Cradle’s pre-seeded TribeHired gets seed investment in Singapore
By Digital News Asia March 25, 2013
- Recruitment is an evergreen industry but also ripe for disruption, says investor TNF Ventures
- Shows the benefits when Malaysia and Singapore collaborate to support innovative start-ups: JFDI.Asia
SOCIAL recruitment website TribeHired announced that it had closed a seed funding round worth about S$696,000 (US$557,070) led by TNF Ventures (TNF) through the Technology Incubation Scheme.
The Technology Incubation Scheme comes under the Singapore’s National Research Foundation (NRF) within the Prime Minister’s Office. The round was supported by Singapore angel investors Ben Ball and Ben Chew.
The investment will be used to grow TribeHired’s team to expand both the number of job candidates on the system and the range of businesses using the service, the company said in a statement. It initially received pre-seed funding from Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd, an agency under Malaysia’s Ministry of Finance.
“Today’s investment is crucial to the next stage of TribeHired’s development and not just because it brings us cash to fund our growth,” said its founder Devan Singaram. “In TNF we have access to a team of veteran entrepreneurs who have proved they know how to manage fast growth.
“Meanwhile Ben Chew brings specialist domain insight around recruitment,” he added. “It’s great to have that kind of support behind us as we scale up rapidly.”
TribeHired’s model revolves around creating incentives for ordinary people to recommend job opportunities at companies where their friends would fit. A window into social networks gives employers a better choice of talent, simultaneously reducing hiring costs and time-to-hire, it said.
Its automatic recommendations are supplemented by individual candidate interviews to assure a match, the company added.
TribeHired is currently in intensive beta testing with several thousand users in Malaysia providing feedback around real job opportunities. Early adopters are typically ‘Generation Y’ graduates but they are spread across a range of different industries and job functions.
The notion of social network friends recommending each other for jobs is still new and testing has already revealed fascinating insights into customer needs and behaviors, the company said. A full international launch will follow shortly, it added.
“Recruitment is an evergreen industry but it is also ripe for disruption,” said Shirley Wong, managing partner at TNF Ventures. “We saw that TribeHired’s team has the passion and drive to bring about that disruption.
“There are others in this space but Tribehired’s team convinced us that they really understand the psychology of social networks and job seekers better than anyone else,” she claimed.
Clients using TribeHired already include Zalora, Lazada, Flocations and Brandtology. The service currently covers Singapore and Malaysia.
Tribehired was also a participant in the JFDI-Innov8 2012 accelerator program operated by JFDI.Asia.
“This is a great deal for those directly involved but it also shows the benefits when Malaysia and Singapore collaborate to support innovative start-ups,” said JFDI.Asia co-founder and chief executive officer Hugh Mason (pic).
“TribeHired’s talent was first spotted by a Malaysian government fund and, with support from both private and public investors in Singapore, the business has been able to exploit opportunities in both markets to grow much faster than it would have done in either alone.
“Now, TribeHired is helping to fill jobs and create wealth on both ends of the causeway,” he added.
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