We are very excited to announce that Gradguide has been acquired by Clune Technology Group, formerly known as Taxback Group, with a majority equity investment of €2 million. Gradguide will sit under the wider Clune Technology Group with other well known technology companies such as Immedis, Transfermate, Sprint Tax, Taxback.com, Tax Back International & Benamic.
Our Story to Date
Gradguide began as a passion project just over 18 months ago. It was born from my own frustrations and anxiety I experienced first hand when I graduated from Trinity College in 2017. I knew I wanted to work in a tech startup but had no idea how to go about doing so. Through career guidance and mentorship from somebody a few years ahead of me on the career ladder, I managed to land my dream job in Intercom. When I became settled in my role a few years later I was keen to give back to students once in my shoes and so I started Gradguide.
I wrote an article upon launching Gradguide in July 2019 about how I built the website, web-app and everything in between using 'No Code' applications. To this day the majority of our tech stack remains the same, something I am proud of having no technical background.
However, it wasn't until January 2020 that Gradguide accelerated from a passion project to a full blown initiative. This came about when I brought on a team of likeminded people equally passionate about Gradguide's mission to bridge the employment gap between college and technology companies.
Ian Guerin (Head of Growth), Dave Martin (Director of Operations) & Matthew Brennan (Commercial Director) all joined as the first mentors but also to help manage the three major stakeholder groups we service - students/grads, mentors & company partners. Fortunately for us as we moved to a remote world with Covid-19, we saw a massive uptake in inbound volume from students, mentors & companies looking to join the Gradguide community.
In 2020, we incorporated Gradguide Limited, brought over 500 mentees through the program, placed over 100 in their first jobs, grew our mentor network to 60+ and partnered with some of the fastest growing tech companies in Ireland for their entry level hiring - Wayflyer, Channelsight & Quorum to name a few.
Why the Majority Takeover?
After placing several students in Immedis I was introduced to their Group Chairman Terry Clune late last year through Ruairi Kelleher, Immedis CEO. Straight away myself and Terry hit it off and saw massive potential in us working under the stewardship of himself & the group.
Clune Technology Group is an innovation centre home to some of the fastest growing tech companies in Ireland and working with the most well known technology businesses in the world such as Uber, Twilio & Apple.
They have domain expertise in the HR sector, partner with well known universities such as Harvard & Columbia, have in-house development/engineering functions and a massive global reach. For these reasons we feel we can faster scale the Gradguide platform, better service and grow our customer base & expand into new markets under the group while still maintaining some equity in the business.
Plan for the Future
The plan is to build the biggest career guidance, mentorship & graduate recruitment network in the world. I thought I would put that in writing to hold ourselves accountable.
The investment will be used to build a more scalable and user friendly platform for our mentee, mentors & customers. This is already underway and we are very excited to launch our beta in the coming months.
We want to build a team out of our new office in Stephen's Green, Dublin across a wide range of functions as we look to bring Gradguide to the masses.
We want to continue to grow our community home and abroad and ensure that Gradguide remains free for all college students. With every company quickly becoming a technology company, we want to ensure every college graduate is employment ready for the ever changing jobs market they are entering.
On behalf of the Gradguide team I want to thank everyone for getting us to this point. Thank you to every student who took the program, told a friend, posted on LinkedIn or gave us a TrustPilot.
Thank you to every mentor who came onboard & continues to give up their time time to give back, coach and mentors others who are navigating the jump from education to employment.
Thank you to all our paying customers who have taken a chance on our mentees and hired for potential, grit and determination when building out their teams.
Thank you to everyone who has spread the word about Gradguide, given us advice, referred people our way and enabled us to bootstrap the business out of our own pockets until this point.
It has always been a dream of mine to set up my own company and to see something that was once an idea in my head get to this point is really special.
Thank you, thank you, thank you,
Mark Hughes, CEO (that is fun to say!)