Maritime recruitment platform Seafair gets $5.7M led by General Catalyst – TechCrunch


The individuals who work on delivery vessels are very important to world commerce, however they nonetheless expertise numerous arcane hiring processes. Many lack transparency about essential issues like pay and even the working circumstances of they ships they may spend months on. Maritime recruitment platform Seafair was created to resolve these issues. It vets seafarers and delivery operators and makes use of matching algorithms to suit crew members with the correct vessels.

The firm introduced right now it has raised $5.7 million led by General Catalyst, with participation from FirstMinute Capital, Signal Ventures, TA Ventures, SV Angel, PaceInvest and returning investor FJ Labs. This brings Seafair’s complete funding to about $7 million.

Seafair was launched late final yr by Agapitos Diakogiannis, who was born and raised in Greece, and its present purchasers embody one of many world’s prime 100 procuring firms.

“Greece is one of the global superpowers in shipping, so when I was working in consulting, I mostly focused on maritime projects. I became close to the industry and really fell in love with it.”

After consulting, Diakogiannis hung out in enterprise capital, had been he noticed how labor marketplaces are disrupting industries like development, manufacturing, oil and fuel.

Diakogiannis realized he had the community to handle a big market alternative, however there was another excuse for beginning Seafair. After speaking to seafarers, he realized how opaque the hiring course of is. Many individuals have bother discovering jobs regardless that their labor is in excessive demand and so they don’t know quite a bit about working circumstances or fee earlier than accepting a placement.

Seafair matches employees with delivery firms primarily based on their background, abilities and efficiency, and makes use of matching algorithms to make the method of filling vacancies extra environment friendly. It additionally gives vessel operators with human sources software program that helps them consolidate information that’s in any other case siloed in several ERP platforms and spreadsheets. Seafair is at the moment centered on senior officer roles, like chief engineers and ship masters, since these positions are those which have essentially the most certification and coaching to trace.

Shipping firms are primarily based around the globe, however about 50% of seafarers come from Ukraine and the Philippines, so that they usually depend on companies to employees vessels. Since companies depend on hiring commissions to make cash, nonetheless, they may not all the time present the perfect suits for openings, Diakogiannis stated.

Seafair gives a digitized and extra clear model of conventional companies (and is licensed to function as an company in Ukraine and the Philippines, with extra nations deliberate).

First, seafarers add their CVs on-line, then Seafair runs a collection of background checks and on-line assessments. If it decides somebody is an efficient match for a vessel, the platform schedules interviews. If they’re employed, Seafair begins the deployment course of, together with digital contracts.

The platform additionally verifies employers and the vessels underneath their administration earlier than they’ll begin utilizing Seafair. The startup’s HR software program contains instruments to handle funds, insurance coverage, schedules and relaxation hours. Some of its options custom-made to the maritime trade embody alerts for when a seafarer’s certifications are going to run out, and wage suggestions to assist enhance retention charges.

Seafair’s new funding will likely be used to construct extra know-how for seafarer vetting and increase in markets together with Germany, Nordic nations and the United States.

In an announcement, General Catalyst managing director Niko Bonatsos stated, “The maritime industry is one of the last untapped frontiers. One needs deep industry insights, an ambitious vision and a determined team to succeed in a market like this—and we saw all the above in Seafair.”