Jobbatical, a platform that enables people to work anywhere in the world and live where they are happy has announced it has closed a $4 million in funding. The round has been led by Japan-based Mistletoe Inc. along with Union Square Ventures, AirTree Ventures, and Tera Ventures. This brings Jobbatical’s total funding to $7.9 million which has been sourced from more than 15 investors from eight countries and four continents.
Jobbatical has dedicated investors from multiple regions (U.S., Australia, Japan), who believe in the company’s vision for the global workforce. As global talent crises threaten to put $10 trillion at risk in the world economy by 2030, Jobbatical is working with investors to solve perceived shortages and surpluses.
This funding round will help Jobbatical expand efforts with business partners in the Asia Pacific, a market primed for job growth and entrepreneurship. In 2017 alone, four out of the top ten countries for Jobbatical campaigns were from Asia Pacific, and seven of the top 20 have been from theat region.
“The way we all live and work is changing, from the emergence of new technologies to the attitudes of the young professionals who will define our future. Today’s workforce, especially millennials and Gen Z, want a global career experience but they don’t always know how to pursue it, or where,” said Karoli Hindriks, founder and CEO, Jobbatical. “Our experience shows there is a huge opportunity in the Asian markets with locations like Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Kuala Lumpur. This funding will help us accelerate our efforts in these markets, as well as others, to give our users the best job opportunities possible.”
Skilled-based workers in software engineering, marketing and creative roles have traditionally flocked to hubs like Silicon Valley, New York, and London, but that’s changing. There is a noticeable gap in the disbursement of talent, leading to talent surplus in these areas and talent shortage in many other cities around the world. Jobbatical is helping cities like Lisbon, Tokyo, and Tallinn build their own innovation hubs by removing geographical bias from hiring decisions and giving talent access to positions in these areas.
“I have always believed that innovation comes from the connecting of diverse dots. Jobbatical is doing precisely that - connecting talent globally. We have been drawn to Jobbatical’s vision for the future of work itself, that it will be more global and collaborative, and that this will be enabled, when people work where they are happy. That people’s skills and happiness will be borderless, and seamless,” said Taizo Son, CEO and founder of Mistletoe. “We are very excited about this great partnership with Jobbatical, and hope our relationship will become a catalyst for this new movement towards the future of creative workforces in Asia and Japan ”.
Mistletoe Inc. provides learning opportunities for entrepreneurs, facilitates startup communities, invests in and supports startup companies and venture capital funds in APAC and beyond. Founder Taizo Son, the younger brother of SoftBank Group Corp.’s founder Masayoshi Son, relocated to Singapore recently with the aim to invest $100 million in Southeast Asian startups in the coming five years.Andy Weissman, the partner of Union Square Ventures said: “We are impressed by the international scope Jobbatical has managed to achieve within such a short time and are strong believers in their vision of a more fluid and collaborative world. The team at Jobbatical is a true testament to this, as they are probably the most diverse team we have ever worked with.”
Union Square Ventures is a US-based venture capital firm focused on early stage, growth capital, late stage, and startup financing. It exclusively invests in the internet world, specifically the applications layer of the web, internet services, and web services that create large networks, as well as the mobile sector. The firm manages over $1B in investments and has also invested in companies like Twitter, Kickstarter and Etsy.
“Jobbatical is fixing the very real and growing problem of talent displacement. At AirTree, we’re passionate about companies that are reshaping the way we live and work; Jobbatical’s mission to make the job search global fits right in with that,” said John Henderson, Partner at AirTree Ventures. “We’re happy to be working with them and look forward to what they’ll do next.”
AirTree is a venture capital firm that invests in world-class entrepreneurs building the exceptional companies of tomorrow. Based in Sydney, AirTree is the only Australian venture firm with a globally top decile track record, and has helped dozens of entrepreneurs reshape traditional industries with innovative technology and business strategy.
Hindriks concluded: “The way we all live and work is changing, from the emergence of new technologies to the attitudes of the young professionals that will come to define the global workforce. Jobbatical represents this global workforce of the future. We are delighted to see that investors from across the globe share our vision for the future – and are confident in our ability to deliver it.”