British recruitment app Debut has raised £5.1 million ($6.7 million U.S.) for its soft-skills-focused graduate recruitment app. The investment came from entrepreneur James Caan (LinkedIn profile), a former judge on Dragon’s Den — the U.K.’s answer to Shark Tank.
This quasi-celebrity connection seems a perfect fit for Debut. The app, which launched in 2015, does away with traditional resumes. Debut invites users to take a wide range of personality and psychometric tests on the app in order to “increase your chance of being talent-spotted by huge-name employers”. Big data analysis and artificial intelligence are used to match job seekers to potential employers.
Job-seeker tools include DebutLive, which features interviews with employers.; opportunities to play games to compete for internships; and a “talent spots” function — which potential employers can use to contact and fast-track promising candidates.
Debut’s personality-first model has attracted a total of £7.3 million ($9.8 million U.S.). Previous investors include Indeed co-founder Paul Forster (LinkedIn profile), LocalGlobal, Initial Capital, Entree Capital, and Janette Faherty (LinkedIn profile), according to Crunchbase.
Its employer clients include a swathe of major corporations, like Apple, Barclays, British Telecom, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, L’Oreal, Microsoft, and Tesla. The app currently has around 120,000 users aged 16 to 24.
Founder Charles Taylor (LinkedIn profile) told Forbes that Debut, has “everything on students, from their cognitive background, social background, to how well they perform in a selection process.”
The job site, which is based in London, currently has a team of around 30. Taylor said it’s helped “thousands” of graduates find jobs. Though no revenue figures have been disclosed, he said revenue growth is at 130 percent year-on-year.
According to Forbes, Ernst & Young has used Debut to hire 300 people, accounting for some 30 percent of its U.K. hires in the past 18 months. Home electronics firm Dyson hired 20 people out of 200 applications, via the app.
Taylor told Elite Business Magazine that the new investment will, “enable us to expand out of early careers and impact the broader jobs market.”