Kickstart invests P4M in Makati-based e-recruitment start-up

Globe Telecom-owned incubator Kickstart Ventures said it has invested $100,000 or more than P4 million in Kalibrr, a startup online learning platform designed to help users qualify for and land jobs.

Co-founded in January 2012 by UC Berkeley graduates Paul Rivera and Dexter Ligot-Gordon, Kalibrr is composed of talents from the Philippines and around the world.

The company aims to create economic opportunities through learning and employment. It is initially helping Filipinos get jobs in the local business process outsourcing (BPO) industry.

One of the fastest growing industries in the Philippines, the BPO sector is projected by the Business Processing Association of the Philippines (BPAP) to employ 1.3 million people and earn $25 billion in 2016.

According to BPAP, BPO jobs – which offer higher salaries than many jobs in other industries – can help to strengthen the Philippine middle class.

However, despite the availability of thousands of BPO jobs and many companies’ leniency with qualifications, the industry only has a 5-percent hiring rate.

Rivera, Kalibrr’s CEO who previously founded a BPO company in the Philippines, said, “The biggest risk to doing business in the Philippines isn’t natural disasters or corruption – it’s the ability to find enough skilled talent to fill our vacancies.”

Kalibrr said it aims to help to close this skills gap by partnering with companies to identify critical skill needs and create a series of assessment tools and curricula that help users qualify for a job.

Once users complete the online program, Kalibrr refers them to its partner companies for a job interview. While the service is free for users, companies pay a fixed fee for every candidate they hire through Kalibrr.

At present, Kalibrr is focused on getting users in Metro Manila call center jobs. The company has already helped some users start their careers with some of the country’s BPO companies. It plans to cater to companies in other industries, and expand to other provinces in the Philippines and abroad.

“Kalibrr represents the kind of startup that we want to invest in: a transformational idea, an ambitious plan, and a strong drive to execute in-market. Paul and Dexter have assembled a great team, and we’re thrilled to join their drive to innovate in the education-to-employment space,” Kickstart president Minette Navarrete

For his part, Rivera said, “Through this investment, we aim to disrupt the way people prepare for and qualify for work globally. We are a Filipino brand with a global vision.”