Finding a new job is a job in itself – and so is closing the deal, when it comes to funding. Switch is a mobile job marketplace that allows tech and media professionals to search discreetly, browse intuitively and connect instantly with real hiring managers – and the company just raised a $1.4M seed round from investors Metamorphic Ventures and Rhodium Ventures to help them get the job done.
AlleyWatch covered the company earlier this month. Now founder and CEO Yarden Tadmor tells us what the funding process was like for him. .
Tell us about your product.
We like to think Switch is reinventing the job marketplace, one mobile swipe at a time. Swipe left to pass on a job, right to apply. Message, vet and setup an interview with your future employer within minutes. Essentially, the app is a mobile platform that activates passive tech and media professionals by allowing them to discreetly browse for jobs on a smartphone app. Specifically designed for in-demand, start-up-friendly candidates — engineers, product developers, designers, marketers and salespeople — Switch is appealing for its privacy (users remain anonymous until a match is made), its immediacy (candidates can connect with hiring managers in minutes, rather than days or weeks), and its relaxed and low-pressure usability.
For employers, Switch offers a low-key, cost-efficient sourcing alternative to recruiting agencies — and one that can provide immediate results. Switch offers mobile and desktop dashboards for employers, where you can examine applicants for positions posted through the app and start communicating through Switch’s chat platform as soon as possible.
How is it different?
It turns job search experience to a fun, easy, transparent and instantaneous experience. Importantly, Switch creates anonymous profiles using existing professional data, which allows people with jobs to browse new careers below the radar of current bosses and coworkers, prospective employers or recruiting agencies.
What market you are targeting and how big is it?
Tech and advertising companies — both established players and start-ups — that are hiring engineers, designers, product, sales, marketing, business development, and other positions. There are millions of tech workers. In terms of dollars, it’s a $15+ billion sector in the U.S.
What’s your business model?
At this time, Switch is free.
What are the most in-demand jobs that employers are trying to fill?
iOs and Full stack software engineers.
What was the funding process like?
It wasn’t easy, but we learned a lot from it. We knew immediately when we connected with the right investors. Every meeting with them and their teams felt like we were building a true partnership.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
Our primary challenge was demonstrating that we will eventually be able to scale Switch. Next, building a legitimate marketplace is a puzzle. It requires a lot of pieces to fall into place, at the same time. Everything needed to be in sync. Finally, since we are similar to some established tech companies, but different in some fundamental ways. We constantly had to qualify those comparisons.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
The factors: Our team, the size of our target market and the opportunity for growth therein, and the early establishment of a long-term vision.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
Our first priority is to continue improving the product to deliver the highest possible customer value. Simultaneously, we want to continue expanding our user base.
What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
There is no substitute for putting yourself out there. Meet with a lot of investors — you’ll learn a lot from the process. The investor landscape in New York is very broad, rich and diverse. Meet with enough investors, and you’ll find your match. Also, go the extra mile to validate your idea before you ask for money. You’ll most likely find someone who will fall in love with you and/or your idea, but make sure you’re confident that you can put their financing to good use and can actually create a real company out of it.
What’s your favorite New York bar to hit for a bit of holiday cheer?
The Russian Samovar.