Gen Y job portal WOBB raises US$1.3m in pre-Series A round
By Digital News Asia August 5, 2019
- Investors CAC Capital, Accord Ventures and Actcelerate International Group
- Immediate goal to dominate Gen Y hiring in Asia, facilitated 1.3m job applications
WOBB, the leading Gen Y specialised job portal in Malaysia, has announced a pre-Series A investment of US$1.3 million (RM5.4 million) from CAC Capital Investment Limited Partnership (CAC Capital), Accord Ventures Inc (Accord Ventures) and Actcelerate International Group Ltd (AIG). The funding round was arranged by Cradle Fund Sdn Bhd which provided operational and legal help in facilitating the investment.
[Ed: AIG spelling is correct.]
The funds raised will be used to accelerate growth and capture market share, with the company’s immediate goal being to dominate Gen Y hiring in Asia. It is currently operating in Malaysia with an online presence in Manila, supported from Malaysia, with a Manila sales office to be established in the next 6 to 9 months. An Indonesia presence is likely in late 2020.
[Ed: Paragraph updated with additional information.]
To date, over 1.3 million job applications have been made through the platform since its launch in 2014.
WOBB first raised funds in 2015 from angel investors coupled with two grants from Cradle in 2015 and 2017. Founder and CEO Derek Toh tells DNA that his angel investors are still on board while WOBB hasn’t repaid Cradle as it is not profitable yet.
“We are excited to continue to help our young talent build a strong foundation for life by first landing them the right job,” said Toh. “Our vision is to be the largest youth platform in Asia, and successfully raising this round is an amazing endorsement and validation for us as we take another big step towards this vision.”
With the latest investors (CAC, Accord Ventures and AIG) being funds from Japan and Australia, Toh adds, “We are proud to have successfully attracted foreign direct investment (FDI) into Malaysia.”
Takuya Maeda, President and CEO of CAC Capital, laudes WOBB’s initiative to change the way employers and jobseekers connect. “WOBB provides a means for companies to communicate their value… in a new perspective to Generation Y”. Takuya further commends the team at WOBB for their passion, reliability and sophisticated management skills, which he believes is key towards their track record of steadily producing results. In regards to WOBB’s plans for future expansion, Takuya is confident that it will continue to gain traction and recognition in Southeast Asia.
Sharing his sentiments are Fumihiko Ishimaru, founder and CEO of Accord Ventures Inc. “It’s a very exciting opportunity to work with WOBB as an investor.” Fumihiko foresees plenty of opportunities for further collaborations with WOBB in the near future, due to the close ties shared between countries in the Asian region. He assures Accord Ventures’ continued endorsement of WOBB, promising support from networks not limited to Japan, but also other Asian countries.
Ultimately, WOBB aims to tackle pertinent issues presently facing Asian youths, with efforts being directed towards eradicating youth unemployment, increasing their individual earning potential and eventually helping them with other important aspects of their professional adult life.
It’s a big goal for a company that is chasing growth and revenue but Toh tells DNA that, “it is a vision to guide us about what we want to achieve in future, and helps us think about how we build our foundations to achieve that vision.”
In conjunction with these goals, WOBB has plans for further product development to evolve their tech-enabled recruitment service Hiredly.com, which is building the largest community of the best young talent in Asia while providing a concierge-style recruitment experience for employers to hire them.
WOBB believes that its focus on quality talent sets them apart for many employers. By specialising in employer branding and improving the hiring process, WOBB believes it is able to help employers attract relevant candidates. This is made possible by rich media content, taking advantage of big data and artificial intelligence to help both employers and jobseekers connect.
About the new investors
CAC Capital is a Tokyo-based corporate venture capital company established on 1 Nov 2017. It is operating a three-billion-yen fund for a period of 10 years. The fund is focused on investing in technological companies.
Accord Ventures is a venture capital firm headquartered in Tokyo, Japan with a focus on internet companies. To date, Accord Ventures has invested in more than 40 companies, including tech companies from USA, Malaysia, Indonesia and many more.
AIG is a diversified investment holding company listed in the National Stock Exchange of Australia. AIG focuses its investments at the Asia-Pacific market, on these four major sectors: information and communications technology, new aged retail, financial services and green technology.