Search engine Bright plays matchmaker in job hunt
* Secured $6 mln initial venture capital
* Bright took 18 months to develop matching formulas
SAN FRANCISCO, June 19 (Reuters) - You don't need to be a rocket scientist to set up a job-search site on the Internet. But one Silicon Valley startup is betting that matching candidates to the perfect job in today's dismal market might entail a smidgeon of nuclear physics.
With U.S. unemployment rates still over 8 percent, jobs search engine Bright has secured $6 million in initial venture capital to kick off a service that analyzes job seekers and matches them with posted jobs across the Internet, on websites from CareerBuilder.com to Dice.com.
Bright, which launched its website on Tuesday, is trying to stand out by employing a machine-learning algorithm that is the product of 18 months of data analysis by a team of neuroscientists, mathematicians and nuclear physicists.
Founder and CEO Steve Goodman says what differentiates Bright from other job-search engines like SimplyHired.com or Indeed.com is its "Bright Score": a 0 to 100 ranking of a candidate's qualifications, with 100 being a perfect match.
The algorithm analyzes thousands of data points, ranging from education and employment history to social connections, to determine the compatibility of job seekers and job openings.
After receiving the $6 million in Series A funding from angel investors such as hedge fund manager John Burbank and Jamie Knall of Knall Cohen Group, Bright would look for Series B funding sometime in the fall, Goodman added.
Bright.com allows a user to upload a resume for free. Then, its algorithm gets to work, poring over the user's credentials and serving up a list of compatible job listings. Employers can post job openings directly to Bright.com and receive a list of candidates and applicants ranked by their suitability.
Goodman said the company can make money from its database by allowing employers to pay to view qualified candidates who had not already applied for the employer's open slots.
The service that Bright.com provides will take aim at traditional jobs search platforms, like Monster Worldwide Inc's Monster.com and HotJobs.com, Goodman said.
Goodman, who formerly worked at Plum District and PacketTrap, said he believes jobs search is an arena that could use some shaking up.
"We wouldn't be in this business if we didn't think we were disruptive," he said.
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