Job hunting isn’t exactly easy, especially when you are in a competitive field like education. That’s why Selected connects teachers with over 500+ schools in the Northeast to guarantee the perfect job match. Through its platform, schools apply to the teachers and educators can secure a job within a few weeks rather than a few months.
AlleyWatch spoke with CEO and cofounder Waine Tam on the latest round of funding for the startup founded in 2016.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
$1.2M Seed round led by Propel Capital and supported by Kapor Capital and individual investors.
Tell us about Selected’s service?
Selected helps teachers get jobs at schools they love. We offer a matching platform that connects teachers with 500+ schools in urban metro areas in the Northeast, including NYC, Newark, Trenton, Camden, Philadelphia, Boston, CT, and DC. Schools apply to teachers, not the other way around! Teachers finish their job search in weeks, not months.
Prior to Selected, we launched a tutoring app that was designed to make it easy for parents to find and connect directly to qualified tutors — many of whom were full-time teachers. Schools we spoke to express more interest in using our site to hire tutors for full-time roles – that changed our focus from matching parents with tutors to matching schools with full-time teachers.
How is Selected different?
Selected is not a job board for teachers. We affectionately refer to Selected as a “dating app” for job-seeking teachers and hiring schools. Teachers list their preferences and compatible schools contact them first. On average, a candidate is contacted by five schools in the first week on the platform — often cutting the job search period from months to weeks. Candidates also get a dedicated coach to support them through the job search. For employers, all candidates are vetted for qualifications and intent — expediting the interview process for both parties.
What market you are targeting and how big is it?
There are more than 3.8M teachers in the U.S. Each year, more than 500K teachers turn over nationally. In school districts with high poverty rates, turnover rates are more than double the national average. Despite intense demand, teachers still find it needlessly difficult to find a new job due to limited transparency into school qualities and teaching environments, scattered and stale job listings, and more school choice.
What’s your business model?
Selected is always free for teachers. Schools pay a low, flat fee per candidate hired.
What was the funding process like?
This is surely no surprise, but it is not easy. It was our first time fundraising – not to mention in a sector (K-12 education) that has had few significant exits. We were, fortunately, able to secure commitments from great investors – from institutional to angels – who believe strongly in our product and mission.
What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
Start the fundraising process early. The best deck and pitch comes second to traction. Achieve results and milestones such that investors cannot ignore you. Be persistent, seek support from friends, mentors and other startup peers, and keep going!
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
We will continue to focus on teachers and schools in urban metros in the Northeast (from Boston to DC) and we hope to expand to new cities by the end of the year.
What’s your favorite restaurant in the city?
Frank in the East Village.