What is your background?
Razvan is a two-time olympic math medallist who’s won over 21 first prizes in national computer science and math contests with a PhD in Artificial Intelligence, to boot. Tom ran a recruitment business in London and San Francisco in the sustainability space. He is also an award-winning entrepreneur with 2 business degrees from Oxford.
Tell us about the team you have built so far.
Tom spent 6 months, full-time, trying to find a technical co-founder. 1000+ conversations and 120 interviews later, he found Razvan.
What financial support did you have to launch the business?
Tom funded the business for the first 10 months, then we raised a small seed round in the UK in early 2013. We’ve also entered batch 007 of the amazing 500 startups, with Dave McClure as an advisor. Things are going to get really interesting in the next few months.
What problem are you trying to solve?
Recruiters (in-house and agency) waste HUGE amounts of time and money chasing inappropriate candidates. Particularly amongst developers, most candidates are very frustrated and really dislike recruiters because their methods are spray and pray, churning through goodwill at a rapid clip.
We want to arm recruiters with ALL the latest information about a candidate AND the appropriate place to connect with them, to ensure a sniper, not a shotgun approach, enabling them to find who they need, when they need them.
The reason why aggregators are vital is that the databases or social networks are often static and ONLY represent one source of data, which can be wildly out of date. Traditional contact methods (phone, email, InMail) have fabulously low rates – we want to arm recruiters with better information to make better introductions and find better candidates more quickly and more easily.
Our ultimate (big hairy audacious) goal is to make the labor market more liquid.
Describe the business core products and services?
We are a search engine for technical talent – this means that we aggregate information from public sources on the web creating profiles of people that are an amalgamation of their online presence.
Who do you expect your customers and users to be at launch?
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We’ve launched already and have about 50% of the IT recruiters in the UK using the product. We’ve just launched in the US in the last week. Initially, we’ll see agencies, but in fact we’d like to bring aboard more and more in-house recruiters for tech businesses.
Where do you stand right now with regard to funding?
We’re standing tall. We’ve just received the 500 investment and we’re making money. We’re also very, very lean – Raz has built the entire site, front and back-end himself. However, we will be looking to raise a substantial sum later this or early next year now that we have the concept proved so we can go after more sectors and markets so we’re truly a people search engine, rather than just one for tech.
What are customers saying, so far?
We’ve had an overwhelming response from customers, who seem to love the product. As with anything that’s new, it takes some people time to hit their groove. Certainly recruiters used to just posting a job and waiting for the applications to roll in will be disappointed, but the better recruiters that understand the best candidates aren’t always looking – they’re the ones that are getting the most from the system.
What is the business AND revenue model? What is your strategy for profitability?
We’re almost profitable – we’re currently offering an early-bird rate, given we’ve just launched £99/$159 per month for full access to the system. Catch it soon, before the prices go up.
How will you measure success 12 months from now?
Good question. Obviously we want to be profitable whilst having grown the team, but that’s ‘normal’ for any business.
Our goal is to bring the time spent searching for people down. i.e. if someone spends 1 hour finding a good candidate who’s willing to move roles currently, we’d like to reduce that by a half, or more through the system. The reason – the easier it is to find the right people, the more recruiting becomes about the quality of the opportunity and a persons skills than it does about ‘the recruiting process’. We want to make the labor market more flexible, which means not just finding great jobs for developers, but also putting people back to work who’ve been unemployed and finding jobs for people who need them, desperately. Wish us luck!