It’s Onward and Upward for this Job Site Merger

Proven.com a small business recruiting platform started in 2009 has been acquired by New Jersey based Upward.net. Read the press release here.

Proven, which started as a project out of Stanford business school, had built a combination job distribution platform with a light ATS that mainly targeted the restaurant and hospitality industries. But they were also great at SEO publishing a prolific blog that ranked highly for all sorts of recruiting related topics. Pablo Fuentes, one of the co-founders at Proven will join Upward as SVP of Marketing.

I was able to reach Upwards CEO Steve Lombardi by email for comment and posed several questions for him.

What will happen to the proven.com domain?

We are migrating the Proven technology to Upward.net.  We have not decided what we are going to do with the proven.com domain and will not make a final decision until we fully migrate the Proven blog.

Does Upward also compete with players like Appcast and Joveo?

Upward.net has many of the same programmatic features that enable advertisers to dial in performance by optimizing pricing and source. Whereas Appcast and Joveo focus on enabling programmatic buyers to use their platforms to self optimize their campaigns, Upward.net does it behind the scenes.  Upward.net is also a job site that has sends job seekers daily job alerts, has a resume database and allows job seekers to build an online profile to attract employers. 

Who do you consider to be your main competitors?

On the publisher side of the business, we compete most directly with Talroo.  On the advertiser side, we compete with all who sell programmatic recruitment advertising, including Talroo, Jobcase and Nexxt.  

What was it about Proven that sealed the deal? 

Two things: 1. We liked the restaurant/franchise customer base. We have a lot of traffic in those job seeker categories and felt we could improve candidate flow for existing Proven customers as well as grow the advertiser base in that category.

2. We liked the business model of charging a flat fee and allowing the customer to choose which 3rd party job boards they wanted to distribute their jobs to. Most of our business was either cost-per-click or cost-per-apply, and that is not a great fit for a large segment of employers. 

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Upward.net was started in 2009 as Lead5 Media.  In 2014, they rebranded as Upward.net and turned to recruitment advertising. The company is owner operated, with 30 employees. They actually sit in the same office as iCiMS in Holmdel, NJ.


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