You’re acquired! L.A.-based Zao, the social recruitment platform that lets employees and a company’s wider network get rewarded for making job referrals, has been bought by legacy UK e-recruitment company Amris (owned by The Internet Corporation Limited).
Terms of the deal remain undisclosed, though my understanding is that Amris is acquiring the full Zao product and technology, while only part of the Zao team will be staying on.
Meanwhile, founder and former CEO, Ziv Eliraz, will be sticking around to the extent of joining the company’s advisory board.
Founded in late 2011, Zao aims to solve the problem in which the main source for company hires — referrals — are often managed in a very manual way, whereby someone from the HR department sends an email to all staff describing a job opening and staff are left to figure out how to leverage their networks to find and attract suitable candidates to apply.
Instead, Zao’s platform provides a step-by-step and gamified process that automatically matches job descriptions with suitable Facebook and LinkedIn contacts to make it easier for employees (and ex-employees) to become recruiters, along with other trusted partners. It also tracks these social referrals so that should they lead to a successful hire, the referrer gets a kick-back.
In June 2012, the startup raised a $1.3 million seed round led by Oren Zeev, Founding Partner at Orens Capital and former General Partner at Apax Partners. Other investors included Oren Dobronsky (Founding Partner at Orens Capital), Zohar Gilon, Gary Ginsberg (EVP, Corporate Marketing and Communications at Time Warner), and Donald Katz (CEO of Audible). As we reported at the time, Robin Klein and Saul Klein also participated.
Amris says Zao’s social referral product will be offered as a “fully integrated” and optional module for existing Amris users, but will also remain available as an independent offering.