A disruptive careers app used by the UK’s biggest graduate employers has raised £1.7 million in its latest funding round.

Debut was founded by CEO Charles Taylor, 27, a year ago after he became frustrated with what he perceived as an ineffective graduate recruitment model.

The app enables employers such as EY, Microsoft, Barclays, Capgemini, Rolls-Royce, L'Oréal and General Electric to identify talented individuals suited to them within a few clicks.

It offers mobile games designed in collaboration with employers to test skills and abilities in candidates or to provide them with insight into the company.

IT Services provider FDM is currently averaging a hire a week through the app.

“We are very proud to support students in such a critical moment in their lives,” said Taylor.

“Students can often face barriers when it comes to accessing career opportunities - but Debut is breaking these down as all they require is a phone and our free app.”

The Debut app

The firm is now one of the fastest growing recruitment businesses in the UK and has raised a total of £2.2m over three seed investment rounds.

The latest comes from a combination of venture capital firms and angel investors including LocalGlobe – a London-based venture capital firm which backed Zoopla, Graze and TransferWise – Supercell and Playfish backer Initial Capital, Deliveroo investor Entree Capital and Paul Forster, former CEO & co-founder of Indeed.

“We are thrilled to have such experienced investors on board to support us on our journey to become the global app for student careers,” added Taylor.

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Tens of thousands of students use the app, with 85 per cent of them actively engaging each month with top employers.

Companies can target prospective candidates via a ‘Talent Spot’, invite them to interviews or even fast-track them to assessment centres.

Debut has to date sent more than 500,000 ‘Talent Spots’ to candidates for exclusive career opportunities.

It will use the latest funding round to in-source its tech team, strengthen ahead of international expansion and offer in-app services to school leavers pre-university.

“Debut is great for giving us access to an active student market we couldn’t reach in a mobile centric way before,” said Dan Richards, recruiting leader at EY.

“We know mobiles are ubiquitous for students, so being able to reach them in a way that is familiar and convenient for them, is not only key to driving quality, but also engagement and our brand profile too.

“We are really impressed with Debut. In just a few months we have made 20 hires, with a further 127 candidates in our selection process.

“We’ve reached thousands of students using the app across the UK, from a really diverse mix of backgrounds and universities, with a breadth of strengths.”

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