When hackajob began planning its Series B funding round in early 2022, it faced the daunting reality that HR Tech is often disproportionately affected during economic downturns. Headlines announcing hiring freezes at big tech firms had become commonplace, and VCs pressured their portfolios to prioritize capital efficiency over growth.
On top of this, as 2021 came to an end, VCs focus shifted from market share capture to profitability, resulting in a significant decline in Series B investments from the previous year.
Despite the challenging macro environment, hackajob was still on course to achieve $10m ARR and even though the tech industry was encountering difficulties, the demand for skilled tech professionals at large enterprises remained high.
Mark, the founder and CEO of hackajob, was determined to leave no stone unturned in preparing for the funding round, so he built a small team of advisors to help him.
“The business was reaching an inflection point and I wanted the best brains around me to help me assess how we transition into this next phase of our growth”
founder & CEO, hackajob
We were thrilled when arketyp was invited to support Mark and the team at hackajob with strategic and narrative guidance ahead of the raise. Mark is one of those extremely rare founders who embodies all the qualities we look for in a founder partner.
Mark’s choice to work with us was brave as our feedback style is direct and not for everyone. We tackle problems and opportunities with equal vigour. Though some may not like our approach, most who know us do.
We began the process by revisiting the vision of the company and assisting Mark in re-evaluating how the company’s vision could be expressed, in comparison to when it was initially established in 2017. Recent years had seen some significant market shifts and massive new trends, such as the surge of remote work and the second crypto bubble. In early-to-mid 2022, DALL-E 2 had made a huge splash, but rumours were circulating that OpenAI was planning to launch a small and insignificant consumer interface for GPT-3 called ChatGPT.
Some of these new trends had a significant impact on hackajob. The shift towards remote working brought about a fundamental change in the business model, moving it from being hyperlocal and supporting local recruitment to helping firms with their global remote hiring needs. However, as we progressed from defining the company’s vision to creating hackajob’s investment thesis, we realized that it was crucial to prioritise first principles over constantly adapting to current trends.
“arketyp helped us stay focused on first principles and the long-term tangible value we’re delivering that enabled us to transform our story from “what” problem we solve, and “how” we solve it, to “why” we matter right now.”
founder & CEO, hackajob
After developing a draft investment thesis, we started working on refining the investor narrative and deck. Around this time, Murtaza Ibrahim (Taz) joined hackajob as VP of Finance and added a whole new dimension to the process bringing insights from his time at Dice and supporting Deliverect & Ruby Labs.
The excitement was building up to the funding round. Mark was engaging with investors to build interest, Taz was working tirelessly on building an exceptional data room (that many of the top-tier VCs we engaged praised as one of the best they’d seen), and arketyp was responsible for weaving all the insights together into a compelling and cohesive narrative.
Upon launching the funding round, hackajob received immediate interest and a few term sheets came through. It wasn’t until Mark met with the team at Volition Capital that a spark happened. Volition Capital’s knowledge of the HR Tech space, combined with a shared vision and values with hackajob, led to a rapid and tightly managed due diligence process.
Despite the challenging circumstances, hackajob managed to secure $25 million in Series B funding in April 2023, with Volition leading the round. The achievement demonstrated that a focus on capital efficiency and product-market-fit, along with exceptional unit economics and a compelling strategic narrative, can lead to a successful outcome even in a challenging market.
arketyp further displayed its commitment and belief in hackajob’s vision by co-investing alongside Volition Capital, AXA Venture Partners, and the Future Fund, cementing our close alliance and shared confidence in Mark and hackajob’s future.