Dubai-based career platform for linking employers and candidates, Oliv, has recently secured $2 million in Series A capital. The funding round was led by Aloshba and Alnamlah Family Groups in Saudi Arabia, and Mohammed Khoory in the UAE.
Launched in 2014 by Jean-Michel Gauthier as InternsME, the startup is driven by its mission to tackle youth unemployment in the region using technology to connect youth talent with employers. While the platform started out focusing on only internships, it has since grown its scope to include traineeships, part-time jobs, full-time careers for new graduates and volunteering opportunities. In April 2018, the team rebranded to Oliv, catering to all entry-level jobseekers, with its tech platform getting a boost too. It also started building internship and graduate programs for companies, crafting employer branding to help companies attract the best talent, as well as creating bespoke technology solutions for public sector clients, including government agencies.
The new capital infusion is aimed at being used for two primary purposes. The first is investing in intuitive technology to “deepen and personalize” each aspect of an Oliv user’s experience, so that the site embodies a personal career coach and youth engagement platform, rather than just a marketplace. Also on Oliv’s agenda is growing its international footprint and expanding its network to new markets. Having recently launched in Saudi Arabia, Gauthier says that the startup is also planning new country launches on a quarterly basis across Europe, the wider Middle East, and Asia.
In the online recruitment space, Gauthier notes how Oliv has achieved an approximate 70% success rate, following its hybrid approach of combining technology with a personalized service. “The opportunity we see is in continuing to disrupt the classical job board model, leveraging the latest tech, tailoring the user experience, and remaining laser focused on solving the problem of youth unemployment,” Gauthier explains. With the release of new product upgrades, the startup will also be rolling out its progressive web app to enable Oliv to be a cross-platform app with the same sleek and seamless experience on web, Android, and iOs, both on desktop and mobile.
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