Smarterer Scores Series A, Looks to Replace Resumés with Skill Matching
That Boston tech startup with too many vowels is at it again. Smarterer, a creator of crowdsourced skills tests online, is announcing today a $1.75 million Series A round from previous investors True Ventures and Google Ventures. The deal, which also includes about a dozen angel investors (some of them are new to the company), brings Smarterer’s total funding to $3 million.
As loyal readers may recall, Smarterer offers ways for online visitors and job seekers to prove their mettle—on multiple-choice tests ranging in topic from Excel to Google Analytics, from Angry Birds to banking, from beer brewing to how much you respect your wife. (That last one actually exists, created by a psychiatrist looking to assess patients.) But most of the 500-plus skill areas tested on the site have to do with things like techie tools, software, social media, and finance.
Smarterer recently hit 10 million questions answered on its site, according to co-founder and CEO Jennifer Fremont-Smith. The aforementioned Excel test alone has been taken more than 40,000 times, she says, with more than a million questions answered. The company is still pre-revenue (tests are free), but the number of questions answered is a way to track its growth and how well its tests are engaging users, says Fremont-Smith.
The startup, which began in 2010 and has 11 employees plus interns, has recently inked partnerships with BranchOut (a LinkedIn competitor), Bullhorn Reach, About.me, and The Resumator (not sure what that last one is, but might be better not to know). Basically, the idea for now is to get lots of people using Smarterer—and as much buzz as possible—and see where that leads.
As usual, what I find really interesting is where that could lead. Whether you think there’s a higher education bubble or not, you can’t discount the rising cost of an education, the U.S. jobless rate (especially for recent college grads), and the widening gap between the haves and have-nots in our society. Quite a few entrepreneurs and institutions are trying to do something about these issues via alternative, lower-cost education programs, recruiting technologies, and human resource management tools. Where Smarterer could fit is in delivering a reliable and trusted way to assess people’s skills for doing … Next Page »