GetLinks raises $500K to connect tech talent with employers in Southeast Asia

GetLinks, a Bangkok-based startup focused on helping tech companies find and hire top talent, has closed a $500,000 seed round.

500 Startups and CyberAgent Ventures provided the money for GetLinks, which started out as a ‘Tinder for jobs’ style company before pivoting into a curated job platform. That means that both candidates and employer vacancies are vetted being accepted on to its job platform. GetLinks itself makes money once a candidate has been hired — taking a cut of their salary, like a headhunter — which incentives it to provide quality candidates and jobs on both sides.

Today’s funding represents a remarkable change in fortune for GetLinks’ French co-founder and CEO Djoann Fal. Last February, Fal — who first came to Asia to work for Rocket Internet — appealed to friends, family and others to help crowdfund his startup as the money dried up. Now, with the company graduating accelerator programs from JFDI Asia (Singapore) and 500 Startups (U.S.), it has raised money from two of Southeast Asia’s most prominent seed-stage investors.

GetLinks takes a different approach to building its userbase than something like LinkedIn, thanks to its focus on offline events. Its meetups attract thousands of attendees, which, Fal told TechCrunch, helps build the company’s brand, raise awareness of its service and bring employees and job seekers on board.

The company has run events in Thailand, and is gearing up for its first in Vietnam on March 12. This money will go towards growing its presence in Vietnam and also making a move into Singapore, via an event and some marketing. Fal said the company has begun talking to investors about a Series A round with a view to expanding to more countries.

Israeli-U.S. startup Woo raised $2.35 million earlier this year to help give top talent passive job hunting experiences, and GetLinks is moving towards the same goal in Southeast Asia, where professional social networks like LinkedIn have nothing like the reach of Facebook, which is often use to connect for networking. Woo is pretty exclusive with just 5,000 candidates. That might work in the U.S., but with no job site dedicated to Southeast Asia’s nascent startup space, GetLinks needs to be somewhat more accessible.

Fal said that GetLinks’ current employer partners include Google, Uber, Line and Rocket Internet’s Lazada.