Headhunting platform Wanted raises 10 billion won in Series B funding


Wantedlab, the startup behind recruiting and referral platform Wanted, has raised 10 billion won (USD $8.9m) in Series B funding.

The investment comes from 8 Korean firms; Stonebridge Capital, KTB Network, Kolon Investment, SL Investment, Korea Development Bank, Industrial Bank of Korea, BanKIS and IBK-Truben Investment. Three Japanese VCs, Okpan, Vector and Risk Monster, also contributed to the fund.

Wanted is a headhunting service with a focus on referring friends and acquaintances to potential jobs. What’s the incentive? If someone you’ve recommended is successful, you can pick up a reward of 1 million won (or more), as well as the applicant who also gets a bonus.

Logging in with your Facebook account will show you who else has signed up for the website and how many people they have referred. Wantedlab says that its platform means recruiters can search for the right people at an affordable price, without having to cold call or put out ads. Members are also introduced to jobs through Wanted’s AI matching system which is based on 60,000 applications and whether they were successful.

Since launching two years ago, Wanted has connected with over 1000 companies including major players like Facebook, Amazon and Nexon. The service also entered the Japanese market in April, and is already linked to well-known companies Rakuten and SBI.

Wanted CEO, Bokkee Lee

Wantedlab CEO, Bokkee Lee

“Companies trust recommendations from people working in the industry, and it’s a fact that the number of referrals leading to employment is increasing,” says CEO of Wantedlab, Bokkee Lee. “Going forward, social networks and artificial intelligence will innovate the entire recruitment process. Starting with Japan, we’re planning to launch globally in major cities around the world.”

Originally founded in April 2015, Wantedlab was previously part of Spark Labs’s accelerator program and selected for Google Campus. Within four months the startup managed to gain 1.7 billion won ($1.5m) in funding from KTB Network, Stonebridge Capital and Mirae Asset Venture Investment.