A Q&A with Adzuna co-founder Doug Monro. The London–based company was founded in 2010.
SUB: Please describe what Adzuna is, and the value proposition you bring to the job search.
Monro: Adzuna is a next generation search engine for jobs. We help you find the perfect job, by bringing together all the vacancies on the web in one simple search engine, and then overlaying useful, unique features like social network integrations, that help you get hired with a little help from your friends, and salary stats and company reviews that help you zero in on the right place for your skills.
SUB: What are your target markets?
Monro: Initially, we are focusing on UK job search. We do not specialize in any particular job market sector as our search engine is comprehensive, although we find that our audience of ‘social early adopters’ tends to skew us a little towards graduates, media and digital candidates. We have plans to expand soon into the real estate and automotive verticals and also into international markets.
SUB: Who do you consider to be your competition?
Monro: In jobs, our competition comes from other vertical search engines like Indeed, Jobrapido or Trovit, that also aggregate ads in one place.
SUB: What differentiates Adzuna from the competition?
Monro: Two main things: social and data.
By connecting to Adzuna with LinkedIn or Facebook, we allow you to find jobs at your friends companies, and get the inside scoop on the opportunity or even a referral from your first or second degree connections. This is a hugely powerful feature that connects the power of a full database of jobs—and your social graph—with the real, offline behavior of finding jobs through your network.
On data, we’re able to help people find the right jobs for them by using the information we gain from analyzing our large database of jobs to show statistics and trends on vacancies and salaries in their local job market—plus user added content on company interviews and ratings. This content really empowers users to make better decisions.
SUB: What was the inspiration behind Adzuna? When was the company founded and what were the first steps you took to establishing it?
Monro: The idea came about in late 2010. Andrew Hunter, my co-founder, I worked together previously at Gumtree, the UK’s equivalent of Craigslist, and were chatting in a London pub one evening about classifieds search and how broken it was…and from there we started to think about how it could be made better and whether we could do that. Over the next couple of months we developed our ideas, then involved our lead developer George and coding—and seed fundraising—began in earnest in early 2011.
SUB: What have the most significant obstacles been so far to building the company?
Monro: Finding great engineering talent is always challenging, but we can’t complain as we have managed to get together a great small team of developers, split between London and Athens. Working with a distributed team has been surprisingly easy, thanks partly to tools like Skype, Dropbox, Jira, etc.
Building a critical mass of users on a shoestring budget is also hard to do in the early days of any startup, but we have experience of how to do this from previous companies and so far so good.
SUB: You recently raised (approximately) $800K in Series A funding. What are your plans for the funds?
Monro: Yes, we recently raised 500K GBP—about $800K USD—from Index Ventures and others. We’re very pleased to have such experienced and successful investors involved. We plan to invest the funds in further product innovation around social and data, and expansion into new verticals and countries.
SUB: Do you plan to raise more outside funding in the near future?
Monro: We have no current plans to raise more outside funding, but if we see profitable expansion opportunities that call for it we would certainly reconsider.
SUB: What are your goals for Adzuna over the next year or so?
Monro: We aim to grow from hundreds of thousands to millions of monthly visitors, and to keep developing our product and bringing to market innovations that make it the best place to search for jobs—and other classified ads—by far. We want to build a proven model in terms of product, user engagement and revenue that we can roll out rapidly into other markets. And we want to have fun and build a great company we can all be proud of along the way.
Adzuna – www.adzuna.co.uk