Paraform raises AUD$2m to reshape global recruitment amid tech layoffs

Jeffrey Li and John Kim, Founders of Paraform
Jeffrey Li and John Kim, Founders of Paraform

Paraform, the marketplace approach to recruiting, announced its AUD$2m pre-seed capital raise to move toward its vision of changing how recruiting works. The round was led by Primer Sazze Partners with additional support from Twitch co-founders, leadership at Scale AI, and Founders, Inc. Paraform is a solution for both the supply and demand side of hiring.

What is the market offering of Paraform?

Tech companies from Brisbane to Silicon Valley can post bounties for open roles, and anyone – professional recruiter or otherwise – can collect it by referring a candidate. While Aussies’ unemployment rate is sitting at just 3.7%, and the labour market experiencing the tightest conditions in half a century, the tech market has been disproportionately impacted by layoffs.

With top tech talent open for opportunities, securing the best candidate will rely more heavily on personal connections and expertise than ever before. Paraform offers a transformative win-win scenario for the recruiting industry. It enables firms to access a wider pool of talent through a variety of cost-competitive recruiters and other untapped networks, and recruiters reap the rewards and freedom of freelancing without the risk of starting their own business. 

Paraform was founded in 2022, when Australian-raised entrepreneur, John Kim along with Jeffrey Li, recognised the repercussions of layoffs rattling the US tech industry. After noticing an influx of technical recruiters who were now open to work in an oversaturated market, they wanted to create an accessible way for people to monetise their professional networks. 

What does the funding mean for Paraform?

Beyond North America, the founders saw the opportunity for Paraform to operate globally scale, and have since filled roles from Senior Software Engineer all the way to Head of Business Development in Australia, Singapore and Canada. Having already established a recruiting startup, RulerNetwork, which in 2021 got acquired by unicorn EdTech firm, Crimson Education, in Australia, John set his sights on tackling Silicon Valley with his new brainchild.   

John Kim, co-founder and CEO: “My goal is to make recruiting as easy as possible. Given professional recruiters have a choice, I believe they’ll choose us over in-house or agency models. It’s the classic question of being an employee vs running your own business.”

“We are empowering recruiters to be independent, be their own entity, have the flexibility and freedom to work whenever they want and earn more per-hire than they make,” Kim said.

What are the investors’ thoughts on Paraform?

Kasey Roh, Principal at Primer Sazze Partners

To date, Paraform has seen early success with firms such as Zeet, and  Magna in the US, as well as Mycelium in Australia. Kasey Roh, Principal at PSP, said: “Paraform is a platform that looks to solve a problem for a symbiotic relationship: recruiters and firms.”

“Its co-founders understand the market and have created a marketplace that serves the needs of the greater hiring market. We’re excited to be a part of Paraform’s journey early on, and we can’t wait to see the company make waves in the future of work and recruitment.” 

Kevin Lin, co-founder at Twitch commented: “When you look at the greater impact of these tech layoffs, an entire industry of people are at a loss. John and Jeff stumbled upon a need and developed a solution to help provide jobs and shake up a traditional industry.”

“We believe in the power of the Paraform marketplace and the network it’s creating, and are proud to back the company and its positive impact on recruiters and companies alike.” 

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