Agu Vahur (LinkedIn) is a member of the ESTBAN business angel network and a well-known figure in the recruitment sector in the Baltics and Eastern Europe. He is also the CEO of the leading Estonian and Baltic recruitment portal, CVOnline. As well as this powerful track record in the industry, he also has investment interests in several other HR related organizations.
“With CV Online I have come through all of the stages in company’s life cycle – I joined when company received first seed investment, lived through the economic downturn in 2009 and continued as a CEO after the trade sale” says Agu.
Expanding into new markets
Upsteem.com provides all the necessary talent management tools for SMEs to save up to €100,000 annually on people management. The tool is designed for SMEs employing on average around 500 people. The company provides 360-degree feedback, annual performance interviews and goal setting solutions, satisfaction surveys and employee self- service solutions.
The company has already built up a client base of more than 30 recurring customers, mainly in Estonia. Among their customers are major organisations such as Transferwise, Statoil, Ensto, and the Estonian Road Administration. Upsteem.com is now taking further steps to grow their Nordic client base. They are also actively seeking to expand into the UK and European markets.
A strong and progressive partnership
CEO of Upsteem.com Karl Laas believes that the partnership with Agu Vahur is a strong one. “UpSteem.com has a solid background as a B2B company, and thanks to previous angels the product has been in development for four years. We’re proud of what we’ve achieved so far. For 2015 we have three major goals: Get our first 100 UK customers on board, have at least 5 international resellers through API, and develop new and exciting add-ons to our service.”
Vahur brings his strategic knowledge to the deal, and will also serve as a
member of the company's advisory board. He is also excited about such a
progressive partnership with a business that is already demonstrating its will
to succeed in a very competitive market. “I see a strong team with good track
record. The challenges that UpSteem's service solves are the key element to
organizational success for smaller business customers. Unlike recruiting, the
talent management and development is an everyday issue, affecting all the
employees in an organization. There is a solid ground to make a successful
business out of that.”
Opening opportunities to SMEs
Talent management solutions are usually aimed at corporate clients starting on average of 1000-2000 employees. The usual size of a large corporate client workforce for competing talent management systems is around 8000 employees. UpSteem.com has seen a gap in the marketplace – SMEs with smaller workforces of between 60 and 800 employees. This is a sector that has traditionally been denied access to talent management solutions, even though there is clear evidence that they could benefit from the service just as effectively as larger corporations.
To fill this gap
in the market, UpSteem provides a unique set of functions in talent management,
goal-setting and employee self-services. The company is based in Tallinn - the
Silicon Valley of the Baltics. The company already has a network established in
London and Paris, and are planning to expand both their Nordic and European
operation. It's an exciting time for UpSteem.com, and the company expects to
grow rapidly over the next 12-18 months.
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