Woo raises $2.35 mln in seed funding


Woo, a startup that lets tech talent gauge their market value, raised $2.35 million in seed funding. Investors in the round include Vigil and Fritz Lanman of Acequia Capital, David Alliance, and Moshe Lichtman of Israel Growth Partners. Woo operates out of San Francisco and Tel Aviv, Israel.

PRESS RELEASE

SAN FRANCISCO, CA–(Marketwired – February 09, 2016) – Woo, (woo.io) a new startup that today formally unveiled a first-of-a-kind platform that lets tech talent gauge their market value, also announced it has successfully raised $2.35 million in seed funding. Participating investors included: Hank Vigil & Fritz Lanman from Acequia capital, both early investors in Pinterest and Square, Lord David Alliance, an active investor in successful tech companies and a prominent industrialist who built one of the world’s biggest textile company, and Moshe Lichtman of Israel Growth Partners, a former senior executive at Microsoft who founded and served as president of the software giant’s Israel-based R&D center, which he built into one of the largest centers outside the U.S.

Woo plans to use the funds to scale its platform and expand its footprint both in the San Francisco Bay Area as well as in additional regional markets.

Woo lets tech professionals, including software engineers, developers, product managers, QAs, DevOps and designers, anonymously cast a line out to top tech companies to see if they get any bites, and decide what to do from there. (Read Woo’s launch announcement also issued today.)

“We were impressed with Woo’s team, technology and vision to introduce a new approach to the broken recruiting model. Woo’s matching technology is an impressive innovation, which we believe will redefine the recruitment platform marketplace,” stated Hank Vigil, General Partner, Acequia Capital.

“We’re thrilled to have this outstanding caliber of investors believe in our vision and Woo’s ‘talent-first’ approach. This investment underscores Woo’s potential. We’re excited to accelerate Woo’s footprint with this additional capital,” stated Liran Kotzer, Woo’s co-founder and CEO. “Our aim is to redefine how highly sought-after talent can, for the first time, begin to design, plan and land their dream job. Moreover, Woo is not a ‘job mill.’ We do not push talent to switch or change jobs. On the contrary, using Woo, talent is completely in the driver’s seat and is not pressed to make a decision immediately or at all.”

A number of studies show that approximately 75-80% of employed workers are passive candidates, meaning that they are open to opportunities, but are not actively seeking them. Yet companies today cannot engage efficiently with passive candidates that they want to reach because prevailing approaches fall short or, at best, yield single digit response rates. U.S. companies spent $124 billion in 2014 in efforts to attract and recruit top talent. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of computer and IT occupations is projected to grow 12% between now and 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. Approximately 500,000 new jobs will be created, in part due to a greater emphasis on cloud computing, big data, IoT (“Internet of things”) and the continued demand for mobile computing.

Woo is aimed squarely at addressing today’s recruitment process that is broken. Unlike existing solutions (job boards, traditional recruiters, LinkedIn, job apps), Woo’s “talent-first” approach turns the recruitment process on its head, by helping passive candidates understand their worth and demand, then introducing them only to companies who are willing to meet their key terms and expectations up front.
Beginning today, Woo is available on an invite-only basis to tech professionals in the San Francisco Bay Area or planning to relocate to the region. Woo plans to expand into other industry functions and geographic locations in the near future. Interested parties can go to Woo’s website, http://woo.io/, and request an invite.

Woo Who?
Privately-held, Woo operates out of San Francisco and Tel Aviv. Its namesake platform, Woo, lets tech talent effortlessly learn their real demand and market value, while remaining fully anonymized. Unlike existing solutions, Woo focuses on helping tech talent know their true potential, regardless of whether they want to change their job or not. The company works with leading-edge tech brands, including Microsoft, Adobe, Yahoo!, WeWork and more.

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