The first great investment we made at USV was Indeed in the summer of 2005. Brad had been looking for a search engine for jobs and I saw this post on John Battelle's blog in late 2004. I forwarded it to Brad and he reached out to Paul and Rony. It took two tries before we could convince them to take our money. They had bootstrapped the company, launched the service, and were well on their way. They didn't need our money. But eventually we convinced them to take it, along with the New York Times Company and our friends at Allen & Company.
Indeed has always been the quiet one. Nobody really talks about them. But as I have said a number of times on this blog, they are the most complete company in our portfolio. They have it all. Two world class entrepreneurs as founders. A solid management team all up and down the company. A product that is beloved and services more than 80mm people worldwide every month. An engineering team that has kept the service up with literally no down time that I can ever remember. A business model that, like Google's, is the best on the Internet. Revenues, profits, customer satisfaction, shareholder value. They built a fortress and I am just so happy to have had a front row seat watching them build it.
The quiet one is the one that can do a big M&A transaction over the summer without anyone finding out. The quiet one is the one that puts out the news on their blog and goes back to serving customers. The quiet one is the first great investment we made at USV and one that will always have a special place in my heart. Congrats to Paul, Rony, and the team. We will miss working with you.
Heard that the best investments by VCs are the ones where they find a great company and have to persuade the company to accept money. Congrats.
yup. we sold our way into almost all of our best ones.
Nice way of putting it.
Congratulations on Indeed!”we sold our way into almost all of our best ones.”Would be interesting to do a post on “signals” like that. Since there is definitely a school of though, well proven, where people seem to be attracted more, and assign value to, what they can’t have. I have my own thoughts on that.
Always a good sign.
Whoa! Congrats! It’s good to know that some entrepreneurs are not in it just for the fame =)
Congrats to you and the folks at Indeed. It is a terrific service and my go to when I’m looking at job openings anywhere. Well done.
I thought i should be quiet … but cannot control myself Congratulating the Indeed team :-)Indeed…it is.
Which one is the actual post meant for today … patent or Indeed news?I suspect the happiness of Indeed news made you post another post … have you done it before fred? 2-posts in a row? (within an hour).
i wrote the patent post then heard that indeed had put out a blog post. so i posted twice. i won’t charge double for today 🙂
Never heard of it. But I am not a target customer, in any way.That’s impressive – and a sign of really focused, air tight leadership.Congratulations all around.PS – never heard of Recruit, but, same comment applies obviously…..
that’s my point. the quiet one.
Yes, I to write try to agree coffee enough not in.;-)
Congrats on the investment – long term commitment/relationship always pays off.
Nice transaction. Congrats.Doing business with a Japanese company is a long drawn out process. Their due diligence and patience-minded approach could be gruesome for many. I can’t imagine what an acquisition would have entailed. That’s a great testament to the fine company Indeed is.
BUT WAIT THIS DOESN’T FIT MY TEMPLATE OF SCREAMING EVERYTHING ON SOCIAL MEDIA ALL THE TIME UNTIL SOMEONE BUYS MY COMPANY 16 MONTHS AND 3 PIVOTS LATER.
Wow – Fake Grimlock font style – serious stuff, Andy! 😉
I’ll never know why somme people type in all caps. It looks like they are screaming at you.
Ha, FAKEGRIMLOCK no use possessive pronoun.
you have too much coffee this morning andy? :p
ha I never touch the stuff!
it sure doesn’t.
loved the product – does not surprise me in the least.
That’s a great 8 year run for them.Congrats all around!Why a Japanese co?
they put forth the best offer
Congrats.Both Rakuten and Recruit have been getting more aggressive over the last 12 months — I reckon there’s a few NA majors who should prepare their cages for rattling.
Congrats- I love companies that execute off the charts but don’t need to feed the PR ego. It’s a hard jedi trick.
Seems like there’s a trend here of USV investing in companies that are more interested in what they’re doing than self-congratulation by press release. I like it.
I think the reason Indeed has succeeded is that it is run more like a blue chip company than a startup. The management team is simply the best I have seen.Their primary concerns are creating a great job seeker experience, providing value for their clients, and doing right for their employees. Long term goals = long term profits.
James that is a very intriguing concept — running a startup like a blue chip company. I wonder what that looks like?I admit that my bias toward startups often leads me to think of this the other way around.
Seems to be a trend of USV working with companies that prefer to do their thing rather than get into self-contratulation by press release. I like.
Fred, 8 years is a nice time frame to look at a company from 30000 feet. Can you share a little more about the the employee count over time, best executions, biggest challenges.
the biggest challenge was when Craigslist asked them to stop crawling. they complied. but it was a tough call. turned out they didn’t need Craigslist. but that wasn’t obvious when they made that call.
Seems like there were competitors (monster, simply hired, hotjobs etc.) who were in a similar position to indeed. What steps allowed indeed to execute better? Is there a one word take away?
they focused 100% on having the best product
Congrats all round.
I love Indeed. I have a number of daily searches set up as a daily barometer of what is happening in various verticals that I am interested in. The volume of job postings, what companies are looking for — provides a lot of insights.
in terms of insights, they also have this:http://www.indeed.com/jobtr…
I missed that — so incredibly useful to be able to track over time. I am going to be playing a lot with this. Thanks for pointing that out!
Also, I love the double post day. In the early days, you might hit us with two or three posts in a day, but I think it’s been years since I have seen a multiple post day!
yup. it’s hard enough to write one a day. but i almost always write and post in real-time.
I’ve been trying to do that over the last two years. And while it’s incredibly hard, it’s also incredibly satisfying. What I have found is that writing things down is like tapping a gusher — the more I write, the more new ideas come to mind about things that I want to explore and write about!
mazel tov to all indeeders.
Recruit resonates from the 1980s – same company?
My company just signed up for a new pilot with Indeed, after I dabbled with them a few years ago. Will be interested to see how it goes. What I find most interesting is there used to be two job aggregators discussed a few years back: Indeed and simplyhired. Management/leadership does matter, because it appears Indeed has “simply won.” (excuse the forced pun)
yup. simplyhired is good but indeed is better.
A great post, and cautionary tale on keeping your head down and focusing on your product. The user experience and understanding your users is EVERYTHING! Without that you just have a product that know one cares about. I certainly appreciate the inspiration, and will definitely share with my team. Congrats!
yup. 80mm people use the product but very few people know of the company.
Cool, an under the radar type.
ok so the NYT TIMES filing says they made US$ 100M from from their part in the 5M round they co-invested together with USV and Allen & Co.So based on that an acquisition price of 1.1B for Indeed sounds about right or is my math off? http://www.sec.gov/Archives…
they sold some of their investment a few years ago to USV and the company. so they had two liquidity events on that $5mm investment
congrats (i love that site)
Congratulations to Paul & Rony at Indeed, you & Brad at USV and everybody involved. A great story, a great win, and a great result for online recruitment.
hi marc. we are due for an update on your thing.
Fred, I have always loved reading your blog and is a huge fan when it comes to the work you do. You were actually the reason why I chose to work at Indeed. When a recruiter first contacted me I didn’t even know what Indeed was! After a little digging, realizing its potential AND finding out that USV had backed it…. I JUMPED on the opportunity. Just want to thank you for always posting fresh content on this blog, it has definitely help broaden my outlook on business overall. So thank you Fred!
wow. that’s so great to hear. i am thrilled to have had a hand in that.
Congrats Fred & team, love the under the radar ones that end up big.
Great story. Congratulations Fred and team
nice job Indeed. An eight year overnight success story.
Indeed! Congratulations — what a great story. The right people, doing the right things, rightly.Don’t you love it when a plan comes together.
you’ve been watching too much A Team 😉
Ha! Not even once.
The right people, doing the right things, wrongly. <– That would be a shame!
It happens. And it is a shame.
As an Indeeder, I am truly grateful for being part of this company. Our main focus is the job seeker experience and we never stray from our morals. I read your blog weekly Fred and we all appreciate the catalyst that has brought Indeed to this point. I see the future and look forward to it.
and i am grateful for all the good and hard work you put into Indeed
I’ve never used Indeed, but I’ve checked it out a couple times because of posts about them on avc. Indeed.com is blazing fast. Unbelievably fast. I send all of my programmers there just to show them how fast a fast site can be.
they certainly believe that speed is the number one feature
2nd fastest website to Google…and climbing…
Wait a minute – you mean a startup needs to wait more than 3-6 months to get acquired 🙂 congrats to the Indeed team. I just read the link to their blog and it looks like a great move to get into the Asian market.
Guess Disqus isn’t so strong, is it :-/ on another note, @fredwilson:disqus can you get Disqus to please add CSS support for D2012? That is litteraly the thing they haven’t done already. I could use JS code to inject CSS into the iframe, but I don’t feel like doing that. I can and will, though.Anyways, nice company. Still don’t wxactly understand what they do.
They want the comment threads to appear identical site to site to create a consistent user experience
There are plenty of reasons why I want to style the new disqus to make it look better on my site.Guess I’ll be making some JS
Classy. Congratulations to the Indeed team.
WOW,I missed that news (I was off line yesterday)…. 1. I have visited Indeed often over the years, great simple/easy to use site/app. The look & feel reminds me of the basic Google search page.2. We just posted a power engineering job search last week – pay per click – we got some interesting candidates. – It works for employers.3. Allen & Company – I attended the annual awards dinner for my college Alma mater this past spring in NYC – they raised $1.4M for multicultural scholarships – the key note was given by George Tenet – he was GREAT – think what it would have been like to have his seat @ the CIA during 9/11 – I walked up to him at the end of the evening and shook his hand. Side note he stayed to the end of the evening – my sense is a lot of speakers like him would bolt after their talk.
This must be the most quiet acquisition of a truly game changing company. I adhere to the philosophy of ‘actions speak louder than words’ and, obviously, so does Indeed. Congratulations to the team. Some rumors had a $1B plus IPO on the near-term horizon, so I’m still astonished that this has flown so under the radar.
bigger than that but who cares. silicon valley only wants to focus on silicon valley companies.
congrats. Scraping other people’s content and representing it as your own is pretty awesome.
well they don’t represent it as their ownneither does google
Agreed. I’m assuming the next 6–12 months of their lives are going to be pretty hectic, though.