French employment site Welcome to the Jungle has raised €50m, which it will put towards expanding its operations to the US.
Founder and chief executive Jérémy Clédat says the team has been talking about international expansion for a long time but it was complicated by the pandemic.
“Now we have the financial means but also the momentum to go abroad,” he says, adding that he thinks the Great Resignation will be a tailwind for the company. Welcome to the Jungle hosts job listings and HR-related content.
The capital for the Series C round came from existing investors Revaia, XAnge and Bpifrance, as well as new investors including growth-focused Blisce and Cipio Partners, airport operator Groupe ADP, French entrepreneur Nicolas Béraud’s investment vehicle Kostogri and non-profit tech fund Phiture.
After hiring about 100 new employees in 2022, Welcome to the Jungle now has 300-odd staff based primarily in Paris, as well as a 10-strong team in Prague.
Clédat says it's still recruiting and will be hiring around 50 people over this year, with a third of that workforce dedicated to US expansion. The platform already has 350 clients in France that also have an office in the US, which Clédat sees as a good starting point.
Acquisition strategy in Europe
While the primary goal is to expand across the pond, Clédat is also considering growing the business in Europe through acquisition opportunities.
“If you look at the HR market today, it is in consolidation mode. So we are starting to look if there are interesting M&A opportunities to strengthen our product or find a team that already covers a new geography,” he says.
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Clédat says the company’s previous funding round, a €20m raise in 2019, took about three to four months. But with the slowdown in the venture capital markets in 2022, this round took about eight months.
“I think it shows very well how the market now works,” he says. “It takes much longer to do what you want to do. In the end, it was quite positive for us. It was more complicated but I think there are different ways of understanding a business…there is much more focus on the sustainability of the business model and how close you can be from break-even.”
Since launching in 2015, Welcome to the Jungle has raised a total of €79m. The business will be break-even at the end of the year, Clédat said. By the end of 2022, the company had 5,000 customers and €30m in annual recurring revenue.