Giraffe, the low-cost automated recruitment service, today announced it has closed a Seed Round of funding led by Silicon Valley-based VC fund Omidyar Network, established by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar.
Giraffe’s automated mobile recruitment app enables businesses to recruit medium-skilled staff faster and cheaper than any other way, and connects medium-skilled jobseekers with opportunities for free. By doing so, Giraffe aims to help reduce unemployment in South Africa. To recruit staff, employers can submit a simple staff request online at www.giraffe.co.za. Giraffe then uses an intelligent matching algorithm to source, screen, and schedule interviews with qualified candidates, contacting them via SMS — all within 48 hours from the initial request and for a fraction of the cost of other recruitment services.
“Omidyar Network’s focus on job creation and particular expertise in marketplace networks makes them an excellent strategic fit for Giraffe,” said Anish Shivdasani, CEO and cofounder of Giraffe. “We’re very proud to have a Silicon Valley investor supporting a South African company, especially at this troubled time of prevailing economic malaise.”
“Giraffe is filling a critical gap within the South African job market, which is helping medium-skilled jobseekers connect with potential employers, and doing it with a technology-enabled platform that brings intelligence and efficiency to the process,” said Charmaine Padayachy, principal, Investments, Omidyar Network. “We are thrilled to support the expansion of Giraffe’s platform and looking forward to helping it scale to reach broader positive impact in the country.”
Giraffe’s focus on technology-driven innovation to address the rampant unemployment among medium-skilled workers in South Africa and its ever-improving, customer-centric platform are among the features that appealed to Omidyar Network. It also helped the company to bring home the Seedstars World grand prize, where Giraffe represented South Africa and beat 63 competing startups from 55 countries around the world, to claim the title of Best Global Startup and win up to $500,000 equity investment, some of which will contribute to the seed investment round.
Since launching their low-cost recruitment agency service in Johannesburg in February 2015, Giraffe has attracted over 90,000 jobseekers and has scheduled several thousand candidates for interview, primarily for permanent jobs in retail, call centre, transportation, and administrative services.