Manchester-based venture capitalist Praetura Ventures has, together with Blackfinch Ventures, led an investment round in Placed App, a platform used by major UK and global brands to recruit Gen Z talent .
Placed App bridges the gap for employers by replacing outdated recruiting methods with features that appeal more to a new generation of talent, such as resume swapping for quizzes to assess job fit and content hosting engaging employers.
The platform, which counts PizzaExpress, O2, Sky, Lidl and Greene King among its customers, uses a matching algorithm and machine learning to connect candidates to their perfect role, the same way Spotify serves recommendations songs from its users.
The funding will help Placed App expand its proprietary software, launch new features and expand its team.
As part of the round, two new non-executive directors will join the Placed App board, including Dominic McGregor, co-founder of Social Chain and operating partner at Praetura Ventures, where he helps support founders with experience and commercial expertise. Dominic will be joined by recruiting technology veteran and Blackfinch partner Bill Boorman, who has been a thought leader in the industry for decades.
The latest investment brings the total amount to £7m raised by Placed, at a time when most employers are still recovering from Brexit and the big quit, which saw 210,000 people leave the service sector during lockdown .
In addition, data from the Office for National Statistics shows that there are 180,000 vacancies in the hospitality industry, leading to closures of bars and restaurants which have so far cost £21billion in loss of income.
London-based Placed was co-founded by CEO Jennifer Johansson, a former hospitality industry expert; COO Roderick McKeown and tech expert Miro Bazitov. Its backers also include angel investor and chairman of Burger King UK and Travelodge Martin Robinson.
Jennifer Johansson, Founder and CEO of Placed App, said: “The workforce crisis in the service sector is a real problem for the growth of the UK economy. At Placed, we’re incredibly proud to be at the forefront of innovation to support these industries, and we’ve seen immense demand for our business over the past 18 months.
“We are very excited to welcome Praetura Ventures and Blackfinch Ventures on the next phase of our journey. Their support will help us fuel our growth, including our plans to double our headcount over the next year, and expand the features of our products.”
David Foreman, Managing Director of Praetura Ventures, added: “Hiring in the aftermath of the pandemic has been incredibly difficult for all industries, but clearly sectors like hospitality have been hit much harder, with around 180,000 vacancies across the sector. Add to that the difficulty employers face when attracting broader talent pools, and you realize how valuable Placed’s platform is to solving the current staffing crisis.
“From its pricing model to its use of quizzes rather than resumes, Placed challenges traditional recruiting and that’s incredibly exciting for us.”
Dr. Reuben Wilcock, Head of Ventures at Blackfinch, said: “Placed is led by a very tenacious founder, who successfully weathered the disastrous effects of the pandemic on the retail and hospitality sectors to achieve strong growth and multiple enterprise customer enrollments in 2021.
“The company’s product is carefully designed and highly valued by its customers and we believe the company has the potential to become the leading recruitment platform for the retail and hospitality industries in the world. UK.”
The deal was facilitated by Praetura Ventures’ Peter Carway (Chief Investment Officer) and Tania Rahman (Investment Manager) and Emily Bourne (Investment Associate) and Blackfinch’s Nic Pillow (Senior Investment Manager) and Winston Mathew (Equity Analyst). companies). Shoosmiths provided legal advice to Praetura and Blackfinch on the deal.