Kickstart Jobs raises Series-seed funding from ah! Ventures, others

Kickstart Jobs raises Series-seed funding from ah! Ventures, others

Kickstart Jobs, a Gurgaon-based entry-level talent acquisition startup, raised an undisclosed amount of funding in its Series-seed round. Led in collaboration with ah! Ventures, this round saw investments from

Gurgaon : Kickstart Jobs, a Gurgaon-based entry-level talent acquisition startup, raised an undisclosed amount of funding in its Series-seed round. Led in collaboration with ah! Ventures, this round saw investments from marquee investors like Vivek Joshi – Founder, Wyzen Tech; Mohit Satyanand – Chairman, Team Works Art; Amit Banati – President (Asia Pacific), Kellogg’s; Arun Khanna – President (Asia), Dun and Bradstreet and a few others including ah! Ventures themselves.

India, as a country, in addition to its existing market, has seen a tremendous spurt in its entrepreneurial outlook and is soon becoming a utopian land of thriving businesses. Unfortunately, this turn of events has still not transcended into the concurrent employment it should encourage, especially in the blue and grey collar jobs market. The core of this rut lies in the fact that there has been no bridge that connects the eager job seekers with the right employers. This is where Kickstart Jobs, a startup focusing on the niche talent acquisition in the entry level workforce, comes into the picture.

Started in August 2015, Kickstart Jobs birthed to solve an inherent problem in the highly fragmented entry level workforce ecosystem. The company aims to create a scalable platform to connect entry level candidates with prospective employers and vice versa. Within a year of its commencement, Kickstart Jobs is already operational in the key north Indian territories of Delhi, Noida and Gurgaon, with a workforce of 10 employees and 2 promoters. It has, in this short span of time, registered more than 5000 candidates, enlisted about 3000 vacancies, conducted more than 2000 interviews and boasts of a month on month growth of 100% in the number of candidates scheduled for interviews via their platform.

The conceptualization of the enterprise is credited to its two founders, Samriddhi Malhotra and Abhishek Srivastava. Samriddhi Malhotra, an XLRI Jamshedpur alumna, comes with a rich experience of working with numerous rural communities on a grassroot level. This background of hers helps her thoroughly understand the core requirements and competencies of the workforce at the entry level section. Samriddhi heads the product development and operations at Kickstart Jobs. Abhishek Srivastava, a mechanical engineer from ISM Dhanbad, comes with years of experience in managing domestic and international operations at a multinational corporation. Given his wide exposure, he spearheads the strategy and business development at Kickstart Jobs.

Kickstart has developed a unique operational proposition, wherein ‘Leaders’ are identified among the communities of job seekers and are in turn collaborated with, to utilize their strong network and connect with the entry level job seekers. The company believes in empowering these leaders with technology, currently in the form of a mobile app, thus bettering the process of data mapping.

Commenting on the need for a product like Kickstart Jobs, its unique proposition and the inclusion of technology, co – founder Samriddhi Malhotra says, “The market for entry level hiring is one with both tremendous potential as well as enormous challenges. None of the solutions present in the market today have been able to really delve into the job seeker’s psyche and create a solution that works for both candidates and employers. Kickstart is attempting to do just that. We have closely observed existing patterns of job seeking at the entry level workforce and are leveraging this existing pattern and enabling it with technology.”

Giving an investor’s perspective, Harshad Lahoti, Founder and CEO of ah! Ventures opined, “As an investor, the growth that is about to unfold in this entry-level jobs sector in the near future is evident to me. This growth and spurt of service offerings in the sector is especially lucrative for the currently existing workforce of over 500+ million in the blue & grey collar ecosystem of India. And, given the fact that this number is increasing at about 12 million per year, the need to effectively harness these human resources becomes all the more essential. ah! Ventures and it's investors saw that potential in Kickstart Jobs, not only in terms of their strong team but also in their unique methodology in operating and creating value for both, the job seeker & the employer. In our opinion such a product was long overdue, especially in a growing market like India, and we are sure to see stupendous success in the future of Kickstart Jobs.”

ah! Ventures is India's first full-spectrum startup investment network and platform comprising of over 750+ investors, including some of the renowned angels and early-stage VCs. The CLUB ah! Network today has over 10000+ startups, 675+ seed/angel investors and over 80 VCs & institutional investors, making it one of the largest platform of investors and startups. The network last year secured its first profitable exit from Ed-tech venture Harness Handitouch within two years of its investment. CLUB ah! has till date invested close to INR 85 crores in over 25 startups spread across varied industries and domains, including Kickstart Jobs.

On working with ah! Ventures, co-founder Abhishek Srivastava said, “ah! Ventures has been most helpful during our period of fundraise. We approached ah! Ventures to close our funding requirement and they proactively helped us close in 5 days, in which they also participated. Their network is huge and the response has been extremely prompt. We wanted to bring ah! Ventures onboard as their reach and connections will keep us in good stead for future. We hope to use their industry and investor connects to scale our business.”

ah! Ventures is a growth catalyst that brings together promising businesses and investors by creating wealth creation opportunities for both. ah!’s unique model serves investors, entrepreneurs & enablers through a unique blend of customised services, skill, and industry & domain experience. Founded in 2010, ah! Ventures has systematically disrupted the early stage funding ecosystem of India through its innovative approach toward startup investing. First of its kind initiatives like the CLUB ah! platform, ah! Angels (India’s largest angel network), ah! Seeders and ah! VC networks (India’s first seed & VC investment networks), have brought together and integrated the previously segregated startup funding lifecycle, under one roof.

This, coupled with ah! Impact network, an impact investment network for investing in social enterprises and ah! Mentors network, a mentor network to engage with startups in their growth and expansion, has today made ah! Ventures one of India’s most respected change leaders and a formidable industry force to recon with.

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