Giraffe, the South African start-up using technology to help tackle unemployment in South Africa through an automated recruitment service, has announced it has raised a seed round of funding led by Silicon Valley venture firm Omidyar Network.
The parties have not disclosed the value of the deal.
Founded in 2004, Omidyar Network invests in companies that can help build “prosperous, stable and open societies”. It focuses its investments on consumer Internet and mobile, education, financial inclusion, governance and citizen engagement, and property rights.
“Omidyar Network’s focus on job creation and particular expertise in marketplace networks makes them an excellent strategic fit for Giraffe,” said Giraffe CEO and co-founder Anish Shivdasani in a statement.
Omidyar was formed by French-born US entrepreneur and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar, who founded the eBay auction site. Omidyar, who is today worth an estimated US$7,7bn, according to Forbes, became a billionare at the age of 31 when eBay was floated on the stock market.
Giraffe was founded with the aim of matching people to medium-skilled jobs in major business sectors in South Africa.
Founded by former employees of telecommunications consultancy Delta Partners, the company’s mobile phone-based service is targeted at both blue-collar and white-collar workers who typically earn between R3 000 and R15 000/month. It then matches them to jobs in corporate South Africa through an intelligent and automated platform.
Giraffe has built has algorithm that inputs the requirements from employers and spits out the best candidates based on a range of criteria. See the TechCentral article, Giraffe sticks its neck out.
News of the seed funding round comes after the company emerged triumphant after beating 64 entrants from 54 countries to take the prestigious title of Best Global Start-up at the Seedstars World global business summit for entrepreneurs in Switzerland recently.
It secured an offer from Seedstars of US$500 000 (about R8m) in equity investment by winning the competition. Seedstars is a global organisation that works to impact people’s lives in emerging markets through entrepreneurship and technology.
Some of the Seedstars money will now be used to contribute to the seed investment round, Giraffe said.
“Giraffe is filling a critical gap in the South African jobs market, which is helping medium-skilled jobseekers connect with potential employers, and doing it with a technology-enabled platform that brings intelligence and efficiency to the process,” said Omidyar Network investments principal Charmaine Padayachy in a statement.
Since launching in Johannesburg in February 2015, Giraffe has attracted 90 000 jobseekers and has scheduled several thousand candidates for interview, primarily for permanent jobs in retail, call centre, transportation and administrative services. — © 2016 NewsCentral Media