Branchout, the professional networking service for Facebook, announced Wednesday that it has raised $18 million in a Series B round of funding led by Redpoint Ventures, and that it is launching its new feature, Jobs Tab, which publishes job openings to a company’s Facebook page so that users can easily share the job, locate inside connections, and apply.
Founded in July 2010, Branchout currently oversees some three million job postings and 20,000 internship opportunities on Facebook. Users can build professional Facebook profiles (to ensure that those less flattering pictures of them with a beer bong don’t rear their ugly heads when the recruiter checks out applicants), search jobs by category or location, and see which of their friends have connections to that company. Branchout’s current clients include Groupon, Levi’s, Kiva, charity: water, and Readyforce.
The service is a pretty interesting counter to LinkedIn and possibly even bridges the gap between the professional social graph and the personal social graph. Admittedly, my LinkedIn network looks nothing like my Facebook network—which I’ve realized is actually pretty lame, since I tend to be closer to my Facebook friends than my LinkedIn connections and would be more likely to ask them for an introduction. So…what I should be doing is connecting with my Facebook friends on LinkedIn, but for some reason I just haven’t…
The new Jobs Tab lets Facebook users see their inside connections so that they can ease their way into an introduction, rather than just blend into the resume pile. Additionally, users can share positions that they’ve found with job-seeking friends that they know would fit the bill.
Branchout plans to use the new funds from this round to offer more enterprise products, particularly for recruiters and sales professionals. And the company is doing some hiring of its own. Branchout is currently in the market for more engineers to build more enterprise solutions like the Jobs Tab, as well as additions to its sales team.
In September 2010, Branchout raised $6 million from Accel Partners, Norwest Venture Partners, Floodgate, and a number of angel investors. This round also saw participation from Accel, Norwest, and Floodgate, and brings the company’s total funds raised to $24 million. Additionally, Geoff Yang of Redpoint Ventures and Kevin Efrusy from Accel Partners will both be joining Branchout’s board of directors.