Military ‘LinkedIn’ Raises $5 Million in Funding
One week before Veteran’s Day, military “LinkedIn” platform RallyPoint announced it just closed a $5 million Series A round led by Silicon Valley’s DBL Investors, which has invested in Pandora and Tesla.
RallyPoint co-founders Yinon Weiss and Aaron Kletzing both served in the Iraq War and met at Harvard Business School, where they hatched the idea for a talent-recruiting site for the military. The one-year-old startup has raised a total of $6.6 million.
RallyPoint initially opened its doors solely to current service members who were looking for positions opening up within the military. Earlier this year on Memorial Day, the company welcomed veterans looking for jobs and networking opportunities. RallyPoint’s team says the company has more than 120,000 members currently and is adding approximately 1,000 new members each day.
The latest round of funding will be used to accelerate RallyPoint’s recruiting platform. For the past few months, RallyPoint has been running a small pilot program featuring employers like Honeywell (NYSE:HON), AT&T (NYSE:T), Amazon and Bloomberg.
Weiss, who serves as the company’s CEO, says the pilot program has helped RallyPoint hone in on the tools necessary to support corporate recruiting.
For instance, input from the corporate partners helped RallyPoint’s team realize the need for better translation of military experiences; the company now automatically translates military profiles into a more traditional resume format suited to private-sector jobs. The platform will also allow recruiters to search by security clearance, so hiring managers can identify candidates who have the necessary clearance for a role.
The Talent Finder platform, as it’s called, will be made widely available to companies in early 2014. It is currently open only to pilot partners. Weiss says RallyPoint is modeling itself after LinkedIn in terms of achieving profitability; corporate partners will pay a fee in order to access RallyPoint’s talent base.
“I don’t know whether it will be 2014 or 2015, but I would like to get the majority of Fortune 500 companies as customers of ours,” says Weiss.
The company currently has five full-time employees. In terms of hiring, Weiss says the first priority is to hire more engineers; he estimates adding four or five more full-time employees.
“We’re fundamentally a software company, so our greatest asset is the engineering team,” says Weiss.