Merlin matches hourly talent with vetted employers who are looking to hire.
Today, I’m excited to share our no-longer-stealth investment in Merlin, the fastest-growing mobile job board for hourly talent. Since I led Uncork Capital’s seed investment in April 2017, Merlin has helped more than half a million candidates and thousands of companies find each other and raised a Series A from Firstmark Capital and General Catalyst.
As a seed investor, I invest all along the traction continuum — from pre-launch through early tests to full-blown momentum. I could say my investment in Merlin was extremely early…. pre-launch, wireframes, product development just getting underway. But in many ways, my investment in Merlin was years in the making, as I had been regularly sharing deals and trading notes with Merlin co-founder Guimar Vaca Sittic since his early days as an investor at FJ Labs. By the time Guimar told me he was shifting from investing to founding, I knew firsthand he was extremely intelligent, no nonsense, data-driven, and a walking encyclopedia of marketplace best practices (by that time, he’d invested in 120 marketplaces and co-founded two more as well). Collectively, Guimar and his co-founders Borja Moreno de los Rios and William Guillouard were extremely strong in marketplace design, customer acquisition, lifecycle management, and analytics.
Investing in Merlin was a bet on talented people and their playbook, with a belief that if well executed, Merlin could become the dominant player in an absolutely enormous market.
Yes, absolutely enormous. Over 80 million people in the US work hourly jobs. These jobs pay bills, support families, fund dreams, and shape identities. And yet, the search for hourly jobs and the people seeking them is completely broken. It’s 2018, and the default place is an archaic job board from a guy named Craig, where candidates watch their applications disappear into the abyss while employers waste hours each week weeding through ineffective applications.
Enter Merlin. If I was to whittle down Merlin’s value proposition to three things, they would be:
- Speed -> Only two minutes for employers to post a job, and they start seeing potential candidates immediately.
- Efficiency -> Merlin streamlines matching candidates and jobs, eliminating lengthy applications for candidates and lengthy reviews for employers
- Transparency -> Merlin’s Trust and Safety Team reviews each employer to ensure viable opportunities are real companies.
It’s still early days, but I’m excited about what’s ahead for job seekers, job providers, and everyone working hard at Merlin to put more people to work. I believe jobs matter a lot, and I’m extremely proud to support a team that does too.