Following years of stubbornly high unemployment in France, the country’s entrepreneurs believe they have a solution: reinvent the way people are hired.
While it seems like there are a million ways to find a job or recruit employees online these days, investors appear surprisingly bullish about these newbies. So much so that three different French human resource-related startups announced new rounds of venture capital this week.
Mostly likely, it’s a coincidence. Still, it’s a sign that entrepreneurs believe technology can help bring down the country’s 9.3 percent unemployment rate. That’s down from 10.1 percent a couple of years ago, but high enough that many French still remain anxious about their future, and a growing number are deciding to look for economic opportunities abroad.
In trying to address the employment problem in France, however, these companies believe they can build businesses that cross borders to become international successes.
On Monday, EasyRECrue announced it had raised $8.9 million. Launched in 2013, the company is building a video interviewing platform aimed at helping recruiters weed through large pools of prospective candidates. Investors include Elaia Partners and BPIFrance.
On Tuesday, JobTeaser, a job site for university students and young adults, landed $16.7 million from Alven Capital, Idinvest Partners, and Korelya Capital. This is a particularly attractive market in France because the official Youth Unemployment Rate (for people 25 years old and younger) is 23.70 percent, down from its recent peak of 25.6 percent in November 2012 but above its historic average of 20.15 percent.
Finally, on Wednesday Talent.io said it had raised $8.9 million from Ventech and Alven Capital. The company had raised $2.5 million in 2015 from those same two firms, with the addition of Elaia Partners and a syndicate of angels.
We’ll see how far these startups can travel beyond France. But no doubt new French president Emmanuel Macron, a big startup booster, will welcome any help in getting the country’s economy moving again.