LatAm SMS Jobs Startup Emprego Ligado Closes $7M Series A To Expand

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Developing markets such as Latin America are eating up smartphone use, and a startup emerging out of Brazil is making the best use of that trend.

Emprego Ligado is a job marketplace that competes with local job sites and staffing agencies for blue-collar Brazilians by using the cellphone to full effect. In 2012 it received backing from investors including 500 Startups and Initial Capital to crack the Brazilian market. Now it’s won more firepower in the form of $7 million in Series A funding from an international syndicate of investors, including Monashees Capital, Grupo RBS e.Bricks and Qualcomm Ventures. The funding will be used for geographic expansion.

In that region, while there are a number of job boards like Vagas.com.br and Infojobs (with some of them having mobile features) they are essentially resume databases that require time and effort from recruiters.

Founder Jacob Rosenbloom says Emprego Ligado automate’s the recruitment process and claims it’s passed on over 2 million interview opportunities to blue-collar workers in Brazil in 2014, with 18 percent of users getting a job offer the first day they sign up, 30 percent within the first week and 60 percent in the first month. He says they also end up with jobs closer to home – average distance of 2.5 miles from home to place of work – because this is a mobile experience.

Because of this speed, they Rosenbloom says companies can save as much as $500,000 thousand per month in cost reduction.

It’s interesting to see, though, that the startup has remained wedded to SMS as a method for job distribution, given its efficiency in the Brazilian market.