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Accel Backs BranchOut, where LinkedIn meets Facebook

Sep 16, 2010

You can learn all sorts of stuff about your friends on Facebook, including their birthdays, relationship status and hometowns. Their employment histories, however, often seem locked inside of Mark Zuckerberg's vault.

A new startup called BranchOut looks to change that, and tomorrow will announce that it has raised $6 million in venture capital funding. Accel Partners (Facebook's original investor) led the round, with partner Kevin Efrusy taking a board seat.

San Francisco-based BranchOut recently began offering a free app that lets you browse your friends' work histories, either by searching specifically for your friends or for their employers. It also will show you secondhand contacts, so long as your friends join your network (yes, this is very much like LinkedIn).<!-- more -->

Finally, BranchOut also offers a free job listing service for your personal networks.

The company is led by CEO Rick Marini, who previously founded and ran Tickle.com. I spoke to him briefly this afternoon, but he deferred questions until more formal interviews tomorrow with Efrusy by his side. So hopefully we'll have some more info on the company's plans in the next 24 hours. For example, would the company have a biz model if Facebook just begins offering an employment filter that mirrors its educational filter? And, if so, where would Accel come down on that conflict?

Here is a brief demo of how BranchOut works:

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