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7 hot career-related companies to watch

Bob Brown | March 13, 2015
In among all the cloud, security and mobile tech startups attracting venture funding so far this year, new companies focused on hiring, education and career development are pulling in big bucks.

While venture dollars are flowing to companies focused on training employees, others are going toward prepping people to enter the workforce. Among these investments is Koru, a Seattle-based company that just garnered $8M to back its intensive in-person and online program for training college students to get hired at high-growth companies like LinkedIn and

Wayfair. Koru initially offers programs in Seattle, San Francisco and Boston.

Koru's pitch: "Build a foundation of skills and relationships that will launch your career. In less than a month, learn what most people are lucky to get in their first three years of a job. Every Koru participant gets an interview at the end of the program. Guaranteed."

Calling Sausalito-based Glassdoor a start-up would be pushing it — the online jobs/careers marketplace filled with reviews of companies by current and past employees has been around since 2007. But it did just receive a hefty $70 million in funding to expand its reach, including to non-English speakers.

Glassdoor is particularly savvy about crunching the data from its marketplace and spinning it into lists that are ripe for the media to pounce on (Best Places to Work, etc.).

InterviewJet, a small New York-based company that recently attracted $750,000 in funding, differentiates itself via a portal that connects select employers with vetted technologists looking for work.

The company's members-only program, which launched into beta last year, includes a website countdown clock showing how long New York-based employers have to make an offer to the pre-screened candidates who sign up through InterviewJet to make themselves available (recent candidates included a data scientist and a senior Java software engineer). Employers pay a set fee only if they hire someone through the program, which you can expect to see expand beyond New York before long.

Another start-up, Shapr, looks to help people further their careers or collaborate with others via what it calls a professional social discovery platform that you can access via free iOS and Android apps.

Three million dollars richer since receiving a new funding round in January, the Paris- and New York-based company was inspired by CEO and Co-founder Ludovic Huraux's experiences trying to make connections as an entrepreneur (he previously started a French dating site called Attractive World). Shapr's network is built on users' trusted connections, or Inner Circle, and friends of friends, or Extended Circle. and allows collaboration via its Shapeline forum. And while Shapr might appear to be a sort of LinkedIn alternative, it actually works in conjunction with the more established professional connections platform.

Finally, as I was compiling this collection of startups, I literally had to change the headline mid-course from "6 hot career-oriented..." to "7 hot career-oriented.." when a press release from a New York- and San Francisco-based startup called Greenhouse entered my inbox touting Series B funding of $13.6 million led by Benchmark. That's on top of $7.5 million collected last summer.

Greenhouse has gone the SaaS route for optimizing the recruiting process, from organizing hiring teams to streamlining the interview process. The company counts Pinterest, Airbnb and Evernote among its clients.


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