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Skills-testing online startup Sqore secures $3.5m investment

Sqore, a Swedish company providing online challenge-based skills testing, has received a $3.5m investment from Northzone, early backers of a number of successful tech startups including Spotify, ahead of its full launch this summer.

"We want to have more opportunities up in our platforms, we are now signing up a number of universities and companies as partners"

Currently in a pilot phase, Sqore aims to target skills gaps at universities and companies by enabling them to test students or potential employees for jobs, internships, and scholarships through online challenges.

“The investment means that we are able to open up what we’ve been doing well so far to a lot more people around the world”

“Regardless of how skills are acquired – through traditional university education, online courses, practical experience or self-taught – Sqore allows these skills to be tested and put to use, thereby connecting the best candidates with the right companies and organisations,” commented CEO and co-founder Niklas Jungegård.

It is for this reason that Northzone, which has been investing in the e-recruitment sector for “quite some time”, was interested in the company, Bjørn Stray, Northzone general partner and co-founder told The PIE News.

“It’s a sector that we follow and take an interest in, so the reason why we invested was that their model in terms of providing testing and ability to document skills and test scores and provide that to potential recruiters, we found unique and very exciting,” he commented.

Sqore CEO Jungegård told The PIE News that the investment will allow the company to expand globally.

“We want to have more opportunities up in our platforms, so one way we do that is that we are now signing up a number of universities and companies as partners to be part of this,” he explained.

“Our ambition is to increase that to a more significant investment as the company develops”

So far Sqore’s clients include a number of global heavyweight corporations such as Credit Suisse, IBM, Shell, IKEA, Morgan Stanley and KPMG.

Broadening the site’s user base is also a key part of the expansion.

“We had a stronger focus on students before but now we are opening up to people who are before university and after they have started working as well, so we see the market we’re talking in terms of millions of people,” Jungegård commented.

It is free for users, which Jungegård said “has always been the case, and we’re not going to change”, while universities and companies pay per-competition and via a monthly subscription service that offers access to an all-year-round recruitment platform.

The company currently has 400,000 users, along with a marketing network of more than 3,300 university and marketing partners that enables it to reach some 15 million people.

Stray described Northzone’s sum as a “small first investment”.

“Our ambition is to increase that to a more significant investment as the company develops,” he said.

“I have some 20 years of experience helping to develop companies and I’ve seen companies go from early stage to billion dollar valuations and I’ve also seen companies fail,” he added.

“I’ve developed an instinct for when things are going well and things are not going well, to identify those things early and make sure we can react on it.”

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