Tech startup careers app raises £2.2m funding

new technology

Debut’s founder and CEO Charles Taylor, aged 27, first identified the opportunity for innovation after becoming frustrated with the ineffective graduate recruitment model. His negative job search experience has since resulted in one of the fastest growing recruitment businesses in the UK, with technology and innovation at its core, providing a simple, smart solution that benefits all parties.

This third seed investment is from a combination of venture capital firms and Angel investors including LocalGlobe, London’s leading seed-focused venture capital firm that has backed some of the UK’s biggest success stories, like Zoopla, Graze and TransferWise, Supercell and Playfish backer Initial Capital, Deliveroo investor Entree Capital, and Paul Forster – former CEO & co-founder of Indeed.

 Graduate employment, revolutionised

Debut has fast become the recruitment method used by most the UK’s leading graduate employers, including EY, Microsoft, Barclays, Capgemini, Rolls-Royce, L’Oréal, and General Electric. The app has transformed the way employers can identify talented individuals that are right for them within a few click and a matter of seconds, removing the need for time-consuming and expensive recruitment and selection processes.

Further revolutionising the recruitment process, the app also offers mobile games designed in collaboration with employers to test skills and abilities in candidates or to provide them with insight into the company. During individual sessions, students spend up to two hours playing in-app games.

Using these different recruitment features, and having access to data and analytics, companies can reach and hire candidates who may not have been inclined to apply. The IT Services Provider, FDM, is currently averaging a hire a week through the app.

Active students

Of the tens of thousands of students who use the app, 85 per cent are actively engaging each month with top employers. Thanks to features such as ‘a day in the life’, students can learn about roles and opportunities they may have never known exist previously. Companies can also target prospective candidates via a ‘Talent Spot’, inviting them to interviews or even fast-tracking them to assessment centres. Since it launched a year ago, Debut has sent more than 500,000 Talent Spots to candidates for exclusive career opportunities.

Growth plans

 Debut’s latest seed investment will enable its UK-based team to in-source its tech team, grow and strengthen ready for international expansion. The investment will also support plans to offer in-app services to school leavers pre-university – another chance to become the game changer for tomorrow’s talent.

Charles Taylor, CEO & Founder of Debut commented: “We are very proud to support students in such a critical moment in their lives. Students can often face barriers when it comes to accessing career opportunities – but Debut is breaking these down as all they require is a phone and our free app.

 “We are thrilled to have such experienced investors on board to support us on our journey to become the global app for student careers.”

 Dan Richards, Recruiting Leader at EY commented: “Debut is great for giving us access to an active student market we couldn’t reach in a mobile centric way before. We know mobiles are ubiquitous for students, so being able to reach them in a way that is familiar and convenient for them, is not only key to driving quality, but also engagement and our brand profile too. 

“We are really impressed with Debut. In just a few months we have made 20 hires, with a further 127 candidates in our selection process. We’ve reached thousands of students using the app across the UK, from a really diverse mix of backgrounds and universities, with a breadth of strengths.”

Ophelia Brown, General Partner of LocalGlobe commented: “Debut significantly expands the range and number of opportunities available to students during and after their university career. There is no other platform that gives so much help to students in understanding and finding the perfect role for them. For recruiters, Debut gives unprecedented access to students who previously they have not been able to access via traditional recruitment methods. We’re very excited to be Debut’s partner on their powerful mission.”