InternMatch, a 500 Startups-backed company focused on matching college students with employers, is today announcing an additional round of $1.2 million in funding to expand its platform beyond internships, in order to target both underclassmen and recent graduates. And yes, it’s thinking about rebranding, too. The new bridge round comes from the startup’s previous investors, Dave McClure, Mitch Kapor, and Vishal Makhijani as well as new investors from AngelList and others including, Matt Ocko and Rudy Gadre, Facebook’s former General Counsel.
The company had previously raised $500,000 in funding from Netflix founder Marc Randolph, Roger Dickey, Angel Fund Social Leverage, 500 Startups and others back in September 2011, which, at the time, brought InternMatch’s total funding to $900,000.
Founded in May 2009 by recent college graduates, InternMatch originally began as a way to address a hole in the online hiring market. “There had never been a really easy-to-use platform to search, discover opportunities, easily apply and also get resources around things like ‘how to craft a resume,’ ‘how to write a cover letter,’ ‘ how to follow up with employers,’ and those other essential internship search tactics,” explains Nathan Parcells, InternMatch co-founder and CMO.
He says that today, around 80 percent of college students participate in an internship before graduation, and 50 percent do two or more. But for the companies trying to reach these students, their old methods – like on-campus career fairs – are now failing. Parcells says his team just surveyed over 100,000 college students while doing market research, and found that, based on the few thousand responses received, more than twice as many students are googling for internships, as opposed to going to career fairs, info sessions, or taking part in any other direct methods of learning about what a company has to offer.
With InternMatch, businesses can expand their outreach to those students who prefer to do their research online, while also targeting a broader network of universities than those where they may have previously established a presence. Today, InternMatch works with over 350 university partners who promote the website to students. These relationships also extend down to student clubs and organizations, and, in some cases, even down to individual professors, who make personal recommendations.
For the businesses, the site offers paid tools which allow them to create an online “Campus Hub,” where they can share details about their company, including photos, video, Q&A’s, social media updates, and more. This is crucial in helping a company deliver the right image to its potential hires. Parcells mentions how Salesforce uses the site to convince students it’s not a boring, enterprise company, but actually a fun place to work, for example. These hubs are also a valuable weapon in the “war on talent” facing the tech industry, he adds.
Although the site features internships that run the gamut – that is, not all are technical positions – its West Coast roots allowed it to attract the attention of several big name tech companies, including Google, Facebook, Ooyala, Salesforce (as noted above), Yelp, Sony, Wikimedia, and many more, as well as smaller startups. It also has other major companies on board, like Viacom/MTV, Pixar, and CBS Interactive, to name a few.
“For many companies – and this doesn’t just apply to technical hiring – this is an opportunity to get the students before they make a commitment somewhere else, and share with them their [business’s] culture,” Parcells says, noting that over 70 percent of interns are traditionally offered jobs.
With the additional funding, InternMatch will expand its nine-person team with more engineers and sales people, but more importantly, it’s now taking that next step to become a larger player in the job search space. By focusing on jobs for college undergrads and recent graduates, it will soon compete against the major job search sites like CareerBuilder, Monster, Dice, Indeed and others for student eyeballs. InternMatch has hired head of strategy, Rob Dumas, who previously was SVP of Sales at Monster and Dice, to help on that front.
And while other companies, like Glassdoor recently, have been building up their own platforms for business profiles similar to InternMatch’s “Campus Hubs,” Parcells says that his startup’s advantage is that its Campus Hubs are richer, and the company has been trailblazing within the college student niche for years.
InternMatch hasn’t yet determined what the new branding will be as it expands its marketplace beyond internships to paying jobs, but there will be a parent brand that will contain the various properties in the future.