Careers at Viadeo
Viadeo aims to make it easier and more efficient for professionals to interact, collaborate and search for jobs online. It also enables companies to expand their marketing and advertising range, and identify potential new hires.
Until recently Viadeo operated two separate but related business segments that refer to their platform offerings across different jurisdictions:
- The Viadeo platform, which refers to the Viadeo subscriber database, its technical platform and dedicated employees, and covering the Company’s activities across Europe, the US, Africa and Russia; and
- The Tianji platform, which refers to Tianji subscriber database, technical platform and dedicated employees, and covers the Company’s operations in China.
The Company, however, shut down the Tianji platform at the end of December 2015, with a view to increasing its focus on operations in France.
Viadeo was founded in 2004 by Dan Serfaty (“Serfaty”) and Thierry Lunati (“Lunati”), originally under the name Viaduc. The Company has its roots in a Agregator, an entrepreneur’s club that aggregated and valued private company shares to fund the expansion of member companies, which Lunati and Serfaty launched in 2000.
The Company began operating under the name Viadeo in 2006. It began attracting investor funding that same year, raising $6.38 million in its first formal round of funding from investors including AGF Private Equity and Ventech. Viadeo then began a series of acquisitions, starting with the purchase of Chinese platform Tianji. This was followed by acquisitions of Spanish competitor ICTnet in 2008 and Indian professional social network company ApnaCircle in 2009. Later that same year the Company purchased Canadian contact management website Unyk.com.
Viadeo today employs a global staff of approximately 450 and operates a network of offices, primarily across Europe. The Company’s shares have been traded on the Euronext Paris market since 2014, when it raised €24.4 million in its initial public offering. At the time of its listing the Company’s market capitalisation was recorded as €171.1 million. Today, Viadeo has a market capitalisation of only €13 million.
Business model of Viadeo
Viadeo’s various services are targeted at both professionals and corporate entities.
The Viadeo platform principally serve professionals – including business owners, entrepreneurs and managers – from a variety of sectors, providing a platform for users to collaborate on projects, search for jobs and discuss issues. The platform is particularly popular among younger professionals that are more tech savvy.
Viadeo’s business services – comprising advertising, recruitment, marketing and advertising – are aimed at corporate customers, including recruitment firms and headhunters, blue chip corporates, media agencies and the business education providers.
Geographically, the Viadeo platform serves customers across Europe – notably in the Company’s native France – the US, Africa – primarily across the Maghreb – and Russia.
Viadeo provides value to its customers through the accessibility and functionality of its platform, its platform’s convenience of use, and its pricing.
The Company offers its customers abroad range of tools and services which can be accessed via desktop and mobile devices at any time and from anywhere.
Viadeo operates a website at www.viadeo.com through which customers can register an account and access the Company’s flagship networking platform. The Company previously operated a separate domain for its Chinese users at www.tianji.com. The Viadeo platform can also be accessed through the Company’s mobile applications, which are available on iOS, Android, Blackberry, and Windows Phone.
Viadeo also operates a domain devoted to its business services at www.business.viadeo.com. This site provides information to customers on Viadeo’s marketing, advertising, recruiting and training services and contact details for the Company’s relevant sales teams, which are divided by service.
Viadeo’s social networking platform is available to customers on a self-service basis. Customers are able to register for an account, manage their accounts and subscriptions and access Viadeo functionality directly through the Company’s web page, with no need for interaction with members of the Viadeo sales team.
As a social network, the content of the Viadeo platform is principally community-led, with users able to generate discussions, create groups, organise events and collaborate with no interference from Viadeo itself.
Corporate customers seeking to utilise Viadeo’s advertising, marketing, recruiting and training solutions must contact the relevant sales team directly. This way, the Company is able to provide its customers with greater personal care, ensuring that their individual needs are met.
Viadeo provides technical support and assistance to its customers, and interacts with its users through its social media accounts, including on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook, as well as on its own Viadeo platform.
Viadeo is a French company that develops and operates an online social network targeted at professionals. The Company comprises a private network of professionals from a range of business sectors and from start-ups to well-established companies. It aims to enable professionals to connect with one another across industries, departments, ranks and locations, making collaboration and the sharing of business ideas more efficient.
The Company also provides corporates and agencies with a range of business to corporates and agencies, helping them to identify new contacts, recruit new team members, and interact with competitors.
The Company primarily serves customers in Europe – notably its native France – Russia, and North Africa. The Company’s Chinese offerings have been discontinued.
Viadeo’s suite of products and services are supported by a range of companies and associations from within the technology space and the corporate sphere. The Company partners primarily with:
- Software and Application Developers, which use the Viadeo API to create integrations with third-party applications, increase Viadeo functionality, and create integrated applications from scratch;
- Digital Associations, which provide expertise, experience and guidance on operating within the digital space; and
- Corporate Institutions, which work with the Company in relation to its business services, in particular its recruitment solutions, and cooperate on joint-venture projects and strategic alliances.
Viadeo has tie-ups with several high-profile French digital associations, including Renaissance Numérique, France Digitale and Transition Numérique +. The Company’s corporate partners include Orange, CCI France, Apec and Union de Auto-Entrepreneurs.
Viadeo’s key resources are its technology and platform, its IT infrastructure, its corporate and development partnerships, and its personnel – in particular those working within the sales and development teams.
Viadeo incurs costs in relation to the development of its software and technology, the maintenance of its IT infrastructure, the management of its partnerships, the creation of marketing and advertising campaigns, and the retention of its personnel.
The Company recorded personnel expenses of €7.87 million in the first half of 2015 and external marketing expenses in the amount of €6.04 million. It also accrues costs in relation to the operation of its business offices, which represent costs in the form of rent and utilities.
Viadeo generates revenue through the provision of its premium platform subscription services sold to professionals, the provision of recruitment tools and services to corporate clients, and the provision of advertising space and marketing solutions to corporate clients. These services are divided among the Company’s three reportable segments: Online Subscriptions, Recruitment and Training Services, and Marketing and Advertising Services.
In 2015 Viadeo recorded €24.3 million in revenue, down from €26.9 million recorded in 2014.
Of that total revenue, 55% was generated by the Company’s business services – recruitment, training, marketing and advertising – up from 49% in 2014. The remaining 45% was generated by Viadeo’s online subscriptions, the Company’s largest single reportable segment.
info: Renier Lemmens (“Lemmens”) has served as Viadeo’s Chief Executive Officer since 2016. He has also served as a mentor at founder’s fund Seedcamp. Lemmens has held a number of positions across multiple sectors in a career spanning almost 30 years. After a short spell in the Dutch military in the late 1980s, he joined Arthur D Little as a consultant. After three years in this role, he moved to McKinsey and Company where he served as a partner in London, New Delhi and San Francisco over a period of ten years. From 2002 to 2004 he served as Senior Vice President of Business Development at GE Capital, before joining Barclays Bank as Chief Operating Officer of International Retail and Commercial Banking. His last significant executive role before joining Viadeo was as Chief Executive Officer of Paypal Europe, Middle East and Africa from 2009 to 2012. He has since held a number of director, partner and advisor roles. Lemmens holds a master’s degree in Computer Science from the Delft Technical University and a master’s degree in Business Administration from Insead.
info: James Rochette (“Rochette”) was appointed to the position of Chief Financial Officer at Viadeo in 2015. Rochette has a held a number of senior financial roles since the 1990s, beginning with his appointment as Controller at Cyberis in 1996. He held this position for two years before moving on to join Air Products as its Financial Controller in 1998. Rochette then served in brief spells as Corporate Controller at Liberty Surf and then as International Financial Controller at Netonomy. He was appointed Director of Corporate Finance at InfoVista in 2002, serving for four years before being promoted to the role of Director of Finance for the Americas in 2006. Rochette went on to serve as InfoVista’s Director of Group Reporting before being appointed Chief Financial Officer at Hubwoo, his last executive role before joining Viadeo. Rochette holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the Institut Supérieur de Gestion.
info: Lunati has been with Viadeo since co-founding the Company in 2004. He currently oversees the Company’s technology strategy. Prior to co-founding Viadeo, Lunati was involved in a number of start-up companies, primarily within the technology sector, including IT training company Forlog and search engine operator Lokace, both in the early 1990s. Lunati went on to co-found online portal and webmail service Caramail in 1996, which was ultimately acquired by Lycos in 2000. Lunati holds a master’s degree in Business Administration from Ecole Centrale in Paris.
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