Headhunter’s Weapon Snares $26 Million

6/11/08

If you’re both profitable and growing at a rate of 400 percent for three years in a row, do you still need outside financing?

Yes, says Arthur Papas, CEO and co-founder of Bullhorn, a developer of software for the recruiting and staffing industry. The Boston-based company just raised $26 million in new financing, in a round led by local venture capital firms Highland Capital Partners and General Catalyst Partners.

Bullhorn was founded in 1999 and launched is first product two years later. Since then the privately owned company has grown rapidly and counts around 130 employees today. Until today the company had raised a total of $8.4 million, which means that its growth has been largely self-financed, Papas told Xconomy. “We are planning to do three things with the money, and the investment in these areas reflects a continuation of the strategy we’ve deployed since we went to market seven years ago,” he says.

“We invest in R&D, we follow up with an investment in sales and marketing to expand our reach, and then we follow up that with an investment in services,” Papas says. “It is really the strategy we’ve followed since we started, and each year when we looked back we said to ourselves that we should have invested even more. We’ve seen what we can do with our own capital and we’re excited to see what we can do with additional financing.”

Bullhorn’s business is based on a software-as-a-service model. As a customer you pay a monthly fee and get access to services like e-mail, calendars, sales support, and tools that find suitable job candidates by searching databases like Monster (NASDAQ: MNST) or Yahoo (NASDAQ: YHOO). All applications run on Bullhorn’s servers and are accessed via the web.

Finding the right person to do the job means big business. “Staffing and recruiting is a $300 billion plus global industry, ranging from innovative emerging firms to multi-billion dollar multinational enterprises,” Highland Capital Partners general partner Bob Davis said in a statement.

Today, more than 1,000 recruiting and staffing firms are using Bullhorn’s software, according to the company. Customers range from small to large firms, and from those concentrating on temporary staffing to those specialized in executive headhunting.

Erik Mellgren is a Swedish journalist who worked for Xconomy Boston in 2008 as part of the Stanford Innovation Journalism Fellowship program. His real job is with Ny Teknik, a leading technology and innovation magazine in Sweden, but he loved seeing the Red Sox at Fenway. Follow @

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