JobStreet gets S$3.6 million boost

JobStreet.com Pte Ltd has defied cynics by clinching its second round of funding to the tune of S$3.6 million. The new investment comes from Sumitomo Corp, Walden International and Intelligent Capital.

SINGAPORE--JobStreet.com Pte Ltd has defied cynics by clinching its second round of funding to the tune of S$3.6 million. The new investment comes from Sumitomo Corp, Walden International and Intelligent Capital.

In 1999, JobStreet, an online recruitment firm with Pan-Asian reach, received its initial investment of RM6.2 million (S$3.1 million) from Walden International.

The investment comes as a surprise to many as the Nasdaq crash last April saw the demise of many a dotcom. The current economic slowdown is of no help either. However, some analysts believe that this could be the turning point for many e-businesses in Asia.

"The online recruitment industry is poised to take off in Asia and if JobStreet plays its cards right, it may be a successful player in the region. So, the funding would probably go a long to ensuring that they are able to survive the current economic downturn," said IDC Asia Pacific research manager (B2B Internet research) Richard Jacobson.

Jacobson believes that the recruitment industry is well-suited for the Internet platform. "The Internet is making it easier for potential employees to find jobs and it also helps employers to reach out to a wider set of employees because it's cross border. In addition, the information that can be accessed from online recruitment sites are immediate as compared with traditional recruitment."

Meanwhile, JobStreet intends to use the fund--which is expected to last for the next four years--to expand its Asian operations (excluding Malaysia) and invest in possible acquisitions, a company spokesperson said today.

A formal announcement is expected next Thursday at a media briefing in Singapore.

Established in 1995, Jobstreet was voted Malaysia's Internet company of the year for 2000. Apart from Kuala Lumpur and Penang, it has offices in four Indian cities, Singapore and the Philippines.

The company claims to have a million members, facilitating more than three million career matches a month.

Staff writers Fran Foo reporting from Singapore and Sreejit Pillai from Kuala Lumpur.