UAE start-up Intrro to enter US market after raising Dh2m

Founded in May last year, the company has created an employee referral platform using machine learning

Start-up Intrro is building the next-generation hiring platform for fast-growing organisations. Chief executive Nasser Oudjidane (second from left) is bringing the business to the US. Courtesy Intrro
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Intrro, a Dubai-based digital employee referral platform, raised Dh2 million in a pre-seed funding round to expand into international markets, including the US, the company said.

The fundraising was led by 500 Startups, Spartech Ventures and strategic angel investors including Saif Kidwai, co-founder of technology recruitment consultancy Digital Gurus, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Recruiting the right people is a challenge for fast-growing companies,” said Nasser Oudjidane, chief executive of Intrro, which has been a member of Tecom Business Park's in5 incubator in Dubai since October last year.

“Intrro allows founders and hiring leaders to supercharge this process by using machine learning to match candidates from an employees’ network with open roles.”

Founded in May last year, the company also has offices in London and Tbilisi. It has created an employee referral platform using machine learning to automatically match candidates from employees’ networks to open vacancies.

Intrro’s successful pre-seed funding demonstrates strong investor confidence in local firms, said Ammar Al Malik, managing director of Dubai Internet City, one of the investment zones under the remit of Tecom.

“We are committed to helping in5 members attract investment so they can contribute to the ongoing success of our world-class ecosystem,” he added.

Thus far, in5 has helped technology, media and design entrepreneurs raise more than Dh400m in investor funding.

“We are proud to be on this journey … and look forward to seeing Intrro help fast-growing companies scale their biggest assets,” said Sharif El Badawi, managing partner at venture capital firm 500 Startups' Middle East and North Africa arm.

Start-ups in the Mena region secured Dh1 billion in funding during the first quarter of the year, up 2 per cent on the same period last year, according to data platform Magnitt.

The increase in funding in the quarter is “largely attributed to a strong start to 2020” before the Covid-19 pandemic hit, Magnitt’s Q1 2020 Mena Venture Investment Report said.

While funding increased marginally, the number of deals in the first three months of this year fell 22 per cent to 108. Egypt accounted for 37 per cent of all deals in the Mena region while the UAE accounted for 25 per cent and Saudi Arabia 12 per cent.