Chinese Startup Connecting College Students And Part-Time Employers Raises $8.5 Million Series A

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Chinese startup Qingtuanshe (青团社) announced the completion a 55 million RMB (about $8.5 million USD) round of series A funding on Monday, led by Zhubajie.com (猪八戒网), a website that connects freelancers in design, IT, marketing, and other “creative” disciplines to paid projects.

Qingtuanshe’s student-facing app connects university students with part-time jobs, such as shopkeeping at a hamburger joint, livestreaming on an app, and even “liking” a company’s social media posts (advertised on Qingtuanshe as “earn money by playing with your phone”). Students can browse and sign up for different job opportunities, which puts them in contact with the company. On the other side, companies can download Qingtuanshe’s free corporate app and post job opportunities and track applications.

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From left to right: 1) job postings on Qingtuanshe’s student app 2) banner page of a job posting 3) description of a part-time job, including its daily salary (100 RMB in the screenshot)

According to co-founder Xinxuan Wang, students can fall prey to online scams on job search platforms. To mitigate that, Qingtuanshe has invested in corporate partnerships, including McDonald’s and Ikea. The company also has a team of employees that are in charge of verifying part-time jobs on the app.

However, Qingtuanshe’s student-facing services are only one piece of the startup’s business. The company makes money through its B2B services, aimed at companies struggling to hire temporary or part-time workers. These are offline services that are separate from Qingtuanshe’s apps, though they utilize student data from their app, as well as data from partners such as ride-hailing company Didi Chuxing and online finance platform SF Pay. According to the company’s press release, Qingtuanshe already has brick-and-mortar offices in 25 cities around China.

For many Chinese students, undergraduate university is the first time that they can seek out and work at a part-time job, due to the rigor and intensity of primary, secondary, and high school. There are a wealth of job search services in China, such as 51job and Lagou, but most of them cater to a wider audience, not only university students. In addition, Qingtuanshe has partnered up with Alipay so that its users’ part-time job experiences can eventually count towards their Sesame Credit, which is currently calculated through Alipay users’ bill-paying habits, purchasing behavior on Taobao, and other metrics.

Founded in 2013, Qingtuanshe received a 10 million RMB (about $1.5 million USD) round of Series Pre-A funding in 2015, as well as 1 million RMB (about $154,000 USD) in angel funding in 2014. The company plans to use its latest round of funding towards offline expansion to more cities and improve its job search services in more industry verticals.

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