Six new publishers buying shares in the Kimeta job search engine

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Kimeta, which currently offers more job listings than any other jobs portal in Germany, is expanding its ownership circle. Six new publishers are making an initial investment in Kimeta, while two current shareholders, Heilbronner Stimme and Mannheimer Morgen, are increasing their stakes.

Whether they’re listing jobs, cars or real estate, classified ads remain a major pillar of revenue for newspaper publishers. As digitalization of the industry progresses, an ever-increasing portion of sales is coming through online listings. “The market for online job listings continues to grow very strongly, giving it a major role in personnel recruiting,” says Oliver Walz, Managing Director of the Verlagsgruppe Rhein Main (VRM). Many publishers are reacting to this digital threat to their print offerings by shifting their products into the digital realm themselves. The personnel placement market demands high levels of efficiency and analytical flexibility, which from a publisher standpoint can only be achieved through maximum efficiency in their internet technology, Walz claims. Kimeta offers that.

Kimeta, a job search engine founded in 2005, works in a manner similar to Google, indexing the job listings it finds by crawling through job posting sites and corporate portals for a more structured presentation. For Sonja Ettengruber of the Mediengruppe Straubinger Tagblatt/Landshuter Zeitung, the investment in Kimeta will add value to her company through access to its market insight and Kimeta’s sophisticated technological approach. That technology received its sixth straight quality award this past year, and is responsible for the 1.8 million unique visitors who click to Kimeta each year.

Six renowned publishers have declared their intent to invest in the platform — beyond VRM and the Mediengruppe Straubinger Tagblatt/Landshuter Zeitung, the list also includes the Mediengruppe Badische Zeitung, the Nürnberger Presse, the NWZ Mediengruppe and the Medienhaus Schwäbischer Verlag. The deal awaits only the final approval of the German Federal Cartel Office. The two publishers already invested in Kimeta — Heilbronner Stimme and Mannheimer Morgen — are expanding their stakes. “We purchased a stake in Kimeta back in 2008. Given the company’s very positive development, we’re pleased to have the chance to increase our ownership share to ten percent,” says Dr. Björn Jansen, Managing Director of the Mediengruppe Dr. Haas.

Given that Madsack will also remain on the board with its existing level of ownership shares, the nine publishers collectively hold a controlling overall stake (55%) in Kimeta. For Marc Del Din, Managing Director at the holding company for the NWZ Mediengruppe, the entry into Kimeta is a tremendous example of the real-life digital transformation and the extension of the existing value chain into the online realm. “The key success factors for the digital transformation are a clear vision for the technology-driven society of the future and investments in both modern and classic IT. That’s precisely what Kimeta and its strong innovation-focused expertise in the area of search engine technology is doing.” Alongside its business with under the Kimeta name, the company also offers a highly promising series of white-label solutions for daily newspapers and specialized journals. “Last but not least, the Kimeta deal is of major strategic importance for the NWZ and the other publishing shareholders, and a part of their respective future strategies,” Del Din says in summary.

During its successful founding phase, Kimeta was able to win the High-Tech Gruenderfonds (HTFD), the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW) and several angel investors who, having achieved their targets, are now releasing their shares in Kimeta for sale.

“Kimeta has been a big success for all shareholders. Over the course of our investment, it established a leading portfolio of up-to-date job listings of any commercial job posting sites and job search engines. The outstanding search results produced by Kimeta have earned numerous awards, and together with its outstanding reach represent a sustainable competitive advantage,” says Marvin Andrä, Investment Manager at High-Tech Gruenderfonds.

“We’re very pleased that Kimeta represents our first exit to an HTGF fund investor. Nine years after the initial seed investment, we are thus the first investor to realize profits on our investment by a factor in the high single digits,” adds Dr. Alex v. Frankenberg, Managing Director of HTGF.

About Kimeta GmbH
Kimeta ranks in the top five for reach among job portals in Germany. The artificial intelligence at the heart of the platform crawls through job listings on online job boards, corporate home pages, career websites and staffing companies, indexing the results into one searchable database. Visitors to the website can then review its listings, currently numbering around 1.7 million. The search results are organized based on qualitative criteria and submission date, with various options for filtering the results. Kimeta also supports companies with individual offerings in their search for appropriate candidates and optimization of their online recruiting. Another criterion is the licensing of established search engine technology to cooperation partners, such as daily newspapers and specialized publishers, and the development of custom search solutions for complex requirements on behalf of government and commercial organizations.

The company was founded in 2005 in Darmstadt by Dr. Erik Spickschen and Torsten Hein. Kimeta GmbH was spun off in 1992 from an existing HR consultancy, MSW&Partner. Within just a few years the company has successfully positioned itself as one of the most popular and far-reaching job portals in Germany. In 2014 Kimeta ranked at the top of a survey by CrossPro-Research in the “Job Search Engine” category for the sixth straight time.

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Press Contact: Markus Stasch

About the Badischer Verlag
Badischer Verlag GmbH & Co. KG is primarily known for the “Badische Zeitung,” Baden’s largest subscriber-based newspaper. It also produces supplements, joint publications and special editions. A team of roughly 470 employees are dedicated to maintaining the quality of the daily publication. The editorial team is also supported by a pool of roughly 1,500 freelance reporters. Delivery is handled by a corps of almost 1,300 delivery persons.

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About the Mediengruppe Dr. Haas
The Mannheimer Mediengruppe Dr. Haas includes a variety of newspaper titles (Mannheimer Morgen, Fränkische Nachrichten, Bergsträsser Anzeiger, Schwetzinger Zeitung), shares in radio broadcasters (including Radio Regenbogen, Big FM) and service providers (including the Morgenpost courier service and xmedias, an advertising agency). The company invests in startups through its subsidiary Haas New Media. Alongside Kimeta, this currently includes holdings in Pylba and Familonet.

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About the Medienunternehmen Heilbronner Stimme
The Medienunternehmen Heilbronner Stimme published the Heilbronner Stimme, Hohenloher Zeitung and Kraichgau Stimme newspapers as well nine different sub-publications, making it one of the leading regional newspaper publishers in Baden-Württemberg. As an innovative media company, it is strongly focused on the marketing of cross-media advertising and the linking of regional content in both print and online formats. Among the innovative paths for cross-medial reporting by the Heilbronner Stimme include its newspaper apps for Apple and Android devices and service apps such as Besen, mStimme, WirtschaftsStimme, etc..

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About the KfW Bankengruppe
As a promotional bank, KfW Group supports change and encourages forward-looking ideas – in Germany, Europe and throughout the world. The KfW is the largest source of financing for small- and mid-sized German companies. It provides companies with long-term investment loans as well as loans to cover commercial operating costs. The KfW always awards its loans through a business’s local bank — assuming a portion of the risk to make it easier for the house bank to decide in favor of the loan.

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About the MADSACK Mediengruppe
The MADSACK Mediengruppe is focused on the future potential of regional and local media. The group holds 18 daily newspapers (including the Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung, Leipziger Volkszeitung and Märkische Allgemeine Zeitung) and more than 30 classified publications, supplemented with an extensive range of products for online and mobile use. The group boasts a circulation of more than 900,000 papers sold daily, reaching 2.6 million readers and 3.27 unique users to the websites.

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About High-Tech Gruenderfonds
High-Tech Gruenderfonds invests in young, high potential high-tech start-ups. The seed financing provided is designed to enable start-ups to take an idea through prototyping and to market launch. Typically, High-Tech Gruenderfonds invests EUR 500,000 in the seed stage, with the potential for up to a total of EUR 2 million per portfolio company in follow-on financing. Investors in this public/private partnership include the Federal Ministry of Economics and Energy, the KfW Banking Group, as well as strategic corporate investors including ALTANA, BASF, Bayer, B. Braun, Robert Bosch, CEWE, Daimler, Deutsche Post DHL, Deutsche Telekom, Evonik, Lanxess, media + more venture Beteiligungs GmbH & Co. KG, METRO, Qiagen, RWE Innogy, SAP, Tengelmann and Carl Zeiss. High-Tech Gruenderfonds has about EUR 576 million under management in two funds (EUR 272 million HTGF I, EUR 304 million HTGF II).

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High-Tech Gruenderfonds Management GmbH
Marvin Andrä
Schlegelstrasse 2
53113 Bonn
Phone: +49 (228) 823 001-00
Fax: +49 (228) 823 000-50