Bashar Soft, an online recruitment software company and the owner of the Wuzzuf and Forasna websites, signed an agreement to obtain funding from a foreign company and is set to announce the details within days.
The company will announce new updates to its Wuzzuf website based on artificial intelligence technology to make it easier for job seekers to find suitable work opportunities, according to Amir Sharif, the company’s chief executive and founder.
Can you tell us about Wuzzuf?
Next week we will announce the new updates we have made to the Wuzzuf platform. We began the company’s activities in 2009 and launched officially in 2011. Since then, we have been helping job seekers connect to the right jobs.
Over the past period, we have tried to attract investments to finance our expansion plans. In 2013, we obtained funding from Startup 500. We were the first Egyptian company to obtain funding from them, while now there are 12 Egyptian companies.
In 2015, we attracted further funding from investors in the US, UK, and Sweden. We launched the Forasna platform that provides jobs for mid-level certificate carriers and technicians.
How many employment opportunities have you provided?
Currently we have more than 1m accounts for university graduates on Wuzzuf who submitted over 10m applications to 15,000 companies that employ over 500,000 people. This means that we have employed 180,000 people via Wuzzuf and offered 70,000 jobs via Forasna.
What is the target during the coming period?
We plan to provide 1m direct jobs through both websites by 2020.
What is new about Wuzzuf?
Currently, we have completed new updates to the Wuzzuf website, which will help facilitate the search for suitable jobs based on artificial intelligence and we will announce these updates next week.
In addition, we will provide a job service that helps job seekers obtain courses that help them develop their skills to suit the labour market.
During the last period, your focus was on Egypt, but do you intend to expand abroad?
We already have a clear goal in Egypt to help job seekers get the right job easily, and we plan to provide 1m jobs by 2020.
But we are also planning to expand to new markets during the coming period but so far, they are only plans. We are more focused on Egypt now, since there are 30m young men and women here. We may also launch new Wuzzuf products in the coming period.
Which fields lack expertise?
There is a high demand for technology-related jobs, such as programmers, as well as sales jobs.
What are your means of generating profits?
We get revenue from companies that advertise jobs through our site, because there are many people searching for jobs via our website.
What is the market share of Wuzzuf among online job search engines?
Currently we have 60% market share of all jobs available online in Egypt. We offer 8,000 new jobs every month.
Are there controls for job opportunities offered by companies?
We have measures to accept the offers of companies for employment opportunities to ascertain the fact that there is a job opportunity. Every month, we refuse half of the companies’ requests to offer jobs as they do not match our standards.
The most prominent of these controls is that the email is on the company’s domain, verifying the phone numbers registered by the companies, and seeing a commercial registry certificate.
Have you received offers for your acquisition?
We have received many offers to acquire us. This is normal for any company that has rapid growth rates, but we rejected these offers because we believe there is a greater chance of growth, especially since the majority of companies offering acquisitions are large companies outside Egypt that want to enter the Egyptian market through this acquisition.
We have a goal of providing 1m jobs a year, so we have rejected all acquisitions.
What market value do you intend to reach?
We do not have specific target market value, but we have plans to achieve double-digit growth rates annually.
Do you have plans to list the company on the Egyptian Exchange?
So far, there is no intention, but there is a plan for that in the future. Our main goal now is to increase the company’s size.