By Adrien Henni, East-West Digital News  Investing in US startups has become a habit for certain Russian venture funds, as shown by a recent $700,000 capital injection into US-based Venturocket.com, an innovative online “talent discovery platform.” The round was led by Runa Capital, a venture fund with offices in Moscow and California, with the participation of Talent Equity Ventures (TEqV), the corporate venture fund of human capital consulting and executive search company Ward Howell, and of Silicon Valley entrepreneur David Gorodyansky. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed. Venturocket claims to have created an “efficient marketplace” for jobs and talents with an automated discovery process. After job seekers create their profiles – either by importing  data from Linkedin or by creating profiles manually – Venturocket uses a matching algorithm to match applicants and employers. The US startup describes this algorithm as “a disruptive market-based mechanism to determine the market value of job seekers’ skills and to verify his or her experience.” Free job postings vs. promotion for the rich Unlike with other job sites, candidates on Venturocket do not increase their visibility by exaggerating their credentials “and actually stand a better chance of landing a job by honestly indicating their skills and experience,” the company underscores. “Our free job postings and ‘pay-per-connection’ model stand in stark contrast to services like LinkedIn where $50 per month premium job seeker accounts shamelessly promote wealthier job seekers to the top of the applicant piles without necessarily producing any good leads,” Venturocket claims. A $135m venture fund operating operationally, Runa Capital focuses on cloud computing and other hosted services, virtualization, and mobile applications. Since its inception in 2011, the fund has invested in a range of startups, mostly international. Talent Equity Ventures (TEqV) was launched by Ward Howell, an emerging markets-focussed executive search consultancy.  Targeting HR and education technology startups at the seed stage in the United States and across the globe, the fund has already invested in RolePoint, YZZY.com, and VCV.ru. This article first appeared in East-West Digital News, the international online resource on Russian digital industries.

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