Marketplace Haystack helps firms find ‘tech rockstars’

Posted on March 12, 2021 by Jonathan Symcox

Haystack

(l-r) Haystack CTO Rob Simmons, CEO Chris Bone and COO Mike Davies

A £1m seed funding round into Newcastle tech start-up Haystack could revolutionise tech recruitment. 

The algorithm-driven careers and insights marketplace helps companies and ‘techies’ respectively to hire smartly and find their ideal roles.  

The funding will enable Haystack to expand its matching technology into new territories. 

“This is a really exciting time for Haystack. This funding will allow us to continue the incredible growth we’ve seen since we officially launched in November 2020, said co-founder and COO Mike Davies. 

Founded in 2019, Haystack is a careers and insights marketplace focused on providing opportunities for those in data, design and engineering.  

The company’s algorithm matches roles with users based on a variety of touchpoints to ensure employers aren’t provided with unsuitable candidates, and users aren’t shown unsuitable opportunities. 

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Haystack says it allows businesses to more efficiently hire for their tech teams by eliminating the need for, often expensive, tech recruiters and saving on resources internally.  

The idea behind Haystack attracted entrepreneur Dan Smyth, former MD of Bede Gaming, now lead investor. Since the beginning of lockdown, Haystack has trebled its headcount and plans to continue this trajectory into the next year. 

Haystack is now attracting interest from across the UK and is working in partnership with industry-leading companies including Sage, Hive and Bottlepay. 

“Hiring technical rockstars is incredibly tough and often they’re not active on the job market. Haystack allows them to anonymously search, uncover and gain insight to their tech landscape,” said Smyth.  

“Half the users are just curious and not looking for a job and these are the techies that traditional recruitment methods will never find. This the most attractive area for me as an investor, creating a platform to help passionate techies find the most interesting work possible. It’s the foundation for any great software business. 

“The founding team at Haystack is that hard-to-find mix of technical, digital and real-world expertise with a vision to disrupt a large industry, where the technologist is the star of the show. 

“Investing was a simple decision. It’s highly scalable, highly relevant and solves real-world problems for all users.  

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Part of the investment comes from the Government’s Future Fund scheme, launched to support pre-revenue, pre-profit innovative businesses with loans of between £125,000 and £5m, following concerns that investors were reluctant to provide support due to the pandemic.  

The latest figures from the Government show that the North East received £25m in funding. 

Co-founder and CEO Chris Bone said: “We’ve been delighted with the success we’ve had so far. What has been absolutely clear from speaking to the tech community is the real appetite for a different and disruptive approach to tech talent attraction.  

“To have already secured 30 partnerships, including Sage, Hive and Bottlepay, gives me great confidence that our product scales across the U.K. and beyond.” 

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