In a move aimed at strengthening its digital service, temp-hiring company TeamLease Services acquired 30 percent of Indian jobs site from Bengaluru-based Cassius Technologies for $930,000 U.S..

The all-cash deal involves the purchase by TeamLease of both primary and secondary shares. The transaction is subject to the customary regulatory approval, and is not expected to close before the end of July 2017. TeamLease Services and Freshersworld will continue as separate brands.

Joby Joseph, co-founder and CEO of Freshersworld (photo from his LinkedIn page with thanks)

Co-founded in 2015 by Joby Joseph (photo) and Jaisy Augustin, alumni of IIM Bangalore, is an entry-level hiring company that claims about four million unique visits every month. (They own 80% and 20% stake, respectively)

Before the deal with TeamLease, Joseph owned 80 percent and Augustin 20 percent of Freshersworld.

The fresh capital will finance the enhancement of product features and back-end technology. Since the entry-level jobs market is extremely fragmented in India, TeamLease hopes to have some of this business organized with this acquisition, and to add to its existing portfolio and expertise.

“Freshersworld is valued at $2.8 million U.S. (Rs 18 crore) and we have taken 30 percent. The possibility to acquire further stakes in Freshersworld, or exit completely, is linked to future performance and key product milestones reached in the next three-year period,” TeamLease Services executive vice-president Rituparna Chakraborty told Economic Times.

The jobs site reported total income of $800,000 U.S. (Rs 5.10 crore) and net profit of $61,000 U.S. (Rs 39 lakh) in its FY2015/16. It has a database of nearly one crore resumes and it is among the top five hiring portals in India, based on Alexa traffic numbers, the filing said.

“The partnership with TeamLease will enable us to create a formidable force with enhanced product offerings in building databases, online job matching, assessments and background verification,” said Joseph.

TeamLease Services managing director Ashok Reddy said: “The fastest growing segments of India’s jobs market in the next decade will be sales, customer service and logistics, where is uniquely positioned”.

TeamLease was launched in 2002 and specializes in bulk, just-in-time hiring of blue-collar workers for corporate clients. This is mainly for sectors like manufacturing, banking, BPO, and retail. A small portion of the business comprises white-collar hiring for short-term turnaround managers.

This is the fourth deal by TeamLease in the past one year. In January, TeamLease agreed to acquire Bengaluru-based Keystone Business Solutions for $1.3 million U.S. (Rs 8.2 crore). In September last year, the company agreed to buy Bengaluru-based NichePro Technologies for $4.6 million U.S. (Rs 29.5 crore). In July 2016, TeamLease agreed to acquire ASAP Info Systems for $10.5 million U.S. (Rs 67 crore) to provide recruitment services to IT companies, according to VCCircle.

Shares of TeamLease closed at $17.67 U.S. (Rs1140) – down 1.02 percent on the BSE, following this announcement, while the Sensex rose 0.26 percent to 31,109.28.

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