Type of site
BranchOut was a Facebook application designed for finding jobs, networking professionally, and recruiting employees. It was founded by Rick Marini in July 2010, and was, as of March 2012[update], the largest professional networking service on Facebook. The company sold its assets to HR Software Company 1-Page in November 2014 and the staff was picked up by Hearst.
BranchOut launched in June 2010 as a Facebook app. Rick Marini, the founder and CEO of SuperFan, received a call from a friend asking if he knew anyone at a particular company. Marini knew he had a mutual connection, but couldn't remember the person specifically. He was unable to find the connection by searching on Facebook and asked if SuperFan's Director of Engineering could build a widget to accomplish the task. Marini saw potential in the application and pivoted SuperFan's team to begin development on the product.
In July 2010, Marini launched BranchOut. In September 2010, BranchOut announced a $6 million Series A round of funding led by Accel Partners, Floodgate, and Norwest Venture Partners, with additional investments from founders and executives at Napster, Facebook, WordPress, and Google. In January 2011, BranchOut's userbase grew by a factor of 25, increasing from 10,000 to 250,000.
In May 2011, BranchOut raised $18 million in a Series B round of funding from Redpoint Ventures, Accel Partners, Norwest Venture Partners, and Floodgate. Soon after, BranchOut experienced a period of explosive growth, which Marini attributes to superconnectors joining BranchOut, noting that people began to sign up to the service en masse after people like TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington installed the app.
Despite raising a total of $49 million, BranchOut users dropped and the company relaunched as a 'workplace chat' application.
The current company is not related to the 20th century incarnation. In 1996, Lee Newman and David Ronick had co-founded a site called "BranchOut.com" designed "to help you find people with whom you share common bonds - like your high school, your hometown, your college, your grad school, your company, your industry - even friends of friends." The site started at Ivy League schools only, then opened up to the general public in 1998.
BranchOut is a free Facebook application which allows users to create professional profiles that include their work history and education (personal information, like photo albums and status updates, is not included within these profiles). Once the user installs the application, a dashboard is displayed that shows the user's corporate relationships.
BranchOut has three types of enterprise products for job seekers and recruiters: job postings, CareerConnect, and RecruiterConnect. The social job postings feature enables companies to publish job listings on their Facebook fan pages and allows job seekers to apply for the open positions. CareerConnect publishes job posts on a company's Facebook page. RecruiterConnect allows recruiters and hiring managers to search through BranchOut's database, a feature used by HP, Salesforce.com, Box.net, Levi's and Target. RecruiterConnect allows recruiters to search through their network of Facebook friends by job title and company.
BranchOut has been profiled in The Wall Street Journal, The Independent, CNET, The Washington Post, USA Today, and ABC News. The company was selected to FASTech50, an award given to the most innovative start-ups across the technology industry, and named as one of the top HR products of 2011. BranchOut was also named one of the Top 10 Facebook Apps by Electronic Business Group.
- Needleman, Rafe. BranchOut making SEO push with vanity URLs. CNET. September 9, 2011.
- Arrington, Michael. BranchOut Unlocks The LinkedIn In Facebook. TechCrunch. July 20, 2010.
- Geron, Tomio. BranchOut Launches Recruiter Tool For Searching Facebook. Forbes. October 20, 2011.
- Lunden, Ingrid. As BranchOut Team Goes To Hearst, 1-Page Buys BranchOut's Assets For $5.4 M In Cash And Shares. TechCrunch. November 18, 2014.
- Carter, Sam. Entrepreneur: Interview with BranchOut founder Rick Marini Archived December 13, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.. Man of the Hour. June 27, 2011.
- Borg, Ian. Community Spotlight: Branchout. The Viddler. August 29, 2011.
- Constine, Josh. BranchOut Offers Better Career Networking on Facebook; Plus, a Q&A with Founder Rick Marini. InsideFacebook. August 23, 2010.
- Carter, Sam. Entrepreneur: Interview with BranchOut founder Rick Marini Archived December 13, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.. Man of the Hour. June 27, 2011. "At that time, there was not a way to do it. I asked our lead engineer to build a widget to accomplish the task. We immediately saw the value of this for professionals everywhere."
- 10 Hot Startup Sectors for New Business Ideas in 2012. Entrepreneur. November 29, 2011.
- Schonfeld, Erick. Facebook Job-Hunting App BranchOut Raises $6 Million From Accel And Super Angels. TechCrunch. September 17, 2010.
- Boyd, E.B. Baked In: BranchOut Lets You Manage Your Climb Up the Ladder From Within Facebook. Fast Company. February 17, 2011.
- Gannes, Liz. BranchOut Social Jobs Site Grabs a Yahoo Exec. All Things D. March 28, 2011.
- Rhodri Marsden: Maybe we do need yet another social network?. The Independent. June 29, 2011.
- O'Dell, Jolie. Facebook Job Search App Gets $6M in Funding. Mashable. September 16, 2010.
- Tsotsis, Alexia. BranchOut Grew 25x In January, Going From 10K To 250K Monthly Users (TCTV). TechCrunch. February 2, 2011.
- Rao, Leena. Exclusive: BranchOut Raises $18M For Facebook-Focused Professional Network. TechCrunch. May 11, 2011.
- Geron, Tomio. Covering consumer Internet, especially social and start-up varieties. Forbes. May 11, 2011.
- Klein, Julie. Deals & More: BranchOut grabs $18M to help you job hunt on Facebook. Reuters. May 12, 2011.
- Merino, Faith. Branchout raises $18M, launches Jobs Tab. VatorNews. May 11, 2011.
- Interview with Rick Marini (founder of BranchOut.com). Got Interviews. June 11, 2011.
- Strom, David. BranchOut Could Be a Break Out Hit For Facebook Job Seekers. Read Write Web. June 20, 2011.
- Shontell, Alyson. The New LinkedIn-Wannabe On Facebook Gets Nearly 1,000,000 Users In One Week Archived April 25, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.. BusinessInsider. June 20, 2011. "The week of explosive growth followed a decision to replace a core questions feature (i.e. "Who is most likely to leave work early?) with social job listings on the app's front page."
- Rao, Leena. Exclusive: BranchOut Raises $18M For Facebook-Focused Professional Network. TechCrunch. May 11, 2011. "Currently, BranchOut allows you to search over three million jobs and 20,000 internships, which impressive considering the app only launched nine months ago."
- Fisher, Lauren. BranchOut: A young pretender or a serious contender in the Linkedin game?. The Next Web. July 12, 2011. " It's hosted over 3 million job vacancies on the app and is active in 60 countries."
- SplashCast: BranchOut Reaches Out To Professionals. SplashMediaLP. August 10, 2011. "We're in, at this point, over 60 countries, 15 languages, millions of users..."
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-06-03. Retrieved 2013-11-08.
- 'BranchOut:' Find Work on Facebook. ABC News. July 13, 2020.
- Lewis, Hilary. Facebook app for job hunters. New York Post. August 15, 2010.
- Ingram, Mathew. Should LinkedIn Be Afraid of BranchOut and Facebook?. GigaOm. July 20, 2010.
- Q&A: BranchOut Founder Rick Marini on How It Raised $18M for a Facebook Professional Network With 6,000 Daily Users. Inside Facebook. May 11, 2011.
- Boyd, E.B. BranchOut Adds Tools To Let Recruiters Go Trolling on Facebook. Fast Company. October 20, 2011.
- Carr, David F. Facebook Not A Threat, LinkedIn Claims. Information Week. October 20, 2011.
- Harbison, Niall. With Facebook at its roots, BranchOut could outgrow LinkedIn. The Next Web. January 9, 2011.
- Q&A with BranchOut's Mike Del Ponte Archived January 7, 2012, at the Wayback Machine.. StartUp Beat. May 17, 2011.
- Ovide, Shira. BranchOut CEO On LinkedIn IPO: "I've Been Smiling All Day". Wall Street Journal. May 19, 2011.
- Marini Says More People Are Finding Jobs on Facebook. The Washington Post. December 2, 2011.
- Swartz, Jon. Social-media start-ups find it harder to stand out. USA Today. September 20, 2011.
- "Speakers". FastTech. Retrieved 2012-07-27.
- Where Innovation & Opportunity Connect Archived December 19, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.. FASTech.
- Ahead of the Pack. Human Resource Executive Online.
- The Top 10 Facebook Apps Archived December 11, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.. Electronic Business Group.