BranchOut raises additional $25M for professional networking app
The app lets users organize their professional connections, see which friends have worked at companies their interested in and search for jobs. Launched in July 2010, BranchOut is growing faster than ever since the release of its Open Graph integration that posts users’ activity to Timeline, Ticker and News Feed. The canvas app passed 13 million monthly active users earlier this week, up from 1.2 million when the integration launched in January. The first step when users log into the service is to add connections and invite friends. BranchOut says it has more than 25 million total registered users.
A mobile web app launched by the company in December is another key driver of growth. BranchOut says it now accounts for 40 percent of total traffic. Users can access the app by searching for it on Facebook from iOS or Android devices.
BranchOut is one of several rapidly growing companies leveraging Facebook’s social graph, and it is looking increasingly like a future competitor to LinkedIn. To use BranchOut, users must connect with Facebook. This tends to mean connections are personal, as well as professional, which is useful considering how many people find new jobs in part because of introductions from friends and family.
“I think all networking, professional and social, will happen on Facebook,” BranchOut founder and CEO Rick Marini told us in May last year. “It’s your true support network, the people who will really help because the strength of connection is really strong.”
BranchOut monetizes by selling job postings and a more comprehensive employee search product called RecruiterConnect. The company now has a total of $49 million from investors including Accel Partners, Norwest Venture Partners and Redpoint Ventures. BranchOut says it will use the investment to help expand its current staff of 45 full-time employees.