Willo raise £630,000 Seed round lead by 1818 Venture Capital to transform hiring

Written by
Lara-Louisa Winnington-Ingram
Last updated:
Created on:
September 14, 2021

(Co-Founders Euan Cameron and Andrew Wood pictured in Glasgow where the company was founded in 2018)

RAPIDLY growing tech startup Willo has set its sights on becoming the global leader in video interviewing after receiving a £630,000 investment to turbo charge its growth in key markets – including the USA.

The cash injection – from high net-worth investors including ex Freeserve PLC COO Mark Danby, ex BT talent chief Susan McRoberts, and entrepreneur and Santander Global Head of Digital Mobility Solutions Jose Ignacio Puente – takes the overall investment in the Glasgow-founded tech firm to more than £1 million.

This round has been led by Guernsey-based early stage tech investment firm 1818 Venture Capital, which also invested in WIllo’s previous round.

Marc Cohen, Partner at 1818 Venture Capital, will now join the company’s board. He said: "Willo has an incredible team, founders we truly believe in and a rapidly growing service that has found product-market fit. We have been incredibly impressed by what the company has achieved so far and are proud to lead this round and support Willo on their exceptional growth journey."

The total investment of £630,000 has already been rubber stamped by HMRC ­and will be used to develop new products, supercharge marketing and grow the 17-strong Willo team with a raft of new hires.  

Immediate growth plans will be focused on the USA and Australia, where new team members have already been recruited, as well as continued expansion in the UK. As it continues on its global expansion, Willo is now natively available in French, with more languages - including German, Russian, Dutch and Spanish - on the way.

The investment is the latest win for Willo in a stellar 2021 to date during which it has grown revenues by 251% on the back of unprecedented demand across a range of industries. In August alone, 13 new businesses signed up to the freemium platform every day and 49,860 interviews took place on the platform.

In the eight months to September, someone completed a Willo interview every minute across 138 countries, and 98% rated the experience at least 9/10.

The firm remains on target to grow turnover to £44m million by the end of 2025, an ambition that will include reaching more than one million video interview completions per month – a key metric for the burgeoning firm – and in excess of 32,000 paying customers (80,000 paying users).  

Willo – which counts Chick-fil-A, Samsung, University of Pennsylvania and airport facilities management firm ABM amongst its global client list – was created on the principle that talent can come from anywhere, with best people for businesses not bound by geographical location.

Euan Cameron, co-founder of Willo, believes recorded video will be the next iteration of the cover letter - and it could soon replace the CV completely.

“Traditional hiring methods are broken; businesses today know that they need to look beyond degrees and qualifications to find the best people - a video is a far better way to get to know someone than an application form, cover letter or CV. The way businesses hire staff has changed forever, and as we prepare to move beyond the pandemic, we find ourselves in an environment where distance, borders and countries no longer matter. Talent is the only currency that matters.

“This investment comes at an exciting and crucial time for Willo as we target further expansion in key markets – including the USA and Australia – and the calibre of investor shows the faith that exists in what we are doing.

“Willo unlocks the potential to recruit in any market unbound by geographical barriers, ensuring businesses grow with the right people for part time, permanent or even project based roles.

“The investment we have received demonstrates the belief in that model, and we are tremendously excited to grow our team in new markets to help businesses grow with the right people.

“There are an increasing number of evangelists who are spreading the word of our platform and how it takes the pain out of the hiring process by providing so much more than a CV or cover letter ever could.”

Willo turned over £150,000 in its first year, and is on track for more than 10X growth to almost £2 million in year two.

Willo is affordable and works as a standalone system or as part of a hiring tech stack with partnerships with Teamtailor, Greenhouse and Workable, as well as Zapier to automate the process.  Among a raft of anticipated improvements to the platform’s tech, Willo is launching one-way video messaging in Q4 to enable businesses and candidates to continue the conversation beyond the initial interview

The service is free at first, but companies begin to pay once they reach a certain number of interviews. Jobseekers are not charged.

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