June 15, 2015 – Silicon Valley-backed mihnati.com, Saudi Arabia’s largest indigenous recruiting solutions provider, is anticipating a rush of business as the kingdom opens its $530 billion stock market to foreign investments today. Saudi Arabia’s keenly anticipated move will give international investors direct access to the Middle East’s biggest economy. “The talent sector here could be the big winner,” said Scott A. Scanlon, founding chairman and CEO of Hunt Scanlon Media. The Saudi job market is massive, but historically it has an been insular one, said Mr. Scanlon.
“This opening up of the country’s markets to outside investors could break the recruitment sector wide open now.” Workers at all professional levels across a myriad of industry sectors will be in increasing demand, say hiring experts. “It is a direct consequence of the turn to an unrestricted, open market system,” said Mr. Scanlon.
Hunt Scanlon has been told by talent acquisition executives with direct knowledge in the region that along with the bedrock industries of petroleum & gas, construction & infrastructure and transportation, banking is expected to be a major growth sector in the coming two to three years as foreign trade picks up. Credit Suisse Group AG plans to expand its M&A, equites sales and research team in Saudi Arabia and may hire additional investment bankers if global banks start winning more IPO mandates. Deutsche Bank and Bank of America are also poised to expand in the kingdom. The country’s electricity, telecommunications, high tech, healthcare and insurance sectors are all seen as additional growth industries.
Just three weeks ago, mihnati.com parent company Naseeb Networks, a leading provider of employment marketplaces in emerging geographies, raised $6.5 million in a Series C funding round led by Vostok Nafta and Piton Capital, bringing the company’s total venture funding to $8.5 million. Naseeb Networks will use the new round of funding to accelerate its growth in target markets, with an emphasis on Saudi Arabia as the kingdom pushes to diversify its petrodollar-dependent economy by boosting the private sector.
“As talent continues to move online at a rapid pace in emerging markets, businesses need increasingly sophisticated recruiting technology customized to nuanced local market dynamics,” said Naseeb Networks’ founder & CEO Monis Rahman. “Vostok Nafta and Piton Capital share our vision of enriching the lives of the millions of people that we serve by empowering them with employment opportunities.” The company is a venture-backed U.S. Delaware C Corporation.
Naseeb Networks, which also operates a leading employment marketplace in Pakistan, is focused on facilitating the matching between jobseekers and employment opportunities. Its complete range of end-to-end employment solutions are now used by over 10,000 companies and five million job seekers, processing over 1.5 million job applications each month. Two years ago, Naseeb completed its acquisition of mihnati.com, growing the website’s profitability and visits over 500 percent by leveraging its advanced cloud-based recruitment product portfolio.
“We are excited to partner with Naseeb Networks and impressed with what Monis and his team have achieved in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia,” said Per Brilioth, a Vostok Nafta managing director. “We believe these markets present massive growth opportunities and are looking forward to expand the reach of Naseeb Networks’ world class products and services.” Naseeb Networks offers its customers highly scalable enterprise-grade cloud recruitment solutions, social recruiting tools, multilingual CV search technology and shortlisting services.
The company is backed by Silicon Valley venture capital funds Draper Fisher Jurvetson and ePlanet Capital. Other investors include Reid Hoffman — executive chairman and co-founder of LinkedIn, and MENA Ventures through its principals Fadi Ghandour (Aramex) and Arif Naqvi (Abraaj Capital).
Contributed by Christopher W. Hunt, Executive Editor / Publisher, Hunt Scanlon Media