What is your background?
I’ve spent the last 17 years in product, business, and sales development roles at technology startups. Highlights from that time were with three apps, all of which I helped build and launch as an early employee. I was VP of product and business development at Quigo (sold to AOL for $370M); SVP of business development at Dapper (sold to Yahoo $60M); Chief Revenue Officer at Taboola (currently valued at $1B+).
Tell us about the team you have built so far.
I built a core team of very strong, dedicated and versatile people: My CTO was formerly of eBay and TripAdvisor, as head of product, head of business development and head of acquisition marketing. Otherwise, we’ve hired capable junior engineers who fit into the culture we’ve tried to foster. We also rely a lot on our fantastic group of college interns. We have six with us this summer, and two working year-round while in college. They bring a fresh perspective and help us out with all kinds of daily tasks. The atmosphere in the office is relaxed but focused, and this kind of environment is extremely important to our success. When I’m hiring for any position, the most important qualities aside from technical skills are intelligence, agility, and affability.
What financial support did you have to launch the business?
For the first 10 months, I financed Switch on my own. I then raised a seed round of $1.4 million from two venture funds. Since then, we’ve continued to build the team and have raised another $1 million.
What problem are you trying to solve?
We believe the current job search model is broken, and can be a frustrating experience for both talent and recruiters. Switch, with its focus on seamless, fast and easy interactions between candidates and hiring managers, is fundamentally changing the way these two sides interact and revolutionizes the hiring sphere.
Describe the business, core products and services?
Switch offers a way for job seekers across industries to pursue their next opportunity on their own terms. We offer anonymity, though it is not required, and our model is built on convenience, ease and stress reduction. Our job-matching algorithm brings talent only the most relevant jobs and allows them to discover great positions without having to scan endless job boards. On the hiring side, the app allows hiring managers to activate passive, or currently employed, job seekers by getting their positions in front of these in-demand professionals without needing to utilize email scraping or invasive, expensive headhunters.
Who do you expect your customers and users to be at launch?
At launch we focused on tech jobseekers and companies. We’ve since been expanding to other, larger industries including healthcare, retail, food & beverage, accounting and legal.
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Where do you stand right now with regard to funding?
We raised $2.4M in seed.
What is the business AND revenue model? What is your strategy for profitability?
We’re focused on creating the best and easiest user experience for jobseekers on mobile, and the most efficient seamless way for companies to connect and find talent. Our business model will be charging companies on a performance basis. We plan on unveiling the business model later this year. We’ve been approached by, and are partnering with the largest companies in the market in several different industries, companies with tens and hundreds of thousands of employees. Those partnerships are helping us build, scale, and solidify our platform.
Did anyone tell you this wasn’t going to be successful?
I’ve interviewed dozens of future users and clients as I started working on this, and only received a lot of support. Many investors however were skeptical, mostly due to the challenges inherent in building a two-sided marketplace, and due to large companies who dominate the usership in this space. I believe some of those investors failed to sense the eagerness in the market, both by users and by companies, for innovation and disruption, especially due to lack of good mobile user experience, and revolution in the recruiting process which the mobile generation calls for so strongly.
How will you measure success 12 months from now?
Attaining significant growth, value and trust with many users and companies spanning blue and white collar jobs.