Vineet Bajpai’s tryst with entrepreneurship started way back in 2010 when he founded digital agency network, Magnon International, which was acquired by Omnicom Group, the parent of TBWA one of the largest advertising networks in the country, in 2013. He was then elevated as the group chief executive, becoming the youngest person to lead a multinational advertising group.
But as the old adage goes, once an entrepreneur always an entrepreneur. Bajpai realised that while corporate sector remained organised with players such as Naukri.com, Timesjobs, among others, the M&E industry was untapped. That led to the inception of Fameposter Career Services Pvt Ltd, which runs Talentrack.
The biggest roadblock according to Bajpai in the advertising industry was the lack of quality talent. “Every time we prepared for a shoot, we would come across the same set of four-five voice-over artists or 10-20 pool of models for advertisements,” Bajpai told Techcircle.
Founded in 2015, Talentrack is a recruitment app and website targeting the media, entertainment and creative industry. It aggregates all forms of creative and performing artists and connects them with an organised pool of recruiters such as TV channels, film producers, advertising agencies, production houses, casting and modelling agencies, event management companies, fashion designers and other talent acquirers. The final product was however launched in January.
The site and app currently has five categories including actor, model, singer, dancer and photographer. It claims to have received a total of 1 lakh self-registration on the platform with representation from 600 towns and cities.
“We are seeing talent coming from all over India and especially from smaller cities like, Kinnaur, Jamshedpur, Jammu, Coonoor, Kanpur, among others,” he said.
The site has 2,500 recruiters on board and it also claims to have about 21,000 singers, and more than 25,000 models registered on the site.
Users can build, manage and promote their profiles on the app, while for the recruiters, the app offers a database to choose from and a web-based recruiter dashboard to search, sort, store and connect with talent.
In August, the Noida-based startup partnered with TV’s reality show ‘The Voice’ and powered mobile auditions through their app and curated talent from the database of more than 21,000 singers.
Talentrack has a multi-pronged revenue strategy. It plans to sell its database to corporates on a subscription-based model.
It further intends to provide premium listing services to users and Bajpai claims to have over 100 artists already signed up for the premium services on the platform.
The third model includes revenue generation from advertisements.
“We have around 90,000 professional still-photographers listed on the site and recently tied-up with Hewlett Packard, where they will be sponsoring the section for a month. We plan to get more such tie-ups on the platform for other categories as well,” Bajpai added.
Funding, expansion plans
In November 2015, the startup received Rs 5 crore (around $751,000) in a seed funding round from Unigrowth Inc, a Canada-based early stage investment firm. It is now looking to raise $5 million (Rs 33.2 crore) in Series A round and is in talks with several investors.
The online recruitment space has seen the entry of several players with investors also showing keen interest. In May, Bangalore-based Zwayam Digital Pvt. Ltd, which runs an online recruitment platform targeting small and medium businesses under the same brand name, raised $250,000 (around Rs 1.7 crore) in seed investment from a bunch of undisclosed angel investors.
Mumbai-based AasaanJobs Pvt. Ltd, which runs an online recruitment marketplace for blue-collared workers, raised $5 million (around Rs 34 crore) in Series A funding from Aspada Advisors, IDG Ventures and Inventus Capital in February this year.
In January 2016, Indian Angel Network member and angel investor Abhinav Mathur invested an undisclosed amount in seed funding in Noida-based Talentiser Labs that runs recruitment app Jobick. In October 2015, Talent retention and analytics firm Jombay Pvt. Ltd raised an undisclosed amount in a second round of funding from VentureWorks India and Nikunj Jhaveri, chairman of Systems Plus.
Bajpai added that while there are many online job portals in India, Talentrack enjoys the first mover advantage in the media and entertainment industry.
Ajeet Khurana, angel investor said that the startup will have to constantly reinvent itself to remain relevant.
“The second wave of startups in any vertical tends to either focus on niches or alternative consumption patterns. That’s what’s happening here with Talentrack. Recruiters in the M&E sector would like to have a specialist supplier of talent only if their needs as a recruiter are sufficiently differentiated. And that’s my worry, if they manage to do that, they have a bright future,” Khurana said.
However Bajpai is bullish over the success and reach of startup. Calling it a global product, he added that the startup further aims to venture into overseas market once they get a stronghold in the Indian market.
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