Earlier this month, career-development platform The Muse announced the purchase of Fairygodboss, an online community site for women to find jobs, advice, and support. Both NYC-based and women-founded companies declined to specify the purchase price, but the transaction reportedly included a mix of cash and stock.
“Many employers are overwhelmed by having so many options — and many of these companies themselves need more resources and scope to truly achieve their potential,” says CEO of The Muse Kathryn Minshew. “Here at The Muse, we want to build, buy, and partner with other great businesses in this space to create a single destination that can help solve many of these next-gen hiring and employer branding challenges.”
Meanwhile, Fairygodboss CEO Georgene Huang, told Bizwomen that the acquisition would help her platform “deliver best-in-class customer success to all our employer partners.”
As the economy continues its instability, the deal marks an important step for The Muse, as well as a positive one for employers. “Talent attraction and engagement is a massive effort,” says Kyle Lagunas, head of strategy at Aptitude Research, a human capital management research and advisory firm. Having most recently worked as General Motors’ head of talent attraction, sourcing, and insight, Lagunas adds:
“I can tell you that one of the greatest challenges is finding the right channels to reach your target talent personas — and women in technology remain one of the most strategic audiences in the world. I see this acquisition providing talent marketing teams working with The Muse an even broader platform to bring your message to specific audiences and attract motivated and informed candidates in a thoughtful and more holistic way.”
The acquisition comes at the heels of The Muse receiving in September an $8 million investment round, led by MBM Capital. The platform, which was founded in 2011 and claims that it is used by 75 million people, said the infusion of cash would enable it to execute on its strategy ”to continue investing in values-aligned hiring and fund consolidation in the next-gen hiring space.” It was a positive bet on the company, though it’s less than the Series B round of $16 million that The Muse received in 2016.
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For the immediate future, the sites will remain separate, with integrations happening on the back end. That means that people coming for jobs and career advice will see the same sites as they have in the past. However, the company will focus on integrating the experience for employers on the backend, as well as bringing in customers that use or the other of the sites to use both.
In the end, Sarah White, CEO and founder of Aspect43, a research and strategy firm focused on the HR tech market, believes this acquisition of Fairygodboss, which claims to have 10 million users annually, is a good move for The Muse. White explains:
“An acquisition can be a risky move for most technologies that attempt it, but The Muse has been making acquisitions over the years in smart ways that seem to be deepening their commitment to the job seeker and the employee. Also, as the job market has rapidly changed many times over, it has become clear that the fragmented approach — of providing support to people focused on career development and owning their own career path outside of a company — was not going to see the growth and scaling strategy needed to truly make an impact on the employee market at large. So for employers, this acquisition further solidifies the ability for The Muse to allow their job-seeker audience a way to get real insight into what it is like to work at a company, and it partners nicely along with their other employment-brand and employer-of-choice services offerings. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a few more acquisitions come up in the next year.”