adzuna, Interview with Doug Monro
Adzuna, a London-based, venture-backed search startup, recently acqured the traffic of Oodle.co.uk as a part of a growth plan.
The company is co-founded by Doug Monro, an expert in classifieds, e-commerce, online community/social networking and local web.
He joined us to talk about the company and their plans.
FinSMEs: Hello Doug, thank you for joining us. First, can you tell us a little bit more about you?
Doug: “I was most recently COO of property portal Zoopla. From 2008 I led the growth of the team from 5 to 75 people and the site to number 2 in UK property with 5M visitors a month, organically and through acquisitions. Previously I was MD of Gumtree, the UK’s largest classified ads site, where I built the team and business through a fun growth ramp after acquisition by eBay in 2005. Prior to Gumtree, I worked for eBay UK, Bain & Company, Unilever and also as an entrepreneur. I have a BA in English from Cambridge, an MBA from Kellogg and am a qualified accountant“.
FinSMEs: Let’s speak about Adzuna…How did you come up with the idea of creating it?
Doug: “Adzuna founders Andrew Hunter and I met working at Gumtree in 2005. The Adzuna plan was finally hatched in 2010 on the back of an envelope in a central London pub. No-one currently operating in this space is doing it right or well enough. Through our experience at Gumtree, Qype and Zoopla, we were deeply involved in the online classified ad market and with the maturing world of social networks and big data, spotted an opportunity to create a next-generation vertical search engine in early 2011“.
FinSMEs: Tell me something more. How does it work?
Doug: “Job, property and car ads are fragmented and too complicated to navigate. Users want to search all the ads in one place, which is what we provide at Adzuna – a one-stop shop. We include every live job, property and car ad in the UK (over 2 Million indexed ads) and we only include the freshest, most up to date ads, and remove ads when they go stale. We then make the search experience better and empower our users to find the right ads for them, by layering on innovations in social and data“.
FinSMEs: What’s your business model?
Doug: “The business model is advertising funded both in paid per click/search based but at this stage we are purely focussed on building an excellent job search experience that people want to use. Money will come later and in ways that don’t damage that experience – although we know from our previous businesses that consumer traffic in this sector is valuable to advertisers“.
FinSMEs: Who are the other team members?
Doug: “Andrew Hunter Adzuna Co-Founder was mostly recently VP Marketing and General Manager of local review site Qype, where he grew the site from 0 to 17m monthly unique visitors in 2 years. Before Qype, Andrew was Head of Marketing at Gumtree and ran Search Marketing for the Thomas Cook Group. Andrew has a BSc in Business & Economics from Oxford Brookes University and is a certified SEO Ninja.
“Currently we have a team of around 10, comprising founders, technical development & marketing. Management and marketing are in South West London and our core development team in Athens, Greece. They are all incredibly passionate & rock stars at what they do http://www.adzuna.co.uk/team.html“.
FinSMEs: You recently raised funding from well-known investors. Was it easy to close the round?
Doug: “We are backed by Index Ventures, Passion Capital & The Accelerator group and we’ve raised a total of £800k in funding in 2 seed rounds (full funding details here). At this time, we have no plans to raise more funding. We have a great relationship with our investors and their combined years of experience and advice are an endless support to us“.
Do you recommend other startup founders to raise vc?
Doug: “If you are fortunate enough to be able to choose investors, make sure you go with people you trust, your interests are aligned and you trust each other, you’re likely to be working with these people for a number of years through good times and bad“.
FinSMEs: Future plans?
Doug: “At the moment, we feature over 2 Million live classified listings in the UK but we plan to expand to cover jobs across Europe and America to become the biggest and best classifieds search engine, globally. This will be backed up with an aggressive but staged international roll out in 2013“.