It’s not news that developing countries are growing faster than the developed world. But in regions less wired and smartphoned-up, attaching business models to that growth requires some innovative thinking. Take getting a job. With most people still on smartphones and perhaps without internet access at home, old fashioned word of mouth and even newspapers are the fallback. Developing countries have seen the rise of models to address this. Mpawa in Africa, for instance, sends job vacancies via SMS to job seekers, for instance.
Now the latest is emerging out of Brazil. Emprego Ligado is a job marketplace for blue-collar Brazilians and one of the first real time job listing services there, also using SMS extensively.
Exhibiting in the Brazilian pavilion at TechCrunch Disrupt next week, Emprego Ligado has revealed to TechCrunch that it’s now secured investment from 500 Startups, Initial Capital, Rising Ventures and seven Brazil-based investors including, they say, the head of private equity and VC a one of the largest asset management firms in Brazil. (Disclosure: Roi Carthy is a partner there and also an occasional contributor to TechCrunch).
Addressing 85% of Brazil’s labor market, this recruitment platform is in closed beta, but right now has no cost to worker candidates or companies hiring workers.
Here’s how it works: Blue-collar worker candidates create resumé profiles with their mobile phones. Companies post job vacancies on the site which sends an SMS to the mobile phones of the workers with details of the job. Interested workers respond and can also share the job with their network connections. Candidates accepted by employers arrange interviews with their mobile phones as well. The entire process takes less than 2 minutes on average from the time an employer posts a job.
Other players in the space tend to require workers create a profile on the site, but Emprego Ligado does not. They also say they are arranging interviews within a few kilometers of a workers home for 25% of the candidate base per month.
Emprego Ligado has a local team of 9 in São Paulo, including 6 Brazilian former HR and Wireless executives. Its actually unusual for a tech team to have hired so locally. The founding team (Jacob Rosenbloom, Derek Fears and Nathan Dee) is composed of engineers and economic development experts drawn from Stanford, Harvard, Wharton and Columbia.