Aspect, DBL, QED invest in millennial-focused job search site The Muse


New York-based The Muse, provider of a career and jobs search site targeted to millennials, announced it has raised $10 million in Series A funding from Aspect Ventures, DBL Partners and QED Investors. Theresia Gouw from Aspect and Nancy Pfund from DBL are joining the board as a result of the deal. Caribou Honig from QED is joining as a board observer. The company, which targets millennials and has grown to 3 million users per month through word-of-mouth, previously raised $2.8 million in funding, including a $1.3 million debt round in 2012 and $1.5 million seed funding in 2013. Co-founder and CEO Kathryn Minshew told peHUB that the company employs 33 fulltime people in New York and is looking to add 25 over the next several months. The company said seed-stage backers included Y Combinator, 500 Startups, Alexis Ohanian, Tyra Banks, former CEO of Monster.com Europe, former CEO of Thomson Reuters, former CEO of Toys R Us, the former chairman of Hearst Magazines and other individual investors.

PRESS RELEASE

1 in 4 Millennials Have Used The Muse For Their Career; Company Raises $10M Series A Round from Aspect Ventures, DBL Partners and QED Investors

NEW YORK, NY, May 13, 2015 – Millennial career platform The Muse, having helped over 31 million people advance their careers since its launch in 2011, today announced a $10M Series A financing from Aspect Ventures, DBL Partners and QED Investors, following on its announcement that 1 in 4 U.S. millennials had used the site to find, keep or excel at a job.

The Muse has 100,000 – 300,000 active users per day, over 3 million per month. The site targets a highly diverse, millennial population with career advice and how-to’s, open job opportunities, and behind-the-scenes photo and video profiles of what it is actually like to work in hundreds of hiring companies and career paths. Now, with a recent infusion of $10M and a core of passionate, millennial users, the site is primed to go head to head against the legacy players in the space, including Glassdoor, Monster.com, and the $20B valued LinkedIn.

Backing the company are Theresia Gouw and Jennifer Fonstad of Aspect Ventures (investors in Trulia, athenahealth, NanoString, LearnVest, HotelTonight and Birchbox); DBL Partners (Tesla, Pandora, SpaceX and SolarCity), QED Investors (2U, Prosper and SoFi); and seed investors such as Y Combinator, 500 Startups, Tyra Banks, Great Oaks Ventures, Alexis Ohanian, Anjula Acharia-Bath, Chris Herrmannsen, the former CEO of Monster.com Europe, Mike Goldstein, the former CEO of Toys R Us, and Cathie Black, the former Chairman of Hearst Magazines.

“Having been an early investor in other game-changing businesses catering to millennials, Trulia and LearnVest, I’m extremely excited to work with the Muse team in building a career site focused on that demographic. They are hitting a huge need,” said Gouw.

Since launching in September 2011, The Muse has helped over 31 million professionals advance in their career. The site uses smart, actionable, expert-backed career advice to draw in its audience, many of whom are casually contemplating the next phase of their career but often haven’t progressed to actually looking yet, which gives the employers on the Muse an early advantage.

Insider tips and video office tours draw viewers into a content-rich, exploratory environment. The company features thousands of job opportunities across the U.S. and “insider access” photos and videos from tech companies like Facebook and Uber, retail brands like Adidas and The Gap, and more traditional companies like HBO, Dow Jones, and Allstate. The Muse makes money through its vast network of open job listings and proprietary company profiles, which help draw in potential hires. A key selling point for companies is that 90% of The Muse’s users are employed or in school, and most are not actively looking for a new job – but could be tempted by the right opportunity.

“As Impact investors, DBL is thrilled to be joining The Muse team,” said Nancy Pfund of DBL Partners. “Now more than ever, successful companies want and need to attract the best employees as they address diversity of workforce issues, unconscious bias and the like, and The Muse platform amps up their ability to do so. For millennials wanting to build meaningful careers, The Muse opens up the black box of corporate culture and values in a way that resonates with today’s ‘want it all’ workforce. Bringing fine-tuned and curated information and advice to a generation hungry to change the world. The Muse truly is a career-building powerhouse ‘for the rest of us’.”

Founder and CEO Kathryn Minshew points to three big differences that give The Muse an edge over traditional career sites: demographics, interactivity and discovery.

“Our average user on The Muse is 29 compared to LinkedIn’s 47, 65% of our community are women (compared to 45% for LinkedIn), and over half are non-white,” she says. “We’re highly visual and interactive; nowhere else can people peer inside the offices of the companies they’re interested in working for and watch videos of real employees talking about their jobs. In an age where many people work 50+ hours per week, we believe job seekers should have the opportunity to see a company’s workplace and culture before they apply.”

By allowing users to browse, or discover companies, Minshew asserts, they’re able to reach a particular type of millennial professional who may not yet know exactly what they want to do.

The Muse was founded by Kathryn Minshew, Alexandra Cavoulacos, and Melissa McCreery with the goal of becoming the most trusted site for people in the first 10-15 years of their career. The Muse was listed as a Wall Street Journal Top 3 Startups of the Year in 2013.

Looking forward, the company plans to expand its reach into new geographies and demographics, increasingly personalize the experience users have on the site, and develop the product to include professional development and skills acquisition.

“Two of the most important determinants of happiness are peoples’ relationships with their partners, and with their careers, Minshew says. “We’re here to make the latter a little more fulfilling.”

ABOUT THE MUSE:
The Muse is your personalized, all-in-one career destination. We combine trusted advice with career resources, unique job opportunities, and photo-and-video tours that take you behind the scenes of interesting companies and career paths. Our mission: to give you back control of your career.

Cofounded in 2011 by Kathryn Minshew, Alexandra Cavoulacos and Melissa McCreery, the Muse helps over 3 million people every month answer the question, “What do I want to do with my life (and how do I get there)?” The Muse has been featured on The TODAY Show, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, Bloomberg, Fox, the Wall Street Journal, the Harvard Business Review, INC, Forbes, Fortune, Cosmopolitan, TechCrunch and Mashable, and was one of the Top 3 Wall Street Journal 2013 Startups of the Year.

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