21 Year-Olds Drop Ivy League Scholarships to Solve Global Talent Problem Raises Oversubscribed Seed Round
Singapore, 11th Feb 2015: Singapore startup Glints, a professional platform for young people focused on career discovery and development, announced today that it has closed a $475k in oversubscribed seed round led by East Ventures with participation from 500 Startups, SPH Media Fund, Singapore Infocomm Investments (IIPL), 8 Capita, Pix Vine Capital and other private investors including John Tan and Darius Cheung. 21-year old founders were the youngest to have gone through Asia’s leading accelerator JFDI, and may be one of the youngest to have raised venture funding in the region. They have stopped out of their universities and scholarships at Wharton Business School and University of California, Berkeley for the startup.
Taking on the Global Talent Problem
Employers are struggling to fill entry-level vacancies, despite the fact that there are 75 million unemployed young people worldwide. Indeed, true stars shine after being polished from real world experiences, not from reading textbooks or listening to lectures. The education to employment system needs improvement, as the mismatch between education providers and industry requirements is rendering millions of young people unemployable every year.
Glints bridges the gap between education and employment by being a professional platform for young people focused on career discovery and development. The startup is building a Dynamic Skills Tree feature that will help youths explore different career paths and guide them to acquire the relevant, in-demand skills. The Dynamic Skills Tree will canvass a taxonomy of real-world skills demanded for different careers, and matches the youth to different skills-acquisition paths through internships, projects and courses. By giving young people a tool to independently develop the relevant skills at their own pace, Glints aims to minimize the skills mismatch and help young people land their dream jobs. Within months of launching its Beta platform, it already has over 7000 students.
Employers can also look forward to an innovative recruiting tool to hire the right talent easily and quickly on Glints. Employers struggle to attract the right candidates through job portals, and wastes time filtering through irrelevant applications. While headhunters are relatively effective in providing relevant candidates, they are costly. Glints has a team of specialized writers who transforms conventional job descriptions into compelling job offers to attract applications from top talent. The database also undergoes strict quality control of its listed profiles through both algorithmic and human screening. Rather than paying for listings as per traditional job portals, employers can choose to pay only after relevant candidates have been matched to them. Over 600 companies are already hiring on the platform, including startups such as Easytaxi and Redmart, to international corporations such as Adidas and Puma.
21-Year Old Founders Give Up Ivy League Scholarships for the Startup
21 year old founders, Oswald Yeo, Seah Ying Cong and Looi Qin En, were the youngest to have gone through Asia’s leading accelerator JFDI, and may also be one of the youngest to have raised venture capital in the region. They have stopped out up of their universities and scholarships at Wharton Business School and University of California, Berkeley, for the startup. Oswald Yeo, Co-founder of Glints, says, There has definitely been a lot of societal and familial pressure not to take such bold moves, especially in the conservative Asian culture. We only did this because we have the opportunity to take on such a huge, global problem that we are passionate about solving. Most importantly, we are glad to have the opportunity to cross the gap between formal education and the real world sooner.
Eventually Receives Support from Venture Capitalists
Glints has just successfully raised $475k in an oversubscribed seed round led by East Ventures, with participation from 500 Startups, SPH Media Fund, Singapore Infocomm Investments (IIPL), 8 Capita, Pix Vine Capital and other private investors.
Willson Cuaca, Managing Partner at East Ventures, which led the successful investment round, says, There is clearly a gap in the recruitment industry. The incumbent platforms generate a low quality of leads and provides an inefficient filtering process. The young and passionate team has shown market validation in such a short time since inception. Many investors have seen the potential in Glints, and many of them continued to show their interest even after the financing round was closed.
Khailee Ng, Managing Partner at 500 Startups, said, I am impressed by the team’s passion and commitment, as seen in their decision to take time off their studies to focus on the startup full- time.
Glints is also the first seed-stage company that Singapore Infocomm Investments Pte Ltd (IIPL) has backed. Alex Lin, Head of IIPL, said, We chose Glints because they are solving a pressing and global talent problem for our society. The injection of new funds will speed up their development and help them address the market globally.
Glints’ helps young people discover their passions and develop the relevant career skills, while empowering employers to attract the right talent more effectively. Currently on the platform, there are over 7000 students actively looking for interesting opportunities and jobs provided by over 600 companies. Glints was also part of the JFDI accelerator program. You can visit its beta platform at www.glints.com
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