Twitter’s parent company X Corp. has made its first acquisition since billionaire Elon Musk took over, a startup called Laskie, which develops job-matching technology. But looking at the conversation around the deal, it’s hard to shake the notion that it’s more about commerce than jobs.
For some time, Musk has talked about a “super app” that offers multiple services through a single interface. Acquiring Laskie is widely seen as a step toward this goal. However, as Axios noted, engineering such a transition will require American users to move away from apps they like – such as ride-hailing, purchasing and other products – in favor of Musk’s vision.
The approach has been undertaken successfully in China, but Yahoo Finance Technology Editor Dan Howley notes a similar direction “is going to be a little bit more difficult here in the U.S. just because of how many different apps there are, how many different options people have.”
No details of the sale have been revealed, but Axios said Twitter paid for Laskie with “tens of millions in cash and stock.” In 2021, the company raised $6 million in a seed round led by Bloomberg Beta and Peak State Ventures, reported Gizmodo.
“By replacing some of the most hated parts of a typical job search with smarter ways of capturing and structuring data, our platform makes sure there is mutual interest, clear expectations and visibility into the hiring process before either side invests time,” Co-Founder and CTO Daniel O’Shea wrote at the time.
According to its now-shut website Laskie, founded in 2021, was designed as a better way for talent and employers “to find each other.” The site claimed “thousands” of matches between employers and candidates had been made since it launched. Candidates followed through with 80% of the opportunities it presented to them, the firm said.
In the here and now, a number of observers were skeptical of Twitter’s deal – if they recognized its purpose to begin with. “This seems to be a time where the company [Twitter] is really transitioning into something else,” said Howley. “What that is, we still don’t know yet.”
Howley said that LinkedIn – often seen as the 800-pound gorilla in the job-posting realm – is turning into more of a social network than it had been in the past, a change he believes is coming at the cost of user efficiency. “It’s becoming more of the free-wheeling social network that you see that kind of Facebook is,” he said. “But you still – I mean, look, if you’re thinking about jobs, you would think about LinkedIn more than Twitter at this point, especially just given Twitter’s reputation.”
“It’s a surprising move for Twitter, which recently cut upward of 3,500 employees and sold its pricey office furniture, and is still, after all that, being sued by at least six companies for not paying its bills,” wrote Keerthi Vedantam on Crunchbase. She also noted that Facebook and Amazon have made more real progress toward developing a super app.
Since news of the acquisition broke earlier this week, Laskie’s website has gone dark. The only information presented: “The Laskie platform is no longer available.” And there’s also its logo – which happens to be a bird.