Union Square Ventures, LocalGlobe lead $2 mln funding round for Jobbatical

Estonia-based Jobbatical, a platform that connects jobseekers who want to travel to tech gigs abroad, raised $2 million in a financing round led by Union Square Ventures and LocalGlobe. Existing investor Smartcap also participated.


Jobbatical, the platform which connects globetrotting talent to tech gigs in many of the world’s most desirable and far-flung cities, today announces that it has raised $2m (€1.9m) in a financing round led by Union Square Ventures, and Saul Klein and Robin Klein’s new London-based Venture Capital firm LocalGlobe, with participation from existing investor Smartcap.

With a mission to build the leading global marketplace for worldwide career adventures, Tallinn-headquartered Jobbatical matches the skillset and travel aspirations of tech and startup professionals with companies in search of world class talent. In an era in which skills are not only portable, but a global currency, Millennials, in particular, are increasingly comfortable with moving abroad for work. Indeed, a survey by PWC found that 71% of that generation would like to work outside their own country over the course of their career.

This buccaneering attitude to work is opening up a whole new talent pool to companies in some of the world’s greatest emerging cities – talent which was previously only accessible to businesses in tech hubs such as London, NYC and Silicon Valley. Today, companies in more remote cities still have to scour professional networking profiles for individuals with the right skills, before trying to identify which of them may be ready to move to their part of the world. Jobbatical removes the pain from this process, by enabling both parties to connect directly.

Jobbaticals currently available on the site include roles as a back-end developer in Hong Kong, a UX researcher in Penang, a digital marketing manager in Vienna and as a content writer in Shanghai.

Founded in Tallinn, Estonia, in June 2014 by Karoli Hindriks with Ronald Hindriks (Karoli’s brother) and Allan Mäeots, both of whom joined shortly afterwards, Jobbatical, which monetizes by charging a small commission on each successful hire, has built up a talent pool of 30,000+ people looking to relocate. Over the course of its first year, more than 1,200 companies across 40+ countries have used the platform, with 7,000+ unique applicants and over 300 matches. In addition, almost 50% of the Jobbatical team were hired through the company’s own platform.

The next Silicon Valleys.

“Silicon Valley and the other great technology hubs have developed in large part because of the steady stream of highly-skilled individuals they manage to attract,” says Karoli Hindriks. “Our goal with Jobbatical is to help build the world’s next generation of Silicon Valleys, from Lisbon to Kuala Lumpur and beyond, by removing geographical bias from hiring decisions, so that people are employed based on their skills, rather than their passports.”

Hindriks plans to use the investment to further develop and enhance Jobbatical’s product and UX. The startup’s product team is set to triple over 2016, and because Jobbatical now operates across 40 countries, its marketing team will also expand to accommodate this growing reach. Similarly, Jobbatical will open a regional hub (in Singapore) in Southeast Asia, its fastest-growing destination.

“Increasing numbers of people today value location and lifestyle over traditional career paths,” says Andy Weissman, partner at Union Square Ventures. “Not only can Karoli and the team help them fulfill their ‘Jobbatical’ career ambitions almost anywhere in the world, but they can also enable organizations to redefine how they build their teams by making cross-border hiring as simple and seamless as hiring locally.”

LocalGlobe’s Saul Klein adds: “In our networked era, where startups can be born anywhere, Jobbatical can help bring about a borderless world for the best global tech talent. The world of work is changing fast, and Karoli’s vision of millions of people one day soon taking 7-to-10 ‘Jobbaticals’ over 10 years, instead of working a single job over the same period, is one we wholeheartedly share.”