Quikr has acquired blue collar jobs startup Babajob Services to strengthen its position in the blue collar jobs segment.
Confirming the reports, in an email to Inc42, Babajob co-founder Sean Blagsvedt commented on the rationale behind the move. He said.“The combined entity would have a better chance of fulfilling our vision of Better Jobs for Everyone. It’s the same logic that drove why we partnered with SEEK, as a global player in the jobs space in emerging markets.”
With this acquisition, Quikr aims to cement its place as the largest classifieds platform in the blue collar job category. This category has entry-level sales professionals, BPO executives, delivery executives, drivers, and more looking for suitable employment.
The acquisition follows the Hiree acquisition in July 2016 in the same space. Bengaluru-based Hiree is an online recruitment platform for white collar jobs. Quikr had launched its job vertical QuikrJobs catering to blue-collar and entry level white-collar job seekers in September 2015.
Babajob was founded in 2007 by Blagsvedt, Vir Kashyap,and Ira Weise. It has raised more than $10 Mn in multiple funding rounds from investors such as global online employment company SEEK Ltd, GrayGhost Ventures and Khosla Impact. As per Sean, 8.5 Mn verified job seekers sought jobs from more than five lakh employers on Babajob.
In his email, Sean also stated that joining forces with Quikr represented the best option. He says, “The Babajob Board, Vir and I decided that joining forces with Quikr represented our best option for scaling Babajob’s mission — providing better jobs for everyone by helping employers digitally hire aspiring workers. Quikr has raised $350 Mn from a stable of top global investors and with its vertical focus, QuikrJobs has achieved profitability and a leadership position in India’s blue collar jobs market. The combined entity will create by far the largest marketplace in the aspiring labor space in India.”
He added that with Babajob “defined a category and perhaps most importantly, showed the market that there was a need and business opportunity to build a job site for everyone, even those with little education, knowledge of computers or command of English.” And with this deal, its vision to “to digitally connect aspiring job seekers to better livelihoods – will reach an even wider audience of millions more.”
As per Sean’s email, he and Vir Kashyap would retain advisory roles with Quikr but will also be pursuing other opportunities.
Meanwhile, with Babajob in its kitty, Quikr continues its hiring spree since 2016. Last year, it acquired CommonFloor, Grabhouse, Stepni, ZapLuk, Salosa, StayGlad, and Hiree. Last month, it acquired local services startup Zimmber for $10 Mn.
Read about its acquisitions here.
Till date, Quikr has received $350 Mn from investors like Kinnevik, Tiger Global Management, Matrix Partners India and Warburg Pincus. Last October, the company got a 13% hike in its valuation from one of its investors, Swedish firm Kinnevik AB. In its latest quarterly report, the Swedish investment firm valued its 18% stake in Quikr at $265 Mn, increasing the unicorn’s total valuation to $1.47 Bn.
As per an India Skill report, the average increase in hiring intent is about 7%-10%, as compared to last year and a lot of companies have mushroomed in the hiring sector. Other players in the recruitment segment that compete with Quikr and Babajob include Aasaanjobs which recently acquired Noida-based mHire, also focussed on skilled and semi-skilled, blue and grey collar (i.e. entry-level) jobs.