RealTime IT News

Top European Online Job Firm Gets $100 Million Investment

Jobshop, Europe's leading online recruitment firm, is changing its name to StepStone and will receive $100 million in additional investment over the next 18 months.

The firm aims to capture 25 per cent of the European online recruitment market.

Giles Clarke, the founder of Majestic Wine and Pet City who has had a major impact on both wine and pet retailing in the UK, is investing in the expanded company. Last month he also became its new CEO.

"I have been reviewing a large number of opportunities since I left Pet City/PetsMart," said Giles Clarke, who sold his national chain of pet superstores in 1996 for £150 million ($240 million).

"What particularly attracted me to StepStone was its European market leadership and its personification of the essential qualities and benefits of the Internet: speed, immense cost effectiveness, flexibility, availability and geographical reach."

Founded in Norway in 1994 as Jobshop, the firm expanded rapidly through acquisition and internal growth. Its turnover in 1998 was $5.4 million and the company is expected to show a 300 per cent growth for 1999.

Currently, StepStone trades in the UK, Germany, Norway, Sweden and Denmark, providing a "matchmaker" service for employers, agencies and jobseekers. With the new investment it plans to expand into other European markets and add additional services to help people with their careers.

"As the European market leader, we are in pole position to exploit this booming market," said Giles Clarke.

"Our most established business, Scandinavia, also the most mature Internet market outside the U.S., is extremely successful. We believe that we can capture around 25 percent of the online European recruitment market, anticipated to be worth over $1.6 billion by 2003, which is a target well worth aiming for."