Shortlist closes $2 million for recruitment tools for Indian and African talent



ImpactAlpha, January 30 – Nairobi- and Mumbai-based venture Shortlist has raised a $2 million Series A round in support of its platform that streamlines job recruitment. The company’s mission is to help growing companies in emerging markets find the skills they need more effectively and efficiently. Its Series A round was backed by Blue Haven Ventures, Zephyr Acorn, Compass Venture Capital and Potencia Ventures.

Shortlist was launched in 2016 by Simon Desjardins, formerly with the Shell Foundation, and Paul Breloff, who helped found Accion’s venture investing initiative Accion Venture Lab and was a senior advisor to impact-focused family office Blue Haven Group.

Through their experience supporting growing businesses in high-impact sectors like energy and financial services, Desjardins and Breloff noticed “time and again, that the single biggest barrier to growth wasn’t money, it was people; it was finding, recruiting and retaining the right talent in the right positions,” Breloff told ImpactAlpha. This, in turn, impacts companies’ scalability, economic impact and job creation potential, he added.

Shortlist’s platform uses automation and online skills assessment to screen applicants, “letting employers skip the most time-consuming and bias-prone phases of hiring.” It has helped 300 clients including DHL, M-KOPA, Shell, and Twiga Foods screen 400,000 job candidates in India and Kenya.

Until now, Shortlist has primarily been focused on “helping companies, a big number of them social enterprises, build better teams using tech and data,” Breloff said. Over the long term, however, Shortlist’s mission is to unlock professional potential and “help millions of young people get more out of their careers.” To this end, the company is beginning to offer coaching on personal branding, growth mindset, emotional intelligence, as well as vocation-specific training.

Shortlist’s Series A round follows a $1 million seed round Shortlist raised in 2017.

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