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Ian Shafer and Tom Leung. Photo via Poachable.
Ian Shafer and Tom Leung. Photo via Poachable.

Perhaps the third time’s a charm for Tom Leung and Ian Shafer.

The co-founders of Poachable have raised another $500,000 for their service that helps passive job candidates find new jobs both privately and anonymously.

Vulcan Capital, the investment arm of Paul Allen’s Vulcan Inc., was the largest participant in this latest round, which pushes today funding to $1 million for the young startup. Existing investors like Qpass founder Chase Franklin and Marchex co-founder John Keister also invested.

Poachable, a mix between LinkedIn and Tinder, is perfect for passive candidates — those that are curious about the next opportunity but aren’t desperate to leave their current role. It also helps match a potential employee with an employer who both have already expressed interest in each other.

The service asks interested employees to list their private requirements for a potential new job. From there, they can browse curated preliminary job matches and anonymously “favorite” the ones they like.


Then the service applies a Tinder-like model. When an employer — one that you’ve already “favorited” — likes your anonymous profile, you’ll be sent a notification that allows a communication line to open up between the two parties.

“We view Poachable as a leader in this emerging passive job search category,” Steve Hall, managing director at Vulcan Capital, said in a statement. “Current recruiting practices often miss an entire category of potential candidates. Poachable’s winning formula achieves better yielding results for recruiters by enabling targeted, anonymous talent matchmaking to reach highly valued, passive candidates.”

Less than six months after launching, Poachable now has attracted 15,000 potential employees as active members. In addition, more than 500 companies have signed up to use Poachable.

Leung, CEO, and Shafer, head of engineering, first teamed up to create Yabbly back in 2012 to provide a platform for product-oriented reviews and Q&As. The startup pivoted earlier this year when it debuted a website similar to Reddit’s Ask-Me-Anything platform in which individuals field a variety of questions online, dishing the inside scoop on a diverse set of topics.

But then in July, the pair helped create Poachable and have now raised $1 million alone for the product.


“We added more people to the platform in our second month of operations than we did for Yabbly in two years,” Leung told GeekWire.

Leung added that Yabbly shut down a few weeks ago — a bittersweet decision, but a necessary one with the initial success of Poachable.

“[Yabbly] was doing fine, but given all the momentum on Poachable, we wanted to be 110 percent focused on building Poachable into the web’s leading anonymous talent marketplace,” Leung said.

Poachable will use the fresh cash to expand its team of five and push marketing initiatives. And yes, you probably can guess what service they’ll be using to find new employees.

“We will be doing all our hiring through Poachable so we don’t have a careers section of our website,” Leung noted.

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