We've Acquired Sourcing.io

December 1, 2015
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We’re excited to announce that we’ve acquired Sourcing.io, a data platform for identifying great engineers. Running one business is hard enough. Why did we decide to go all in and acquire a second?

The Backstory

Our acquisition started out when we signed up as customers of Sourcing.io. Alex MacCaw, a Ruby/JavaScript developer in SF, had built the product largely by himself. Alex is a well-known engineer within the startup community. He wrote a book called JavaScript Web Applications back in 2011, and he’s worked for Twitter and Stripe. Most recently, Alex started a company called Clearbit.

Back when Alex launched Sourcing.io, he wrote, “[Sourcing.io] stems from a problem that I had at both Twitter and Stripe: finding software engineers is a really hard and time consuming problem. There’s a shortage of good talent and the demand is incredibly high. It’s an incredibly inefficient process that can take months and cost you tens of thousands.”

Alex’s approach was to index millions of engineers based on publicly-available data. He then added social data on top of the application, so a user could filter for things like, “Engineers in San Francisco that have contributed to the rails/rails repo on GitHub and follow @maccaw on Twitter.”

There are a lot of sourcing products on the market, but most are too expensive or cumbersome. This was partially the reason we started Underdog.io. From an outsider’s perspective, Sourcing.io subscribed to a similar thesis. We were attacking the same problem, albeit from a different angle.

Months after we stopped using the product, a friend told us that Alex might be looking to sell Sourcing.io so he could focus 100% of his time on Clearbit.

The Negotiation

When we first emailed Alex, he responded with something like, “How did you guys find out I’d be willing to sell? I’ve told maybe two people.”

We asked him where he saw the product going, what the codebase looked like, and obviously what he wanted in return. Turns out, through that conversation, we learned we shared a lot of opinions about the hiring space.

We discussed numbers and landed somewhere that was doable from our side. But, did it make sense for us to own a second product in the recruiting space?

Push vs. Pull

Many of our Underdog.io customers use similar products to Sourcing.io. Some have even tried Sourcing.io. When thinking about whether it made sense for us to own, we kept coming back to this concept of push vs. pull in recruiting products.

Underdog.io is a product that pushes exceptional candidates to top startups. We play matchmaker without charging matchmaker fees. Sometimes, though, it’s not enough. Many of our customers have asked for more. More awesome candidates. More opportunities to get in front of great people. And, more ways to filter our own candidate pool.

Sourcing.io is not a marketplace. It’s one-sided. In order to get value from it, you need to use it by searching and filtering. It’s a pull mechanism.

We wanted to be able to cover both ends of the spectrum. Sometimes, you want introductions to awesome, warm candidates. Other times, you want to do your own digging. Owning both products gives us full coverage in the mind of the hiring manager.

Doubling Down

We closed on Sourcing.io around two months ago. Suffice to say, we’re doubling down on this space.

We’ve been busy cleaning up the codebase, making UI improvements, and prepping for our relaunch. The candidate data has been refreshed, and many of the known bugs have been squashed.

Our vision is still the same. We’re building technology to increase the signal-to-noise ratio in the hiring industry. We started Underdog.io because we had experienced the pains associated with (1) hiring while working at top startups, and (2) looking for new opportunities.


We funded the Sourcing.io acquisition with revenue from Underdog.io. As a small, bootstrapped startup, it’s rare to make an acquisition. It’s rarer at our early stage. It feels even rarer still when you consider yourselves to be the underdogs in a space with dozens of heavily-funded companies.

It’s no secret, but from the start, we’ve done things a little differently. Despite all the noise in the hiring space, we’re keeping our heads down and staying focused on creating a world class experience for candidates and companies.

We’re not sure how this will pan out. Running both businesses has been challenging (and Sourcing.io 2.0 wasn’t even live until today). But, in the future, we don’t see them as two separate businesses. We’re running a company with multiple, unique offerings to satisfy multiple use cases.

The Future

No surprise, we’ll need help, so we’re hiring.

We’ll continue to build Underdog.io’s core offering, connecting talented individuals with awesome opportunities. We’re open in NYC, San Francisco, and for Remote companies at the moment.

We’ll continue to add new datasets and new features to Sourcing.io. Like Underdog.io, Sourcing.io will be a lower cost alternative to paying high recruiting fees.

In our view of the future, a company’s outreach is targeted and respectful and a candidate’s job search is empowered and organized. Talented candidates have more high-quality options, and companies spend less time and money sourcing, interviewing, and hiring and more time building their businesses.

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