Dubai-based youth careers startup Oliv has raised $2 million Series A, the startup announced in a statement to MENAbytes, adding that the round was led by Aloshban and Alnamlah Family Groups in Saudi Arabia, and Mohammed Khoory in the UAE.
Founded in 2014 by Jean-Michel Gauthier, Oliv, previously known as InternsMe, connects youth talent with employers around the region and beyond, helping them finds jobs and internships. According to the statement, the startup currently has profiles of over 200,000 students and graduates and has worked with over 1,500 companies and businesses to date including leading brands such as Turner, Johnson & Johnson, Careem, Omnicom Group, Emaar and Hilti.
Oliv claims to have made over 5,000 successful placements to date and facilitates over 1,000 interviews and post hundreds of new opportunities every month. At the time of writing, the platform has 80 opportunities in the United Arab Emirates, 13 in Saudi, 50 in Singapore, and 32 in the United Kingdom.
Jean-Michel, the founder and CEO of Oliv, said, “Due to various factors including high growth in population, the unemployment rate amongst young people in MENA currently stands at 31%, the highest level in recorded history and twice the global average. It is this reality that inspired us to set up Oliv and continues to drive the Oliv team everyday. This backing from our investors is validation of our efforts and will enable us to become more advanced in our technology, more diverse in our offering and ultimately have more impact in more countries in the region. We are extremely excited for the future.”
A spokesman for the Aloshban Family Group, Ghassan Aloshban, commented, “Youth unemployment in the MENA region is a serious issue with the potential to stall our economy and limit our progress so we are excited to be getting behind Oliv and the fantastic work they are doing to address it. Our investment reflects our belief in the power of technology as a social enabler, our commitment to this region and its progress, and our confidence in Oliv’s strategy and long term prospects.”
The startup plans to use the investment to advance their technology, diversify the offering and support their expansion plans. Currently having presence in UAE & Saudi, the startup is aiming to expand into rest of GCC and potentially Southeast Asia within a year.
Oliv, according to the statement, is currently also working on a progressive web app (PWA) which will enable it to be a truly cross-platform app with the same experience on web, Android and iOS.
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