TNF Ventures Incubates Quantine

Original article appears on Tech in Asia.
TNF Ventures invests USD500K in Next-5, a website that saves companies from bad job interviews

SINGAPORE, 7 February 2013 – Talent acquisition platform Next-5 has revealed this week that it has raised USD 500K in funding from early stage investment firm TNF Ventures. The investment was made under the Technology Incubation Scheme, the Singapore government’s co-funding initiative run by the National Research Foundation.

Next-5, a product by Singapore startup Quantine, is a web platform where employers can post vacancies and screen candidates by watching video job applications posted by prospective employees.

The platform is more than just a jobs portal. Once employers shortlist their candidates based on the video introduction, they can conduct a  pre-recorded virtual interview where jobseekers have only one chance to answer. This serves as an additional filtering layer.

The entire process lets employers save time and money by enabling them to cut down on traveling costs and the need to schedule interviews. It also lets them easily compare how different candidates respond to the same questions.

The website certainly aids in interviewing candidates based overseas, providing a more comprehensive solution than the usual Skype call.

Finally, the platform acts as a database for employers to save the candidate’s information for future reference. Hiring offices can share this data with one another. The database also has a sorting mechanism that sieves candidates based on a few criteria.

So far, Next-5 has a few hundred active jobseekers using the site, adding 80 new employers in this year alone. One of its corporate users is Brandtology, a Singapore-based social analytics firm that has been using Next-5 to hire candidates both in Singapore and abroad. By adopting the website to interview about 100 candidates a month, Brandtology claims it has saved thousands in recruitment dollars, cut time spent on interviews by half, and received 70 percent less “spam applications”.

“A written resume and picture cannot truly show how a person will react in a face-to-face situation, so a video introduction is a great way to assess the body language and mannerisms of a person for us to quickly decide if they are suitable for a job,” says Eddie Chau, CEO and founder of Brantology.

Besides the enterprise market, Next-5 is being pitched as an educational platform for first-time jobseekers. Educational institutions like Kaplan Higher Education Academy and AEC College have been using it to train, manage, and promote their students for job and internship opportunities.

Students can record mock interviews of themselves, show it to a career coach who can review it and provide advice on how to improve their presentation skills.

“By being able to submit their interviews across the globe, candidates are not restricted to their home country. This is an increasingly attractive concept to many of the younger generation who prefer to work overseas and gain global exposure, also an important marker of career success for the new generation,” said Kenneth Yap, co-founder and COO of Quantine.

Next-5 has been in the works since 2009. Originally a competency assessment platform, Quantine has continually iterated and added more features to the product.

The company has said that there are no competitors in the region with a similar set of features. It’s an edge they plan to keep by constantly developing new features.

“We keep ahead of the competition with our preplanned technology roadmap. We know how we are going to take our innovations forward, leaving our competitors to copy what is on the surface whenever we launch something new,” said Daryl Low, co-founder of Quantine.