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Rooster.org raises seed round with Rs. 1 billion valuation

2 years ago

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When looking for a job in Sri Lanka, it’s the same gruelling process for everyone. You could be a fresh graduate or an experienced engineer that was laid off. After making a prayer, you’ll send your CV across to several companies. Consider yourself lucky if you get a response from any of them. This scenario is the reality for job seekers not only in Sri Lanka, but across Asia. Having raised Rs. 122 million in funding, Rooster is looking to improve recruitment to create a better experience for both job seekers and HR professionals. In many of Asia’s developing countries, the labour market heavily favours employers. There’s a large amount of unemployed talent struggling to find a job. Yet, contrary to popular belief, hiring managers want to respond and give feedback to all candidates. But the challenge, according to Rooster Co-Founder Bhanuka Harischandra, is that “there’s just no way to sift through every CV and give constructive feedback to all of them. It’s just too much work for hiring managers”.   Building affordable software for better recruitment Before Rooster, Bhaunka founded Surge Global, a digital marketing agency based in Sri Lanka. Over the years, it has grown from a team of two to a full-time team of 90 digital marketing professionals. During this time, he saw first-hand the chaotic, unstructured nature of recruitment in Asian countries. This issue is that the top applicant tracking systems are expensive, to the tune of $ 12,000-20,000 per year. “It’s viable if the average hire is a software developer in San Francisco earning $ 200,000 per year. But it doesn’t make sense to have a $ 20,000 recruiting system if you’re hiring in Colombo,” explained Bhanuka. He continued: “We saw there was a lot of great tech in the US and Europe. It’s more needed in Asia, but there’s a massive price disparity between what’s out there and what’s available in the region. So we sought to build a system that even startups that require talent could easily afford.” Currently, Rooster has three licenses, which start at free and go up to $900 per year. It’s a massive drop from the prices of existing applicant tracking systems. So what’s the big secret to this? “Incredible levels of automation," said Bhanuka. He went on to explain: “Rooster has internal templates covering typical reasons for rejection, such as technical skills, salary fit, communication skills, and more. With a single click, hiring managers can draft an instant response that they can send to candidates. We’re constantly pushing to increase those rates. By automating different parts of the recruitment process, Rooster can create a better overall experience for everyone.”   Building a global clientele with a cheaper product Rooster uses digital marketing as its primary means of acquiring new clients. While it has helped lower costs, it wasn’t always smooth sailing to secure new clients. They continued developing the platform, incrementally adding new features and bringing it on par with the competition. Rooster is used by several companies in Sri Lanka, and a handful of other countries including Brazil, Cameroon, and India.   The future of Rooster Recently, Rooster closed its seed round of funding by raising Rs. 112 million ($ 610,000) at a post-money valuation of Rs. 1 billion ($ 5 million). The funding round includes a diverse set of angel investors from Sri Lanka, Australia, and Headfound.com, a Germany-based recruitment firm. Originally, Rooster was a product by Paladin Analytics, a product development agency in Sri Lanka. Alongside Bhanuka, Paladin was co-founded by Nisal Periyapperuma and Dave Chesson. Having closed its seed round, Rooster will be spun off as a separate entity. In the next 18 months, the funding will be spent on upgrading Rooster and creating a better recruitment experience for all. Towards building an improved recruitment experience, Rooster has many new features planned. Rooster has made its mission to change recruitment by automating much of the process and reducing the time for information to go from job seekers to hiring managers and back. By doing so, reshaping the recruitment experience for all is on par with advanced economies and accessible to those in developing countries, which arguably need it the most. (Arteculate)
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