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These Manipal Grads were making Rs 30L in third year of college, then they decided to start up


Not many product ideas travel the distance from college to an MVP. Bengaluru-based Jobspire has not only done that but has gone a step ahead and snapped up USD 262K funding as well. The product was first envisioned when Varun Mayya, Kartik Luke Singh, Sandesh Kini and Mohak Dhingra were still in their seventh semester at Manipal Institute of Technology. The founders claim to have built a full fledged, scalable product from day one. The beta version of the product was launched in March 2015.

Today, after getting funding, Jobspire has evolved into a sophisticated platform providing end-to-end recruiting solutions that include sourcing, matching, decision making and tracking for Indian startups. YourStory spoke to the Jobspire team to know more about its journey and where it is heading in the near future.

Jobspire Co-founders: Kartik, Mohak, Sandesh, Varun (From L-to-R)
Jobspire Co-founders: Kartik, Mohak, Sandesh, Varun (From L-to-R)

Rs 30 lakh in third year of college!

During their second year of college, Kartik and Varun both being coders decided to sell their development services online on oDesk and eventually moved off the platform and did bigger projects. They had over Rs 30 lakh in revenue in the third year of college. At the same time, Varun and Kartik worked on fleshing out the concept of Jobspire. Varun brought his batchmates Sandesh and Mohak onboard to handle product and sales respectively and the rest is history. Mohak says, “Our outsider perspective gave us a few advantages as well but over the last eight months we’ve made an effort to understand the industry better.”

Why Jobspire?

According to Mohak, many companies in the hiring space follow the same pattern of dishing out new matching algorithms, but their spend on acquisition was still extremely high as their products were not as exciting. The four co-founders were keen to infuse the elements of excitement and virality into the recruitment industry. Varun says,

"We could’ve built a fin-tech or food-tech app and solved people’s needs for a few minutes a day, but Jobspire is our opportunity to shape what a person does every single day for years.”

Mohak and the other co-founders found the CV (curriculum vitae) ineffective and analysed the top 22 job roles in India to develop a five-minute subjective challenge for each job role. This was aimed at giving recruiters a mental snapshot of every candidate. They even introduced an audio verification system that helped candidates bypass their first round of interviews online.

How does it work?

While some companies source from Jobspire, other companies use their curating services or even replace their careers page with their Jobspire page. Smaller companies use it as a platform to help them get discovered.

Jobspire uses both technology and human recruiters to assist companies hire Generation Y talent. Jobspire claims that its solution comprising ‘manual and algorithmic curation’ solves the problem of DNA-matchmaking a candidate to the company and ensures that top candidates get offers only from premium companies.

The top five per cent of the candidates get into an invite/referral only ‘Premium Talent’ database. It pays the candidates three per cent of their CTC (cost to company) when they successfully land a job.

Jobspire is experimenting with pay-per-hire, as well. Mohak says, “Pivoting into a subscription model is easy, but the real challenge (and value for everyone using the system) comes from cracking pay per hire.”

Mohak sees LinkedIn, Hiree (previously MyNoticePeriod), Instahyre, Naukri and Monster as their competitors. He says, “We’ve been iterating the product really fast based on customer feedback and our channels of customer acquisition are different.”


Related read: A slew of tech savvy startups are redefining the online hiring industry in India


Business sense

Candidates are bucketed into three segments - declined, verified and premium - based on in-house thresholds for each segment that recruiters use for every candidate. While the Jobspire page for companies, job postings and inbox are free, recruiters are charged every time they make a successful hire off the Premium Select database.

Jobspire platform is producing 18-20 interviews a week and has nearly 30-50 daily active applicants, according to the team. The platform claims to have 1,000+ daily engaged users achieved via organic growth. Working with 91 companies, a total of 100+ jobs have been posted on the platform so far.

Human Metadata Index graph

Ravi Srivastava of Purvi Capital led the USD 2,62,000-seed-funding round for Jobspire with participation from Willfly Ventures, Nikunj Jain (Frankly.me), Krishna Jha (Telnet Ventures), Sanjay Bakshi (Impulse Marketing), Kapil Nayyar (International Business Advisors) and Artieca Trust.

Jobspire plans to scale the team and focus on building an entirely new concept - Human Metadata Index graph. The funding will also be used towards standardising ratings of applicants on Jobspire, and to build a referral-only premium recruiting tool, Premium Select, available in beta.

Investors say the nimble founding team at Jobspire understands how millennials filter career opportunities and has a clear picture of where the company is headed in three years.

Aspirations @Jobspire

By 2017, Jobspire is aiming at a million job seekers through its platform. The team claims that its seed funding can last about 18-20 months, but it would be looking at raising Series A funding of about USD four to six million within eight to 10 months.

Mohak says,

“It all pays off when someone gets hired though. We’re placing people 10 years older than us and making their lives for the next few years. What better gratification than that?”

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About the author

Alok Soni prefers to keep his bio short owing to a dearth of creativity. Feel free to reach out to him at alok[at]yourstory[dot]com or follow on twitter @aloksoni .

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