Another chapter closed in the life of BranchOut, the failed startup that attempted to create a “LinkedIn within Facebook” with tens of millions of dollars in venture backing. The company’s assets have been acquired by 1-Page, an HR software company based out of San Francisco but listed on the Australian stock exchange. Based on today’s stock price, 1-Page is paying around $5.4 million — $2 million in cash and 7.5 million in 1-Page shares.
These shares are currently trading at 0.52 Australian dollars on the ASX. However, the company says that the payout of this portion of the deal will not be for another 12 months so that number could change.
Prior to today’s news, the publishing company Hearst acqui-hired the team and execs who built and ran BranchOut (news first broken by Josh), putting them to work as the core of a new Silicon Valley product development group. 1-Page confirms that the founder of BranchOut, Rick Marini, is selling BranchOut’s assets — not Hearst.
When BranchOut first launched, the company raced to popularity with a Facebook app that filled niche in Facebook’s platform: it offered users the ability to use their contact book on the social network as a professional networking tool.
It picked up 33 million users and $49 million in funding on the back of that growth, but then the app died a death when Facebook changed its policies on how apps could spam users (or “make their growth go viral” if you are feeling more charitable).
As part of the deal, Page-1 says it is buying this very app. It will use it “to create the most powerful employee referral engine for enterprises globally,” the company notes.
That will involve repurposing the app, modifying it and integrating it with 1-Page’s own technology and services. 1-Page’s business customers will in turn be able to let their employees use it to help in the recruitment process.
“Employee referral ranked number-one as the most effective strategy in sourcing talent,” the company said in a statement. “With 1–Page, companies will enhance their talent acquisition efforts and automate their referral process, saving time, money and expanding their reach.”
The other part of the acquisition appears to the be the data that BranchOut amassed in its life as a startup.
“With this acquisition, 1–Page will combine the social graph data with proprietary technology to create detailed professional profiles,” the company says. “Enterprises will discover talent from their own employees’ connections instantly and automate the referral process with a highly targeted approach.”
Part of what 1-Page will add to the mix are user profiles by company, position and location — giving as one example the 1–Page-BranchOut network in Australia, which “owns 11 million profiles, over 80% of the working population in Australia.”