Zartis raises investment to drive social recruitment forward

13 Dec 2011

John Dennehy

John Dennehy’s Zartis has raised a new round of funding from AIB Seed Capital and SOSventures in a move that will enable the company to target opportunities in social recruitment and grow an international business from Cork.

If you think you’ve heard the name Zartis before, the chances are you have. Zartis was the name of Dennehy’s web development company before it was bought by Breakaway Solutions in 2000. A subsequent company, Upstart Games, a publisher of games for mobile devices, was acquired in 2006 by Sun TV Shop, a China-based new media company with strong Irish connections that is listed on the AIM.

A new era in social recruitment

The latest incarnation of Zartis was spawned out of Assembly Point, a company that developed an online tool for businesses called HR Locker and which last year raised €300,000 in funding from AIB Seed Capital Fund, Enterprise Equity and Enterprise Ireland.

Zartis provides companies with the underlying processes, workflow and tools to attract and recruit candidates through the use of social media. The service is currently free for small businesses. The market for talent management systems, including social recruitment, is valued at more than US$27bn and is growing rapidly.

The latest round of funding will be used to further product development from Cork and to grow international markets.

SOSventures, the venture capital and investment firm managed by Sean O’Sullivan, and Irish entrepreneur Jonathan Grey of Ovation Incentives, have also invested in the round.

The round sees SOSventures’ Bill Liao, previously co-founder of business social network XING with Lars Hinrichs, join Zartis’ board of directors. Liao will be joined on the board by Grey.

“We can see that Zartis is at the intersection of three exciting and fast-moving industries – cloud commerce, social networks and talent management,” Liao explained.

“With Zartis, companies can fully exploit the potential of social networks for both attracting and recruiting candidates. We hope SOSventures’ investment in Zartis will help accelerate the profitable growth of what is an exciting Irish software story.”

According to Dennehy, so far some 500 organisations around the world have signed up for Zartis.

“Zartis allows businesses to do number of things. It allows them to add a careers site, as well as add it as an embedded app on a Facebook page that allows people to apply for a job without leaving Facebook. The app does not invite any privacy issues because it doesn’t take Facebook information. The app also allows businesses to similarly post jobs out via Twitter and various jobs boards.”

On his decision to bring back the Zartis name, Dennehy said: “I thought was a great domain name and worth retrieving and suits the social recruitment tool we are building.”

He concluded by saying a core value add of the social recruitment technology Zartis is developing is that it enables businesses to quickly embark on a social recruitment strategy that also empowers with powerful search engine optimisation (SEO) capabilities

“This is a pure international play – so far, 500 companies have signed up and less than 10 of them are in Ireland. We host the site in the United States, all our pricing is in US dollars and we’re localised in 13 languages,” Dennehy said.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years