Liepin.com, one of China’s largest online talent service platforms, filed on April 4 to list on HKEX. The company plans to use the funding to broaden product offerings and to attract more customers.
Liepin.com was founded in Beijing in 2011 by DAI Kebin, the former Brand Manager of Greater China at P & G. DAI’s experience as a BM helped him integrate his marketing competency into talent acquisition.
Per its prospectus, the Liepin platform provides talent services to 38.9 million individual users and 248.6k verified business users, as well as 101,840 verified headhunters as of end 2017. In China, it’s online recruiting app is ranked #10 in terms of weekly penetration rate and #6 in terms of how many times the app was opened on a weekly basis, according to a report by market researcher Cheetah Data.
The company provides talent acquisition service, including headhunting, executive search, PRO (Recruitment Process Outsourcing), online recruitment and campus recruitment.
The Beijing-based company claims it’s the largest online talent service in China focused on mid- to high-end talent by revenue, which hit RMB 825 million (approx.$ 131 million) in 2017, up 40.5% compared to the number in 2016. 96.5% of its revenue comes from its business customers, who pay for subscription packages and transaction-based talent acquisition services. One of Liepin’s prominent rivals, Nasdaq-listed 51Job, reports a $437 million revenue in 2017 according to data on Nasdaq.
The company turned an RMB 16.7 million (approx. $ 2.8 million) profit in 2017, mainly thanks to its growing revenue. In January 2016, the Chinese company expanded to North America, kicking off Liepin North America to serve overseas graduates and high-end talents.
The revenue of China’s talent acquisition service reached RMB 149.3 billion (approx. $ 23.7 billion) in 2017 and is expected to grow to RMB 357.4 billion (about $ 56.7 billion) in 2022, according to Liepin.com’s prospectus.
At the same time, the Chinese market for talent acquisition is pretty much saturated. According to local media NBD, there are over 17k talent services in China, and the top ten among them only hold a total of 2.9% market share, meaning the Chinese market for recruiting is dispersed. Liepin.com faces competition not only from established competitors such as Zhaopin and Nasdaq-listed 51Job, but also from classified sites 58.com and Ganji.
Emerging startups, such as 51Job-backed Lagou have also established their presences. Tech giants, such as China’s largest news aggregator Toutiao, is reportedly in talks to buy Liepin.com’s local rival Boss Zhipin, eyeing to take a piece of the pie.
To expand its business scope, Liepin.com has previously invested in Unicareer, an e-learning career development platform, part-time job platform Happyjob, and startup media Geekpark.