We started Otta in June 2019 to build a smarter way to search for jobs at London’s most innovative companies.

People used to search for jobs in the newspaper. Indeed, Monster & Reed brought the newspaper online and added a search bar. What could the next 10 years look like?

I remember sitting down with my co-founders Theo and Xav, and we mapped out a vision for how searching for jobs would evolve.

We spoke to 100s of job seekers and heard their frustrations. There were a number of problems we wanted to fix:

  1. Candidates are treated as second-class citizens

Recruiters push you roles that don’t meet your preferences. Job search tools order their results based on how much companies are paying, not what’s best for you. Sponsored job adverts are annoying.

2. There are too many roles to work through

Job search tools are noisy. Seeing 1000s of roles isn’t helpful, and the filters aren’t detailed enough to help you narrow down.

3. Recommendations are poor

The majority of job search tools rely on free-text search to recommend you roles. Your search for “operations associate” might return “Associate Lawyer” or “Associate Engineer”. They don’t know enough about you and what you like/dislike about jobs to give you more intelligent matches.

4. There isn’t enough information to make decisions

Job adverts don’t include enough information to make decisions. Some roles don't even have candidate requirements (how are you supposed to know if you’re suitable?!). We believe it’s crazy you can search for Airbnb rentals based on whether they have a microwave, but you can’t search for companies that have a visa sponsorship licence. (The list goes on, e.g. work-from-home policy, accurate office location, company size)

5. There is nowhere to go for quality people

The majority of job search tools don’t curate the companies included. Any company can post jobs, leaving you to wade through low quality companies (e.g. uninspiring work, low salaries).

We’ve built Otta to solve these problems for candidates.

Otta puts the job seeker first, providing the most relevant and personalised job recommendations. We go beyond traditional job search by enriching jobs with additional data, and by gathering real-time feedback from job seekers on what they like and dislike.

Today we’re incredibly excited to announce our first round of funding, welcoming some fantastic investors.

LocalGlobe, Paul Forster (co-founder of Indeed), Shakil Khan (early investor in Spotify), Matt Robinson (co-founder of Nested & GoCardless), Duncan Jennings (founder of VoucherCodes) and Carlos Gonzalez-Cadenas (COO of GoCardless)

This is just the beginning, and there are plenty more exciting problems to solve:

  • How can we help candidates secure their perfect role? (When traditional job search tools simply help them find it)
  • How can we allow candidates to be contacted by companies without making it feel like spam?
  • How do we let candidates know when they are being underpaid?
  • How do we recommend when candidates should move roles to progress their career?
  • How do we help candidates find roles they're most likely to be hired for, not just roles that match their preferences?

I’m looking forward to tackling these over the coming years! This investment is a huge step towards achieving our mission of being the platform that helps people make smart career moves.

70% of people are unhappy at work. If you want to help us fix this, we’re hiring.