- Company's founder struggled to hire staff for gas stations
- Accel Partners in London leads Series A funding round
It was only a matter of time before the left-swipe-for-no, right-swipe-for-yes approach to screening personal profiles left the confines of dating apps and entered the corporate world. Enter Job Today -- an app already successful in Spain -- which connects small employers, especially in the retail and hospitality sectors, with potential hires over a mobile platform.
Since the service rolled in April 2015, Job Today has signed up more than 20,000 businesses and processed more than 2 million job applications in Barcelona, Madrid, London and Paris. The Luxembourg-based startup will announce Thursday that it has secured $10 million in venture capital to fuel its continued expansion throughout Europe.
Fueling the hiring process
Running a chain of Shell gas stations in Luxembourg, Polina Montano always struggled to hire staff, especially last minute replacements for employees who called in sick or quit suddenly. Classifieds were expensive and job boards slow. Meanwhile digital sites like Monster.com and LinkedIn were aimed mostly at graduates, not those looking for the kind of work Montano had to offer.
"The existing recruitment process does not serve the small business market," Montano said in an interview.
Montano and Eugene Mizin, a fellow master’s program student of entrepreneurship and innovation at the University of Luxembourg -- and who had worked as a product manager for EBay and Skype -- set about trying to solve this problem.
Together they founded Job Today. The app uses a location-based search to help employers filter through the personal profiles created by potential candidates and a Tinder-like swipe left-or-right system for them to create a short-list of applicants. The app also provides a messaging system for employers to contact short-listed candidates -- something that Job Today forces recruiters to do within 24 hours after highlighting a strong contender.
The $10 million Series A fund round announced Thursday is being led by Accel Partners, with Felix Capital and Luxembourg-based Mangrove Capital Partners, which provided seed money to Job Today, also participating.
The company will use the the money from its funding round to grow its service in London and Paris, where it recently debuted, as well as to expand to other cities in Europe and beyond. "We always thought of this as a global product," Montano said. "We want to become the LinkedIn for blue collar workers."
Sonali De Rycker, a partner at Accel who will be joining Job Today’s board, said the venture capital firm had been looking to invest in a company that addressed today’s changing European job market -- with high levels of youth unemployment in many countries and a growing "gig economy," in which people work in temporary and freelance jobs. She also wanted a product that was designed from the start for mobile technology, she said. "It ticked every box for us," De Rycker said of Job Today in an interview.