Universum Buys Doostang

Universum Development has acquired career networking platform Doostang, the company announced Tuesday. Doostang, based in Palo Alto, Calif., had raised venture funding from Shasta Ventures and Tugboat Ventures and individual investors. Formed in 2005, the company targets young business professionals and has about 900,000 members, it says. Terms of the deal were not released.

PRESS RELEASE
PALO ALTO, Calif., July 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Universum Development, mother company to Universum Group, the global leader in Employer Branding, announced today the acquisition of Doostang, the leading global career networking platform for young professionals.

Founded in 2005, Doostang is one of the largest career networking platforms for young business professionals in the world, with over 900,000 members. Members join Doostang to get exclusive access to over 15,000 hand-picked positions with thousands of prestigious employers across finance and investment, consulting, media, and technology industries specifically targeting high-achieving students and graduates of leading academic institutions.

“We have been monitoring Doostang closely for a long time and now look forward to be able to contribute to their continued growth,” said Lars-Henrik Friis Molin, Founder and Chairman at Universum Development. “Universum’s well established contacts and know-how within the space will be of great use to Doostang,” said Petter Nylander, CEO of Universum Group.

In addition to the transaction, Jeff Berger will join Doostang as their new CEO. Previously, Berger was the CEO and Founder of KODA, an Internet recruiting company based in San Francisco. “I’m excited about the opportunity to lead Doostang as it continues to grow as a leading professional destination online,” said Berger. “Doostang will provide an innovative social media solution to Universum’s 1000+ clients across the globe.”

Doostang members can access the Doostang community and their personal Facebook friend network to identify and leverage inside connections at the employers they want to work for. Unlike LinkedIn, Doostang does not charge employers to post jobs, allows its members to contact any other member for free, and automatically highlights any shared affiliation between individuals such as a common undergraduate university or former employer. These social connections have proven invaluable to thousands of members who have successfully advanced their career on Doostang.

Chuck Taylor had been the CEO of Doostang since 2008 and will continue to work with Universum and its digital strategy. “The acquisition of Doostang is a great opportunity for the group to help further develop a strong online presence,” said Taylor.

Doostang is partnered with career centers at leading undergraduate and graduate business schools across the globe, as well as leading professional associations such as 85 Broads, a globally recognized network of trailblazing, career-minded, multigenerational women graduates and students of the world’s leading colleges, universities, and graduate schools. Doostang had raised capital from Shasta Ventures, a leading venture capital firm in Silicon Valley.

About Universum Group:
Universum AB, founded in 1988, is the global world leader in Employer Branding research, consulting, and media productions. They have offices in 10 countries and conducts research in over 40, in close collaboration with the top universities of the world. www.universumglobal.com

About Doostang:
Doostang is an exclusive online career network that connects elite professionals with the most prestigious jobs. Nearly a million young professionals from top universities and business schools are members of Doostang. Companies using Doostang to recruit talent include top-tier employers Goldman Sachs, Bain & Company, Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts, Summit Partners, Google, Time Warner and Facebook.

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