Locating the right person for a job offer or a sales pitch often entails recruitment firms, lead generation services or other specialized vendors.
But a San Francisco startup named Findera is launching this week what it sees as a simpler and cheaper solution for finding leads: a free vertical search engine optimized for business professionals.
The company claims it is the first search engine designed for that purpose. Findera’s funders include Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang and Salesforce and Visa board member Maynard Webb.
How it works. The search engine is designed so that users can launch a single structured search with multiple attributes in addition to keywords, including name, location, position, department, time in a position, company name and size, revenue and other factors. The results can be saved to lists or exported to spreadsheets, and names can be bookmarked. Here’s the home screen:
This enables searches like “VP of marketing” among companies with greater than $50 million in annual revenue.
Data has been accrued by spidering websites, plus additional info if users agree to share their contacts, calendars and other data when they sign up. Registration is not needed for individual searches, but is required for such functions as maintaining lists.
COO and co-founder Christophe Daligault said that the search engine accesses about 130 million profiles in the English speaking world, which are mapped according to Findera’s own graph search technology that understands relationships between people and companies.
Findera vs. LinkedIn. Through machine learning for registered users, Findera will eventually be able to learn a given user’s preferences so it can optimize according to such factors as type of people, geography or industry.
By comparison, COO and co-founder Christophe Daligault said by email that LinkedIn can’t offer that kind of search in one pass, and for free.
“BTW, you can’t search for VPs of HR at companies with more than $50 in revenue in Linkedin today,” he said. “And if you pay for their premium subscription service, then you still would not be able to do that in one search. You would have to first search for companies with more than $50M in revenue and then search for VPs of HR within those companies. This is perfectly fine if you are in a sales role and willing to pay $79 a month.”
The big picture. The primary intended users for Findera are recruiters and salespeople, in either case for any size company.
The search engine — including data exports, lists and spreadsheets — is free, as will be job posts generated from search results. There will, however, be a charge for sending out a promotion of a job post through Findera.
Daligault suggested that this kind of multi-attribute search engine could replace other kinds of lead generation services, at least at a lower level. The engine will tune according to what the user indicates most interests her, he said, in contrast to the feedback loop in a lead scoring system that is based on an ideal customer profile.