Romanian recruitment tech startup SmartDreamers gets venture funding

Romanian recruitment tech startup SmartDreamers gets venture funding
Catalyst Romania investment director Marius Ghenea and SmartDreamers CEO Adrian Daniel Cernat
By bne IntelliNews September 7, 2016

SmartDreamers, a Romanian developer of software for recruitment, has received €700,000 in funding from the Catalyst Romania venture capital fund managed by 3TS Capital Partners. 

SmartDreamers already works with more than 2,000 companies in Romania and Hungary, many of them in the IT sector, where recruitment has become increasingly competitive. It plans to use the funding to expand into other EU member states in the CEE region. 

Catalyst Romania now holds around 30% of SmartDreamers, which previously received finance from six business angel investors in two earlier funding rounds. 

Founded in 2014 by a trio of young entrepreneurs from Targu Mures in central Romania, SmartDreamers has developed an online recruitment platform that connects employers and jobseekers through targeted marketing strategies. The company has prospered in a country where competition for good employees is becoming increasingly intense, especially in the IT and technology sectors. 

“The market is changing. Its a more candidate-orientated market, so the strategy of ‘post and pray’ where you post a job and pray that you get the right candidates is no longer working. Companies need to have a different approach to recruitment,” SmartDreamers CEO Adrian Daniel Cernat told bne IntelliNews after a press conference in Bucharest on September 6. 

“We see recruitment as a selling process. We take the jobs and advertise them on the market. Employer branding is also very important in making the company more appealing to the candidate. So, its a more active approach.”

The company’s strategy focuses on using social media channels for recruitment. Aside from the ubiquitous Facebook, it uses Instagram, which is also growing very fast in CEE, as well as Twitter for in certain industries. 

With the new funding under its belt, SmartDreamers plans to build up its team and develop both the SmartDreamers platform and its InRecruit application. The company is looking to expand in the region, with target countries including the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, according to Catalyst Romania investment director Marius Ghenea. 

As well as building SmartDreamers’ business, this could contribute to developing a regional recruitment market; Ghenea notes that there are “cross-border synergies”, while Cernat believes that “especially in the IT sector, companies no longer only look in their region to find talent”. 

The deal is the tenth by Catalyst Romania, a €15mn venture capital fund dedicated to investing into technology companies in Romania. Its main backer is the European Investment Fund (EIF), which invested into the fund through the JEREMIE initiative, co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund, alongside local BT Asset Management and 3TS. Existing portfolio companies include online retailer and online travel agency