Thai startup TalentEx secures funds to help get Russian univ tech grads hired by Japan firms

Human Holdings, Kazan Federal University, and TalentEx signed an MoU to support employment in Japan for Russian students (June 2017)
Image credit: Human Holdings

See the original story in Japanese.

Bangkok-based TalentEx, offering recruitment-focused online media and SaaS (software as a service) for human resource affairs, announced last week that it has fundraised from Tokyo-based Monstar Lab the Japanese company sourcing app developments around the world, as well as Japanese consulting firm Skylight Consulting. The fundraising round and amount have not been released, however based on materials published by the company it appears to be tens of millions Japanese yen making it equivalent to the seed round. This follows an angel round (amount and investor names undisclosed).

TalentEx will use the funds to advance into the Russian market in order to supply engineer talent to Japanese companies.

TalentEx’s expansion into the Russian market is stemmed from the Japan-Russia Digital Sector Cooperation Seminar, which was conducted in February of this year by Rotobo (The Japan Association for Trade with Russia & NIS), based on an agreement between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and President Vladimir Putin for business cooperation to accelerate the digital economy between the two countries. Around ten startup experts from Japan were invited to the startup scenes in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Kazan (Republic of Tatarstan) where they  exchanged information with local entrepreneurs and investors.

During this visit, TalentEx Founder and CEO Yojiro Koshi was surprised by Russia’s overwhelming supply of engineers and became convinced that human resource exchanges, joint research, and joint business development will be important in the field of IT development in Japan, Russia, and Europe. With the support of Human Holdings (TSE:2415), the company started a project to teach Japanese to IT engineering students at Kazan Federal University. Trained students are expected to work as engineers at Japanese companies as arranged by Human Holdings in the future.

Of the two companies that contributed funds this time around, Monstar Lab is cooperating with TalentEx through the operation of its recently launched co-working space Monstar Hub Bangkok. Additionally, due to the business alliance formed from this investment, TalentEx will expand the use of Copell, an IT human resource search and screening platform for talent in Asia launched in beta by Monstar Lab in June, to its headquarters in Thailand as well as in Russia.

The other investor, Skylight Consulting, is planning and cooperating with the previously mentioned Japan-Russia Digital Sector Cooperation Seminar and will conduct cross-border open innovation by identifying and introducing promising startups from Russia and Asia to Japanese companies.

The following is a comment from Toshiki Habutsu, CEO of Skylight Consulting.

We believe that the importance of Japanese companies securing adequate people for global expansion will increase more and more in the future. Through our backing of TalentEx, we will collaborate on the human resource aspect of supporting the global development of Japanese companies and in the business of global open innovation.

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Translated by Amanda Imasaka
Edited by Masaru Ikeda