Tokyo, Japan (February 1, 2023) – Tokyo-headquartered HRtech startup ZooKeep K.K. (https://www.zookeep.com) announced today that it raised JPY 111,000,000 in December of last year. This Seed Round was oversubscribed, led by local VC firm Shizen Capital. More than 20 Angel Investors supported and two financial institutions in Japan provided additional debt funding.
ZooKeep provides companies in Japan and Asia with the tools they need to hire talent, effectively and efficiently. Their Talent Acquisition Platform is made for busy teams who’re looking to significantly improve their hiring outcomes and collaborate seamlessly across the talent acquisition process, while reducing cost and time spent along the way.
But that’s not all. From onboarding to talent retention, by integrating with a handpicked network of technology partners and on-demand specialists ZooKeep is there to help you address any acquisition challenge.
“We’re very excited and proud of the result of this funding round,” comments Casey Abel, CEO of ZooKeep. “The support we’ve received from so many investors shows that they share the belief in the importance and urgency of our mission to help companies of all shapes and sizes in Japan and Asia tackle their hiring challenges.”
The platform has already been implemented by a variety of companies such as oVice, Aquila and Zaiko. Going forward ZooKeep is planning to expand their reach to other global markets as well.
Asia and especially Japan are known to be some of the most difficult markets in which to hire worldwide with more than 80% of employers stating that they’re struggling with finding talent due to severe labor and skill shortages. To solve those issues, companies heavily rely on external solution providers – a strategy that often drives up cost, keeping Talent Acquisition teams busy with irrelevant tasks and weakens internal capabilities.
“After having worked in the recruitment industry for so many years in Asia, I wanted to take a different approach,” says Casey. “I’ve seen first hand how ill-equipped most Talent Acquisition teams are when it comes to hiring in this tough environment. They’re caught up in managing Excel sheets, inefficient vendors and unresponsive hiring managers. Or, they simply don’t have a Talent Acquisition team at all. Not a great start to compete for talent, especially on an extremely competitive global stage. ZooKeep cuts through the noise of the market and provides companies with exactly what they need to hire successfully.”
Mark Bivens, General Partner at Shizen Capital, commented: “We are thrilled to serve as lead investor for ZooKeep’s seed financing round. Human resources functions in Japan are poised for digital transformation. We are convinced that ZooKeep’s versatile software and domain expertise represent a compelling solution for the domestic market and that Japanese enterprise customers will be excited to adopt solutions like this.”
Zookeep was founded in November 2021 by a team of serial entrepreneurs with more than four decades of combined Talent Acquisition experience in Japan and Asia. Together with their diverse team of engineers, on-demand experts and project managers they have set out to simplify and modernize hiring in the region – taking their clients’ hiring from meh to yeah.
The core of ZooKeep’s offering is their Talent Acquisition Platform which enables users to manage their talent acquisition process from start to finish, including candidate management, interviewing and talent marketing. The platform also provides access to on-demand experts to fill capability gaps as well as a variety of global SaaS partners for headcount management, scheduling automation, employer of record, market entry or payroll support.
Capital Shizen Capital is a Tokyo-based venture capital firm created by former founders with successful startup exits. Shizen invests in early-stage Japanese startups across multiple domains, including notably: software for enterprises and healthcare organizations, climate and sustainability solutions, and generally speaking digital tools that improve the way we work, live, and learn. The firm also operates Japan’s largest Angel Zeisei Fund, which offers a tax deduction to domestic investors seeking diversified investment access to startups in Japan.