I first met Stefanos back in 2014. He was an aspiring startuper who pitched me an idea with his typical, I would later discover, optimism, well intentioned smile, polite and “hard to say no to” attitude. Even though I shared my feedback about his project “Team-up” being a doubtful endeavor with a lousy execution, Stefanos pursued it, but at least after a few months realized the inevitable. In that process Stefanos learnt firsthand the hard lessons about starting up and I was the lucky one to get to know and become friends with a great guy. Committed to the startup life, and having a passion for digital, he then joined e-table to work on marketing, while on parallel offered to help me with startup evaluation I was at the time doing as an angel investor.
One thing led to another and post the e-food exit to Delivery Hero in 2015, when George and I decided to create VentureFriends, Stefanos was a natural choice as a team member. As an associate, Stefanos developed further. He integrated in the startup ecosystem in Greece but also connected and supported many international founders we had partnered with. With his genuine interest in learning and helping others he became an integral part of the VF and the overall Greek startup ecosystem. Therefore, it was a very hard moment when a few months ago he announced to us that he would be leaving VentureFriends to pursue his startup MyJobnow. At that point, we had to objectively examine the startup idea, and fortunately, Myjobnow clearly passed the demanding scrutiny of a Venture Capital fund.
Therefore, adding injury to insult we also decided to invest in Myjobnow :)
The thought process was straightforward and Myjobnow ticks all the required boxes
Does it serve a real need?
Myjobnow greatly helps, both job seekers and companies. Job seekers can find easily more suitable jobs at bars cafes restaurants and other businesses. The employers get access quickly and conveniently to more relevant employees while keeping track of the people that matched their criteria for future use.
Job seekers have up to now struggled to find suitable positions through hard to navigate web based job sites that did not allow filtering based on location, hourly requirements and other criteria. Also, the interface between job seekers and companies was broken and job seekers could not provide a more personal touch to their application (eg through a short video) or receive timely feedback on whether employers were interested in meeting them. Myjobnow, being a mobile first solution, addresses the above issues and allows applicants to have an updatable profile that can be used to apply to any job position easily and on the go.
The service also addresses the main pain point of employers, allowing them to quickly browse user friendly profiles of relevant applicants. Getting access to a more relevant employee applicant pool as well as the mobile interface that allows for direct communication saves them a great amount of time. In addition to that, with Myjobnow employers have access to their past job posts as well as profiles of the candidates they have marked as relevant and can reengage with if there is a renewed need.
Is the market big enough?
The market is quite large, as there are 300,000 businesses in Greece and millions of relevant businesses in Europe that need a better hiring solution.
What about the team?
Adding to the above, the team is stellar and very ambitious. Apart from Stefanos, Agamemnon is a great, complementary and committed guy who also left the more secure life of an investor at Charamida ventures in order to co-found the business. Alex, the 3rd cofounder, a brilliant technical guy with a solid business and startup background completes the team, making it unstoppable in our eyes. All three have gathered valuable learnings and inspiration by working and connecting with other great founders in the ecosystem. They aim high and know how to build a strong team with the right culture, while keeping a relentless focus on customer needs.
Is there a moat/defensibility?
Myjobnow is a typical two-sided marketplace with strong network effects. Every new participant increases the value for the existing ones and creates a more defensible marketplace. Applicants want to use a service that has the largest number of companies looking for personnel and vice versa. That is why achieving a leader position in a marketplace driven market is very valuable.
Proving our initial conviction, Myjobnow, having launched literally just a month ago, has already paying customers and thousands of job seekers already find jobs through the mobile app. The mixed feelings that followed Stefanos’ decision to leave us, was quickly replaced by happiness and pride for what Stefanos, Agamemnon and Alex were up to undertake.
I am sure Stefanos, Agamemnon and Alex will continue their amazing journey with Myjobnow and on the way, inspire people with their unpretentious yet effective way of achieving higher milestones.