LEBANON — Started in a Lebanon mill building in 2014 with a couple of employees working around the clock on software to analyze data, Appcast became a fast growing software company in the United States.
“It was not much bigger than a hockey bag, and when you put all of the original employees in a room it smelled like a hockey bag,” said founder and CEO Christian Forman.
Appcast is now a 100-employee firm with locations in Lebanon, Boston, Canada and Belarus. And recently, Appcast became part of an international media conglomerate in a $79 million buyout.
Most people using the internet have likely seen or experienced Appcast’s software, Forman said. The company is hired by employers to find where potential employees go on the internet, and to place the job in front of them.
“We’re a software company that builds web tools that allows great employers to find and hire great workers,” Forman said. “Our software uses large amounts of data to help leading employers all around the globe to get their job ads in front of the right people at the right time and right place.”
StepStone, the largest employment ad company in Europe, purchased Appcast. Forman said StepStone is owned by media company Axel Springer. Axel Springer owns Politico, Rolling Stone and Business Insider as well as European newspapers and television stations.
Forman said the purchase brings a good return on investment for Appcast’s financial backers, and it brings new resources to Appcast as it pushes the boundaries of data use. Forman said StepStone wants Appcast to continue to explore different ways to use the software it is developing to analyze data and place ads.
“They said, ‘You guys are doing really interesting work, just go do the work,’” Forman said.
Unlike a traditional job website like Monster or Indeed, Appcast works with companies like Lyft, Uber, Walmart, Amazon and many hospitals and trucking companies to take the ads and place them.
“The data comes from the billions of ad interactions that we’ve positioned over the past 5½ years,” Forman said.
For example, if Appcast is placing an ad for a trucking company, the software analyzes the ad and matches it to the data to find out where to put the ad for prospective employees to see.
“We put ads where truckers live, work and play on the internet,” he said.
In the last year, the company optimized more than 1.5 billion job ad clicks, resulting in more than 300 million job applications, Forman said. It has also grown the data along the way and is able to make its software more intelligent.
As the job market has tightened in the past few years with record low unemployment in New Hampshire, Forman said his company has found that people will look at more employment ads but apply to fewer jobs.
“People can be pickier,” he said.
That’s why using data to target jobs to the right candidates is so important for employers, Forman said. And that’s why the company has been able to grow so fast as more employers seek out Appcast.
“A, the technology works, and B, they need it,” Forman said.