Celerative is a platform that provides a solution for recruitment, payment and management of remote talent in technology. It can solve one or all three of the above issues, which are the main challenges in building remote teams.
Celerative currently has experts in its own talent pool in 39 countries and five continents, and clients in nine countries. Their mission: to revolutionise the way technology talent is recruited by being more transparent and making it really easy to recruit team members anywhere in the world. Their method is 80% faster than recruitment agencies and 100% more transparent than outsourcing agencies or software shops.
Pablo Baldomá Jones is the project’s founder and works with his partner Juan Salas, with whom he also created a technology-based start-up accelerator.
Celerative has the support of the Rising UP in Spain programme run by ICEX-Invest in Spain, which focuses on attracting foreign entrepreneurs who want to set up and grow in Spain. The selected start-ups receive resources to develop their project in Spain.
The pandemic has accelerated remote working. What has your experience of this been like? Has there been a before and after?
Totally. For years we have been pursuing the “Remote First” philosophy. While it wasn’t something we started with back in 2015, it was something that developed progressively from 2015 until 2017 when we decided to share with the teams that it didn’t matter where they worked (as long as they worked). We studied the effects and saw that the quality of work as well as both individual and group performance had increased, and that this was closely linked to an improvement in their quality of life. We left the offices open only to those who wanted to work in that environment. We believe that Remote Working democratises the best opportunities for talent, allowing a software developer in a small town in Spain, Argentina or Colombia to work on global projects in the United States, Canada or Israel.
From the business side, we only suffered during the first month of Covid with a churn in recurring turnover of almost 30% due to a drop in contracts with companies, mainly in tourism. After March 2020, we had a growth rate in terms of business revenue throughout 2020 of between 8-15% month on month. We ended 2020 with a turnover that was 170% higher than in 2019, which we will surpass in 2021.
What was it like before? Why did you decide to go into this sector?
Together with my partner, we each have around 15 years’ experience in the software development sector. We know from having founded Software Shops or outsourcing companies that the model and system of contracting and delivering technology and software services had sticking points. We got very frustrated with this, and we capitalised on that frustration by rethinking the method and the system for running software development projects with remote teams. Obviously with the pandemic, plans for adopting Remote Working weren’t gradual, they were abruptly sudden, but beneficial for Celerative.
And why do you target start-ups and developers? Would you like to broaden your target audience?
We have always had experience in Software as a sector, and because the end-to-end process is measurable, we focus on this to solve the 3 big problems (Management, Recruitment and Payment) when building from scratch or scaling up a team or work cells for software developers. We currently have over 7,000 people in the IT talent marketplace at Celerative, spread across 39 countries, connecting with companies in 11 countries on 4 continents. We created a robust platform, so that scale can be achieved in a relatively short period of time as of February 2019 (the platform’s launch date).
What specifically do your customers value most about the solution you offer?
What they value most is the simplicity of our platform for recruiting and managing remote talent.
They appreciate that we provide transactional solutions in terms of contracting, and that these are provided quickly and transparently. Ongoing customer support is also a perceived value.
Another of the values they perceive is diversity, because with our platform, customers are no longer limited to a specific area and are opening up their possibilities to the whole world. In this way, regardless of race, religion or gender, companies enrich their workplaces with diverse people, meaning that performance, final output and quality are better.
You want to make the way technology talent is recruited more transparent, why hasn’t it been so far?
We identified that there is a lack of transparency in several aspects. Lack of transparency on talent rates. Lack of transparency in terms of profile sales values for talent. On our side, we let both talent and companies know how much they are paying and how much the talent and Celerative are charging at all times.
What new features would you like to include as part of your services? How are you adapting to user demands?
Currently, the platform has 3 major features: Recruitment, Management and Payment of remote talent in technology. We started with the managed talent marketplace (Recruitment) and added new features. On the platform, you can currently hire talent (for example 1 full-time front end) or a squad if you want multiple profiles (Devs, UX Ui Data science, PM, Testing). This can either be for a mark up on the cost of the talent or by paying a Release Fee. Or you can manage the payment of remote talent without the need to hire, i.e. if companies have team members and collaborators distributed geographically, they can simplify the payment and split all their collaborators on the platform via a single payment (and the platform does the rest) for USD 45 per month per person. And a new feature we are launching is free-of-charge contractual remote talent management. Companies can add partners to the platform, sign contracts and store relevant information about them on the platform.
How was your experience with Rising UP in Spain?
We were selected from a group of several start-ups from all over the world, and the process has been very good. Mainly with the assigned mentors, who have helped us both to validate our value proposition and even to commercially develop our platform in Spain.
Why did you decide to apply for the programme? What attracts you to the Spanish market?
We knew from referrals that it could be an interesting location for expansion. We currently have 3 clients in Spain. Our vision is to continue to grow in terms of our number of clients and talent in Spain and to use Spain as a platform for expansion throughout Europe.
How is entering this market going? What are your plans for growth?
We are looking to revolutionise the way companies in Spain hire remote talent for the digital transformation of local businesses. In addition to the expansion of digital products launched from the mainland, we are looking to change the way companies adopt Remote as the new working philosophy for talent.
Where are you in terms of expansion in other countries?
We currently have clients in 12 countries, 4 continents and experts in our talent pool from 39 nationalities. All this growth has happened in 21⁄2years since 2019 and we believe it is just the beginning.
What were your beginnings in terms of investment? What support or resources did you receive?
The company remains fully bootstrapped. We have had no initial external investment, except from the partners themselves. We have gone from USD 0 MRR to USD 410,000 MRR (Sept 2021 values) without any investment.
How have you progressed or evolved in this respect?
We have grown since the beginning through a strategy based on reinvesting profit and organic growth. We haven’t had or sought funding as yet, and we have managed to move to a recurring turnover of USD 410,000 with a run rate of USD 5,000,000.
What do you wish for Celerative’s future?
To be the leader in terms of borderless hiring, simplifying the whole process of assembling teams of engineers and software developers remotely.