As strange as it is, students exiting college have no clue where they will be working post college. But if the whole point of school is in preparation for a career, isn’t it silly to not look ahead? If you need a proactive solution for post-graduation Ripple Recruiting is for you. The recruiting company gathers your resume for top companies to examine and help you get a job before you move your tassel. The service is free to use and will be expanding to your college in no time.
AlleyWatch chatted with cofounders Andrew Myers and Eric Ho about starting the company and raising their first round.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
We raised $700K in Seed funding. Our lead investor was Kevin Ryan, who has founded a number of New York-based businesses including MongoDB and Business Insider. We also raised capital from a number of other angels involved in New York tech and finance.
Tell us about your product or service.
Ripple allows employers to build their dream applicant pools without ever setting foot on a college campus. We combine unmatched access to Ivy League data with a powerful cloud-based platform that allows employers to filter for the qualities they want most. We also provide handpicked scouting reports detailing great matches for our standard and premium customers.
What inspired you to start the company?
We wanted to make the hiring process better for employers and students. On-campus recruiting is prohibitively expensive for startups, nonprofits, and so many incredible employers. As a result, students are funneled towards bigger firms and don’t have access to their full range of options. Ripple was designed to change that. While our low cost active recruiting model has allowed us to bring on a number of Fortune 500 clients as well, our mission has always been to even the playing field and give the little guy a chance to compete.
What market are you targeting and how big is it?
We believe we can be a major player in the $25 billion college recruiting market.
What’s your business model?
Ripple is free for students and nonprofits. For-profit employers select one of three annual subscription packages.
Do Ivy League students need extra help with employment post-college?
Getting a job isn’t as big of a problem for Ivy League students, but getting the right job is. Our student sign-up numbers this Fall have been unbelievable, and I think the fact that 7,000 Ivy League students have signed up for such a young startup in three months captures just how much desire there is to get on the radar of a broader set of employers. In the long run, our vision extends far beyond the Ivies. We will begin our national expansion in February of 2017.
What was the funding process like?
The funding process was a little intimidating at first, but as our student sign-up numbers took off and more and more clients came on board, we were able to attract a great set of investors. In the end, we ended up turning away money. We were lucky to have two excellent advisors in Kevin Ryan and Justin Marcus, and we never let funding distract from the core of what we were building. My biggest advice is to commit to the concept and then worry about the funding. If you build a good business and surround yourself with smart people, the capital will follow.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
Our age was definitely an obstacle at times. There were a lot of people who thought there was no chance that two twenty-three year olds could execute on the vision we had.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
We will expand nationally in January and the size of our team will double. We are working hard to bring on more and more great employers, and plan to have resumes and data profiles for 20% of Ivy League students on Ripple by the end of the school year.
What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
Go out and sell your product. Don’t wait too long to get your product in the hands of customers, because they will give you valuable feedback on which changes to make in your next iteration. Also, build your business with people you trust, respect, and love spending time with. Any startup has its rocky moments and being able to count on our founding team is a lot of what has made this work for us.
What’s your favorite restaurant in the city?
Arturo’s- awesome old-school Italian place in Greenwich Village with brick oven pizza