My Startup: Otta

Charlie Spargo's picture
by Charlie Spargo

Otta offers a wide range of internships and jobs at startups from some of the top startups in London.

Many young graduates dream of a job at a flexible, interesting startup - and there's a startup for that. Otta matches jobseekers with roles at exciting companies, learning from your own preferences to find perfect roles.

Its founders met at Nested, the PropTech startup, and noticed some of the issues in recruitment within their sector. They founded Otta to give talented jobseekers the opportunity to work at fast-growing companies in a range of specialisms.

Founders: Sam Franklin, Theo Margolius, Xav Kearney

Founded: 2019

Website: otta.com

We talked to Sam (left) about the foundations of Otta.

Why did you start Otta?

We felt that the job search is a frustrating experience, and not enough attention was being paid to the experience for jobseekers. 

Recruiters can only offer a jobseeker jobs at companies they have commercial agreements with, and not necessarily find the best role for them. Websites like Reed and Indeed brought job search online, but there has been little innovation in the past 10 years.

I remembered reading a stat, which said 70% of people are unhappy in their jobs, and that seemed crazy to us. We spend 40 hours a week at work, and it has such a deep impact on our life. We were excited to use technology to help people find a role they would find more fulfilling.

Our first focus is on fast-growing technology companies and startups. We’d all worked at Nested and saw how startups offer a lot of career opportunities. We wanted to bring more transparency and access to a sector that was clearly growing in popularity.

Tell us more about the tech behind the product.

Otta puts the jobseeker first, providing the most relevant and personalised job recommendations. Otta goes beyond traditional job search by enriching jobs with additional data, and by gathering real-time feedback from jobseekers on what they like and dislike. 

Similar to how Spotify makes recommendations based on what you listen to, we use machine learning to recommend you jobs based on which jobs you like and dislike. Recommendations improve as our collection of users spend more time on the platform.

The platform is built for thoughtful jobseekers who want to make an impact at the world's most innovative companies. Otta uses technology to discover, structure and categorise roles across London’s fastest-growing companies, including Revolut, Deliveroo and Babylon Health. 

Where are you at right now?

Since launching in August 2019, thousands of jobseekers have shortlisted over 80,000 roles. During the last week of January, one job was saved every 30 seconds on Otta.

We’re now a team of four people in London. The company has secured £850,000 in venture capital funding from LocalGlobe and angel investors (including Paul Forster, co-founder of Indeed).

What are your aims for the next year?

In 2020 we’re focusing on how we can add even more value to jobseekers. We’re working with companies to change the way they hire, and working on some cool products to help people secure the role (and not just find it, which is where most job platforms stop).

What's been the hardest thing about getting Otta off the ground?

I’ve been surprised about how many of our competitors block us from posting jobs. We need to hire great people too! Luckily, as the Otta brand grows, we naturally find some fantastic candidates who are interested in working for us. 

Why should more people be using Otta?

Working at a startup is a fantastic opportunity to accelerate your career, and Otta makes it incredibly easy to find relevant roles at London’s best startups. We currently have 3,000 jobs live from 420 companies. Only 30% of these companies post their jobs on AngelList, and 65% on LinkedIn. So we’re the only place to go to find roles at all of these companies.

How much will it cost users - and why is it worth the investment?

Otta is free for jobseekers to use. We make our money by working with companies who are looking to hire great talent. We don’t charge companies to post jobs, which means we can show jobseekers roles from all of London’s most innovative startups.