SOUTH AFRICA – OfferZen, a tech talent marketplace, has raised US$5.07 million in Series A funding, its first ever round of venture funding since its launch, from a South African investment business, Base Capital.
According to the company, the majority of the new funds will be invested in OfferZen’s tech community, and a portion of the funds will be used to expand the company’s operations, product, and growth teams.
Prior to this round, OfferZen was self-funded by the founders. It chose to raise funds now because it required venture capital to grow into new European markets, according to co-founder and CEO Philip Joubert.
“We had built up a business in such a frugal way, and of course, without raising funding and bootstrapping, you’re really forced to design a really strong business,” he said.
“Now we are seeing all these opportunities that we think we could be tackled faster if we raise funding. So, we decided, let’s raise some funding, now we can grow the team ahead of revenue, which we haven’t been able to do before. We can do that, take on the European market and expand faster.”
OfferZen has generated considerable traction since it was founded. According to Joubert, the IT talent marketplace is used by over 1,000 firms and 100,000 software professionals.
OfferZen’s growth in the second half of this year was fueled by its expansion to the Netherlands and service of portions of Europe, with a 29 percent rise in talent placements occurring between Q3 and Q4.
Luno, ABSA, MMI Holdings, Takealot, WeTransfer, Adyen, and Catawiki are just a few of the local and global companies that OfferZen links developers with.
Based in Gauteng, South Africa, Base Capital was founded in 2004 with the goal of offering business and corporate finance advice services and solutions to organizations in Southern Africa as well as international companies looking to enter the South African market.
OfferZen, founded in 2015 by Philip Joubert, Malan Joubert, and Brett Jones, allows software developers and engineers to join up as candidates, who are then vetted and made available to businesses by OfferZen.
The developers will be live on the marketplace for four weeks, during which time OfferZen assures they will be approached by various businesses. According to the company, developers are only permitted to work in permanent positions.
Income-sharing agreements, which are used by IT talent businesses like Bloom Institute of Technology (previously Lambda School), and hourly rate charges, which are used by Andela and Toptal, are not used by OfferZen. Instead, the South African tech talent business relies on two business strategies to make money.