Former Dragon James Caan fires £5.1m into recruitment app Debut

Having already raised money from Zoopla, Graze and the co-founder of Indeed, the startup has now raised a total of £7.3m

Former Dragon James Caan fires £5.1m into recruitment app Debut

Charlie Taylor, founder and CEO of Debut, has big plans for the dragon’s gold.

Employment is at a record high. While it’s great news that a bigger percentage of the UK population are working now than at any time since 1971, for employers this means that finding the right candidate can be tricky. No wonder then that James Caan, recruitment entrepreneur and former Dragon, has just invested £5.1m into a startup planning to transform the recruitment market. 

Launched back in 2015, Debut, the early careers mobile app, has already raised money from LocalGlobe and Entree Capital, the VC firms; Zoopla, the property tech company; Graze, the snack company, and TransferWise, the money transfer service. Now, with Caan’s additional capital, the startup has raised a grand total of £7.3m.

But it’s hardly a secret why Debut has attracted this level of interest. After all, the company’s app does away with traditional CVs. Instead, graduates can demonstrate their chops through a wide range of psychometric and personality tests. Combining this with big data and precise search algorithms, both employers and candidates can enjoy a smooth recruitment process, all through the swipe of a finger on a smartphone screen. 

Commenting on his vote of confidence in the product, Caan said: “The recruitment industry needs innovation to survive and Debut entered the market at the right time – smartphone penetration was already well-established but what made the opportunity so perfect for now was the cost-effective access to unlimited or large amounts of mobile data, meaning the mobile-only movement was just starting to gain traction. Debut embraces this audience and helps employers to do the same.” 

And it’s hardly a secret that Charlie Taylor, founder and CEO of Debut, has big plans for the money. “This latest investment will enable us to expand out of early careers and impact the broader jobs market,” he said.” I hope that eventually our system will become so incredibly powerful that it will play a part in shaping the national skills agenda to promote improved supply and demand – first here in the UK, and then on a global scale.”

With Britain suffering from a huge skills shortage, innovations like these may just be what’s needed to shake up the market. 

Angus Shaw
Angus Shaw

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