Recruitment startup Giraffe acquired by Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator

SOUTH AFRICA – Mobile recruitment platform Giraffe has been acquired by the Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator, with the start-up’s existing base of jobseekers and employers to be invited to join the South Africa Youth Initiative.

Founded in 2015, Giraffe is a fully automated, low-cost recruitment agency service operating across South Africa and focusing on medium-skilled jobs such as call centre, field sales, customer service and retail.

The start-up’s mobile app enables jobseekers to make a CV on their phone for free, take educational courses and apply for jobs, and is zero-rated on all major mobile networks.

For employers, Giraffe automatically screens candidates based on their criteria and enables them to listen to candidate voice clips before deciding to interview and hire them. 

Since launching Giraffe has won the global Seedstars World competition, and raised funding from Omidyar Network, FirstRand’s Vumela fund, UNICEF, Forever Young Capital and Catapult Trust and to date, it has attracted over one million jobseekers and thousands of employers, connecting around 500,000 work-seekers with potential job opportunities.

As such, Giraffe’s platform was considered a natural fit for the Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator, which aims to scale up youth employment efforts in South Africa and enable both jobseekers and employers to engage and interact in a low cost, self-service manner. 

“We are thrilled to be integrating our platform with Harambee as part of the South Africa Youth initiative – which is by far the largest ever coordinated effort to tackle the scourge of youth unemployment in South Africa. Together with Harambee, Giraffe will be able to impact far more young people and businesses than we could have done alone,” said Giraffe chief executive officer (CEO) Anish Shivdasani.

“We have always applauded Giraffe’s focus on inclusion and access in their product design and are thrilled to leverage this as we kick off Youth Month and expand the reach of the South Africa Youth platform,” said Harambee CEO Maryana Iskander.

Together with Harambee, Giraffe will be able to impact far more young people and businesses than we could have done alone”

Anish Shivdasani – CEO, Giraffe

Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator is a not-for-profit social enterprise that works with governments and the private sector to build solutions that solve South Africa’s youth unemployment problem.

Harambee does this by providing young South Africans with free access to training opportunities through the South Africa Youth Initiative and connecting them to jobs at partner organizations and claims to have connected over a million youths to employment and training opportunities in their ten-year history.

Despite being Africa’s most industrialised economy, South Africa has one of the highest youth unemployment rates in the world at 75% and in addition to dealing with a system that excludes many youths, young South Africans also have to deal with the difficulty in acquiring skills or training as well as the cost of searching for jobs.

TRT World reports that the monthly cost of searching for jobs is US$85,  a figure out of reach for most youths, while 32.4% of persons aged 15-24 were not in any form of training or employment in the first quarter of 2021 thus, start-ups like Giraffe and initiatives like the South Africa Youth Initiative by Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator are crucial in helping these youths gain skills and jobs.

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