South African mobile recruitment platform Giraffe was last night named winner of the Seedstars World global startup pitching competition, taking home US$500,000 in investment.
The annual Seedstars World summit took place in Geneva, Switzerland, with 54 finalists from across the world – including 13 from Africa – pitching in front of an audience of investors, media and other stakeholders.
The startups have this week taken part in a two-day bootcamp, with Giraffe coming through the semi-finals to pitch against 11 other startups for the grand prize, before being declared grand winner.
Seedstars World hosted African heats in Mozambique, South Africa,Nigeria,Ghana,Ivory Coast, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Angola, Tanzania, Senegal and Botswana, with Giraffe winning the South African leg to earn a place in the final.
“We’re really grateful for this award. But we still have a long way to go and a lot of hard work to do before we achieve our mission of helping reduce unemployment in the emerging world and lifting people out of poverty,” said Shafin Anwarsha, Giraffe co-founder and head of product.
“We’d like to dedicate this award to South Africa. South Africa has so much talent, resources and the resolve to succeed. Despite the current issues at home, investors should take heed of this and take a long view that South Africa will once again emerge victorious.”
Giraffe wants to reduce unemployment in South Africa by improving access to job listings for the low and medium skilled jobs market using mobile.
Jobseekers sign up to Giraffe by sending a shortcode via SMS or visiting the Giraffe website. The platform asks a series of questions, culminating in a short digital CV.
Employers log onto the platform and submit a staffing request. Giraffe’s algorithm automatically contacts all suitable candidates via SMS, and asks if they would like to interview. It then automatically schedules interviews for those who respond affirmatively, and forwards their digital CVs to the employer.
The result of this process is that Giraffe guarantees a two day turnaround on staffing requests.
“Nothing like Giraffe exists,” says co-founder and head of product, Shafin Anwarsha.
“Giraffe is cheaper, faster and has wider reach than recruitment agents, portals and labour brokers.”