Echelon 2011 alumni, Garbs Inc., has announced that it recently received funding from CyberAgent Ventures Japan. The company under the Grooves group was at Echelon last year exhibiting their latest product, Social Job Posting, which has since reached new heights.
e27 did a short email interview with Takuya Nakagomi, who is in charge of the company’s growth, to see what are the post-capital injection plans of the Japanese startup.
Could you share with us some details about your latest funding round by CyberAgent Ventures Japan?
In the round of 30 November 2011, the third-party allocation of shares totaling JPY 40,000,000 (about S$ 660,000) was conducted as a seed round from CyberAgent towards group company, Grooves. As development of new services and business building are making better progress than expected, Series A Round is already being prepared as of January 2012.
What would the funding be mainly used for?
This funding is mainly assumed as the marketing budget for further expansion of Social Job Posting and as development budget of the new stuffing services utilizing social media. Also, we will aggressively utilize it on staffing and advertisement in order to enhance marketing/intellectual property strategy as well, as we are aimed at global business expansion.
How are social networks helping in letting people post and find jobs easily?
We believe that promoting referrals on business opportunities by trusted friends, or companies acquiring human resources referred from trusted people by utilizing social media would lower the chances of mismatch at screening and accelerate the flow of human resource.
Would this reduce the importance of employment agencies in Japan?
No, we don’t think our service would make Japanese employment agencies shrink but we believe we can coexist and develop together. Japanese domestic human resource business is now 9 trillion yen market. Although some companies did successfully attained employment at lower cost with our new services and systems, not all companies have high IT literacy level and actively adopt new systems.
Accordingly, we have a division as an employment agency to support recruiting activities of various companies with ordinary systems. Also, we will release the new service in the near future targeting career switch by referral, which reaches 23.4 percent out of 2.82 million annual Japanese domestic transitions. Please wait till then.
Is Garbs looking to expand out of Japan? If yes, where would the target markets be?
Yes, we aim at global expansion, mainly to Asia. Actually Social Job Posting’s services has already been served in 19 countries in three languages - Japanese, English and Chinese. Moreover, our new social recruiting service scheduled in March is targeting countries and areas where IT industry is flourishing, with Silicon Valley as its main.