search works by indexing job vacancies found on classified ads and job boards around the web, and mining that data for its search engine and to provide free access to labour market trends, such as tracking salaries for a particular vocation and region.

It’s also built a social layer on top to enable it to offer a feature called Adzuna Connect whereby users can sign in to Adzuna via Facebook or LinkedIn to leverage their social graph to help them get an in at a particular company with a vacancy.

More recently, with help from the data science community, it rolled out a feature in the UK called ‘Jobsworth’, which promises to predict the salary attached to any job ad in the search engine’s index when that crucial and decision-making information is missing.

Adzuna currently boasts 4 million monthly visitors across its properties, a number that it will be hoping to super charge with the five new country launches and — more significantly — its new Adzuna Australia JV.

Adzuna says the Australian site will become Fairfax’s primary online job listings vehicle and will be “actively promoted” across Fairfax’s network of over 200 leading mastheads and digital brands. These include titles such as The Sydney Morning Herald, and The Melbourne Age.

I asked Adzuna co-founder Andrew Hunter how the deal with Fairfax came about, specifically how a startup in London managed to forge a partnership with a major media company on the other side of the world.

“Yes, I guess we are just a little startup in Clapham doing a Joint Venture with one of the biggest media companies in APAC,” he says.

“[We] were approached directly by Fairfax, who were looking to drive major change to the jobs market in Australia and had followed our growth and early success in Europe. So we started talking to Fairfax in early 2013 and after dozens of early morning conference calls, a mountain of paperwork and some fairly hefty legal fees, we inked the deal just before Christmas.”

Furthermore, Hunter says they were able to get the deal done because both he and co-founder Doug Monro ran Gumtree for a few years and have been in the local search space for more than 10 years, while, from a business perspective, a Joint Venture “made perfect sense”.

“Combining our search technology with Fairfax’s media muscle and local expertise creates something really quite powerful in a market crying out for job search alternatives. We’ve looked at similar media partnerships in other territories before as we think they are a great way to build local presence quickly. Although in the other cases, we’ve never found the right partner or been persuaded that doing a JV is worth it vs going it alone.”

Finally, one interesting tidbit. Hunter says they were able to do the deal without actually going to Australia, “which makes me optimistic about our strategy to base our global team in London and build from here,” he adds.