How to get everything right when taking your business global, from Adzuna

Founders of Adzuna

Co-Founder of the jobs, cars and property search engine, Doug Monro, told us how to take the plunge and push your business across borders as he prepares to take on Brazil, Australia, Canada and South Africa.

What advice would you give to entrepreneurs thinking about launching a global business?

If you want to build something massive and amazing, get something small and cool out there that people can use and play around with as soon as possible.

Prove it in one market first. Build something scalable, so you can extend it to other markets without having to totally rethink what you do. Have confidence that you can compete abroad but also do your research.  London is a great place to base a global business.

What makes London such a special environment to start an international business in?

London has a diverse culture and strong tech start-up community. Having such a talented and diverse team makes for a really fun and enriching working environment, especially as they are all incredibly passionate and rock stars at what they do.

Was international expansion always the plan for Adzuna?

Yes - We plan to be the world's biggest and best search engine.  Job, property and car ads are fragmented and too complicated to navigate. We started by proving the model in the UK, and it's worked so well we feel it's time to spread the love internationally.

Did you need funding to get the global launch going?

No, our UK business is doing great. Adzuna's rapid user growth has also been reflected with revenues doubling every three months throughout 2012 and 2013. 

What are the challenges of moving into new markets?

For the past few months our dev team have been working incredibly hard to build our international sites. Technically it has been challenging to scale out our service in lots of ways, small and large, especially making search as good as possible in all languages. 

Translating the website is hard work too - from job titles and descriptions to employer names, currencies and location structures, it's vital to get the local websites bang on. That's why it's so important to have employees who have lived and worked in each of our new markets.

Does being an international business change how Adzuna is run in the UK?

We have been very careful about building a scalable business model, so it doesn't change anything fundamental, but of course there are lots of processes that used to be done for one country that now need to be done for many.

In hindsight, what would you do differently when moving into new markets?

I'm not sure we would do anything differently based on our experience so far, if anything we've seen even greater potential and even more we can do with data and search to make things better for users.


Going global is going to be a daunting decision for any business but Adzuna are proving the right business model can minimise its effect on your home market and massively expand your potential.

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