Glints, the first youth career discovery and development platform in Asia, has successfully closed a US$2 million Series A funding.
Coled by Golden Equator Capital and Gobi Partners, the latest financing round also includes participation from Wavemaker Partners and Fresco Capital.
Existing investors East Ventures, Singapore Infocomm Investments (IIPL), Pix Vine Capital, and angel investors including Darius Cheung, founder of 99.co, also joined the round in a vote of confidence for the startup.
“Our goal is to become the #1 youth career platform in Asia. We are humbled to have a team of great investors who believe in our vision and are backing us. Glints will use the funding for product development and regional expansion, continuing our mission of helping youths to do what they love for their careers and to develop the right skills sets to get great at what they do.”, says Oswald Yeo, Cofounder and CEO of Glints.
College Dropout Founders Dream of Shaking Up Higher Education
The education to employment system is broken. Companies are struggling to fill entrylevel vacancies, as more and more employers realize that fouryear degrees don’t necessarily guarantee the skills they value most. Mismatch between schools curriculum and industry requirements is rendering millions of young people unemployable every year by not giving young graduates the right skills that employers are asking for.
The cofounders, who dropped out of Stanford, UC Berkeley, and Wharton Business School to start Glints, experienced the frustrations of the higher education system themselves. “After a few months of college lectures and tutorials, I just felt like I wasn’t learning the right skills I needed for my career. When I decided to drop out and take my education in my own hands, everyone thought I was crazy. Fortunately, through my startup journey, I now feel like I have acquired so much more useful skills and experiences. We hope to enable more of such real world skills education for more young people out there.”, said Looi Qin En, Glints’ cofounder and COO, who dropped out of Stanford.
Glints has revamped its website to help more youths discover career paths they will love and develop the right skills sets for them. It recently launched a new skills tree feature that shows a user the skill sets needed for his/her dream job and find the relevant opportunities and resources such as courses, internships, projects to acquire these skills. This gives fresh graduates and young working adults a clear path of skills development towards landing their dream jobs, bridging the gap between educatio
This is a game changer that challenges the relevancy of the existing higher education system since youths can now independently take a direct pathway of skills development to the workforce, instead of solely relying on an expensive and ineffective 4 years university degree.
Case Study: From Intern to CEO
Viren Shetty, a 23 year old Applied Mathematics student from National Technological University (NTU), has always been interested in startups but didn’t know where to start. He found an internship with an early stage startup through Glints, eventually joined the startup as a cofounder, and now is the CEO of the startup. The data analytics startup, Plus Margins, has since successfully gotten venture funding from prominent investors including 500 Startups and Singapore Press Holdings (SPH). “I love what I am doing right now am now on an indefinite leave of absence from my university to focus on my startup,” says Viren Shetty.
Regional Expansion with Fresh Funding
From just 7,000 users during its seed funding 18 months ago, Glints has grown to over 170,000 users and has also launched in Indonesia. The funding will be used for product development and regional expansion.
“We invested in Glints due to its potential to scale. Indonesia took only a month to achieve the same
30,000 user signups that Singapore did in 12 months. The quick adoption shows the huge untapped potential in the Indonesian market,” says Daren Tan, Managing Partner of Golden Equator Capital.
Glints is also starting to establish itself as the #1 graduate recruitment platform in the region, with its large and growing network of young job seekers and partnerships with schools. Over 4,000 companies, including large organisations such as UOB and Adidas, and startups such as Grab and Carousell, have worked with Glints to attract and hire young talent to join their organisations.
“There is a huge problem for companies to recruit the right young talent. Employers find it difficult to find quality candidates through incumbent job portals, and waste time filtering through irrelevant applications, especially when fresh graduates do not have a proven track of experience. We are excited to partner with Glints and tackle this problem together as they solidify their position as Asia’s top graduate recruitment platform,” says Victor Chua, Investment Director at Gobi Partners.