Today, Northzone, early backers of Spotify, Avito, and iZettle, has announced an investment of $3.5 million in Sqore, the market leader in online challenge-based skill testing. This investment has been made from Northzone’s Fund VII, which closed at $325 million in December 2014, and was one of the largest early-stage venture funds raised globally in 2014.
With a distribution network of over 15 million students in more than 190 countries, Sqore bridges the skills gap in a revolutionary way: connecting talented young people from across the world with exceptional opportunities that might otherwise be out of reach. By offering a platform that allows universities and organisations to create online challenges and competitions that test relevant and applicable skills, Sqore is the missing link between those who have skills, those offering skilled people opportunities, and those who certify these skills.
Ahead of a full launch in the Summer of 2015, Sqore has already connected thousands of people with life-changing jobs, internships, and scholarships. Notable examples include an Indian woman who won a scholarship to a top European university where she could pursue her life-long dream of working in aeronautics, and a young Indonesian mother who devised an innovative way to improve water sanitation in her village, winning a scholarship to a top European university along with the resources to implement her ideas. Other opportunities have included an annual global creative competition for bursaries and scholarships to The New School in New York, as well as job opportunities for graduates at Schneider Electric via a green energy competition.
Sqore’s clients include IBM, Shell, IKEA, Morgan Stanley, KPMG, The Economist Group, and Bertelsmann, and with over 400,000 members and more than 2,000 university partners lined up to promote the platform, Sqore is quickly becoming the best way for young people to discover and connect with attractive global opportunities – regardless of their formal academic background.
This latest round of financing from Northzone will allow Sqore to focus on product development and to invest in a dedicated sales unit, further consolidating its position as an international leader in the online recruitment space. Sqore will take competition-based recruitment to the mass market, making its platform the tool of choice for innovative employers who wish to reach the best talent available globally.
Niklas Jungegård, CEO of Sqore comments: “We are delighted to have the endorsement and financial backing of Northzone to take us into our next phase of development and growth. Our vision is simple: we want Sqore to help people realise their full potential, whilst also helping more companies and organizations to attract the best talent from 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.”
Bjørn Stray, General Partner and Co-founder of Northzone comments: “We believe that Sqore is a genuinely disruptive and innovative player in the recruitment space, offering a solution to the high levels of unemployment that can often be found amongst young people today. Skills acquired outside of formal education can be invaluable, and the competitive element of Sqore’s model has proved to be hugely successful in connecting talented individuals with the right opportunity for them, and allowing organisations to measure candidates’ performance. Sqore’s vision of opening up the employment market has significant global potential, and we look forward to helping develop the platform even further.”
Sqore was established in 2010 and has its HQ in Stockholm, Sweden. Sqore specialises in recruitment competitions for talented young people, and manages the world’s largest community for students who compete – studentcompetitions.com. Notable clients include Credit Suisse, IBM, Autodesk and The New School.
The name ‘Sqore’ can be broken down into two parts: ‘Sq’, standing for sentience quotient – a measure of the total processing capacity of the brain; and ‘ore’, a type of rock from which valuable elements can be extracted through a refining process. The word Sqore also implies a number of values such as academic merit, competition, talent and results, as well as drive and motivation: all attributes the platform helps to identify.
Founded in 1996, Northzone has to date raised seven funds and invested in some 100 technology-enabled companies. The current portfolio includes companies such as Spotify, Avito.ru, Trustpilot, MarketInvoice, and SpaceApe. The company has offices in London, Stockholm, Oslo, Copenhagen and New York. For further information, visit www.northzone.com