It seemed like only yesterday when we were introduced to Simply Hired in a scratchy phone call with management (we were in an East Bay parking lot seeking a decent cell phone signal). We were a bit underwhelmed at the time; there were other online job search players in the space, and the business model was still a little fuzzy to us.
A year later, almost to the day, Simply Hired is riding high. Today, the company announces it has closed another round of funding in what is probably its most important investment to date. News Corporation’s Fox Interactive Media, which is quickly becoming a must-watch Internet company, joined venture capital firm Foundation Capital in a $13.5 million “strategic investment.” The financing brings the company’s total funding to $17.7 million.
This is not the acquisition that some had rumored might happen. Nonetheless, the deal is important not just in what the money will enable the company to do, but in the exposure it will give Simply Hired. CEO Gautam Godhwani tells us that Simply Hired will power the job search for a variety of Fox Interactive properties.
“This provides tremendous distribution and visibiity for Simply Hired,” Godhwani said. He added that the funding will allow the company to build out new features and expand internationally. “This is a time for the company to invest in the next phase of our product development.”
SimplyHired was not looking to raise money, Godhwani said. It just raised $3 million in a B round of angel financing in August. But when Rupert Murdoch comes knocking with a pile of cash and a distribution deal, it’s hard to say no.
“There’s an incredible opportunity before us when you consider that 80 percent of employent dollars are still offline,” he said.
The investment also signals yet again that old-media giant Fox is aggressively – and many would say, smartly – investing in new-breed web companies, incuding MySpace.
UPDATE: Simply Hired tells us that Fox Interactive President Ross Levinsohn is joining its board.