While there are a lot of new startups getting funding from high-profile investors, PowerToFly is a welcome development, to say the least.
Using a website designed to look like a social network — lots of great photos and chatty text — it is aimed at helping women techies across the globe match with companies looking for talent.
The twist is that PowerToFly focuses on vetting that talent, often in remote locations, with three rounds of interviews and a code check. The startup is beginning with tech, but hopes to move into other verticals.
Milena Berry and Katharine Zaleski have raised $1 million from well-known investors, including Lerer Hippeau Ventures, BuzzFeed’s Jonah Peretti and former Washington Post owner Don Graham, as well as several international funders.
“We want to change the nature of work overall for women, especially now that all the technology is there to allow people to work — productively— from anywhere,” said Zaleski, who noted that the startup has recruited over 300 women from the Middle East, Asia, Europe, India and the U.S.
Placements have matched at BuzzFeed, the Washington Post, Hearst and a number of startups, enabling both the worker and company to bring more women into the workforce. Many tech firms complain that they cannot find enough female techies, while many of those qualified to work often need a more flexible situation.
PowerToFly is launching today, but has been operating since the spring with revenue coming from the referrals — it hires and pays the talent, while the companies pay it.
Here’s Zaleski talking about it in a video interview I did with her last week at Re/code Global HQ: