Round One Network Pvt Ltd, which runs an online job referral platform Round One, has raised an undisclosed amount in its pre-Series A round of funding from HT Media (owner of Shine.com) and Arun Duggal, board member, Info Edge (India) Ltd (owner of Naukri.com), as per a company statement.
The funds will be used for product development and global expansion.
Set up in April 2011 by Nishant Mathur, an MBA and a Computer Science graduate from John Hopkins University in the US, Round One claims it has around two million registered users and over 2,500 companies on board.
The platform helps users create profiles and then get calls or interviews arranged after making some payment. A user begins by logging into the website and creating a profile; he/she can then filter the search by the company and job category. For instance, if he/she wants a job in software engineering in a leading firm, the platform will show a list of employees who are interested in meeting and referring candidates.
Once the job seeker makes the payment online to RoundOne, he/she can request a referral from any of the listed employees. If an employee agrees to speak to him/her, a telephonic interaction is arranged, on the basis of which the job referral is secured.
The calls are arranged through an automated call forwarding system. When the job seeker makes the payment, a six-digit code is sent to his/her e-mail account registered with Round One. Once the referrer fixes a time for the interaction, the job seeker has to dial a specific number and then punch in the code. Once the code is entered, the call is forwarded to the referrer.
The firm charges the job seeker for each referral he/she earns through Round One. However, the platform is free for referrers. Before each interaction, the job seeker is required to deposit approximately Rs 500 (subject to their experience) in Round One. Post interaction, if the employee decides not to refer the job seeker, the payment is refunded.
When job portals like Naukri, Monster India, Timesjobs and Shine are in the listing space, Round One is in the niche referral space.
Some others in the space include Delhi-based GrownOut Solutions Pvt Ltd, which offers an online referral hiring platform that enables organisations to leverage their employees’ professional network. GrownOut had secured its first institutional round of funding from Matrix Partners India in October last year.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)