Scoot Co-founders Asim Qureshi (left) and Daniel Joshua

Scoot Co-founders Asim Qureshi (left) and Daniel Joshua

Scoot claims there’s still no job portal in Malaysia that sorts results based on your location, with those nearest displayed first. The 20- and 39-year-old co-founders have produced the solution, along with a pricing model that seriously undercuts incumbents in the market like JobStreet. On top of that, they plan to roll out a video resume feature for job seekers.

While the 20-year-old Daniel Joshua is a first-time entrepreneur with a background in aviation, the older and wiser Asim Qureshi is no spring chicken to the business world. The seasoned Qureshi founded and sold his former startup in 2010 for around US$2 million to iProperty — then the most expensive website purchase in Malaysia. Qureshi also continues to run a property development business, and last year “sold the most expensive house in Malaysia,” according to Joshua.

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Not a team to ignore

While nothing is certain in startup life, this is probably not a team to ignore. Launched in April, it has already grown to 10 people and seen 1,000 job listings from major brands including BMW, Starbucks, PayPal, AirBnB, Coffee Bean, Top Man, Esprit, Marks & Spencer and others.

“With most big job portals, you either type in your post code or locality. For example, if you’re staying in Kuala Lumpur, it will show you all the jobs [there], but it doesn’t exactly sort jobs according to how far away they are from you,” Joshua tells e27, in an interview.

Scoot is also going to be rolling out a 30-second video resume feature. After speaking to HR departments, employers, and recruitment companies, it became clear that a big pain-point still exists around shortcomings of traditional resumes. For example, while a candidate may on paper be perfectly qualified, “they may not have any soft skills or presentation skills,” Joshua says.

Boostrapped Scoot

On the funding side, Scoot is bootstrapped for now, though it has had investor interest. In any case, Qureshi is unlikely to be hurting for cash in the same way many first-time or young founders are. The luxury of not having to crawl to VCs will no doubt pay off down the line, as they retain more control of the business and reap more of the equity.

While Joshua admits he has put less capital into the the venture than his partner, he believes he brings value in other ways. “I come from an aviation background where I did flight training; I graduated top of my class. I had a few job interviews but I decided to drop it all… What I feel I bring is a younger take on things. I’m not curtailed by any loans, I’m not paying for a house or a car. I’m the one who’s is running the day-to-day operations of the site, while he (Qureshi) oversees it and gives me advice,” he says.

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Scoot plans to stay free until the end of the year, at which point it will start charging US$15 per listing — still significantly cheaper than JobStreet’s US$150 per listing. It will chiefly target the entry-level segment of the market. Joshua meanwhile estimates the job market in Malaysia to be worth about US$75 million per year, based on his research.

From free to paid

“The number one reason [companies] don’t list online in Malaysia is price,” he said, adding that the portal aims to hit 30,000 listings by mid-2016. While some may question the viability of moving to a paid model from a free model at launch — users become accustomed to not paying — Joshua tells me that they have surveyed the companies and received assurance from them, of a willingness to stay on as paying customers at the US$15 range. The revenue will also support the building out of more features for the platform, resulting in a better user experience.

“JobStreet focusses on executive jobs. We’re trying to open the market up to fresh grads, startups, interns, and part-timers,” Joshua ends. Even after JobStreet, the next cheapest competitor in Malaysia is still around US$100 per listing.

As ever, watch this space.

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