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Social network referrals co Zao raises $1.3m

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Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

Job referrals social network Zao Ltd.has raised $1.3 million in its first financing round. Orens Capital founding partner Oren Zeev led the round, joined by other private investors, including Orens Capital partner Oren Dobronsky, Zohar Gilon, Time Warner EVP Gary Ginsberg, Audible Inc. CEO Donald Katz, Robin Klein and Saul Klein.

Zao says that it enables companies to capitalize on the best source of new hires – referrals from existing staff and trusted other persons familiar with the business and industry – to provide a fast, effective way to generate and manage referrals. The platform integrates Facebook and LinkedIn, using an advanced search algorithm that allows referrers to quickly review proposed candidates within their social networks and make recommendations to employers with a single click.

Zao CEO Ziv Eliraz founded the company in September 2011.

An employer simply signs up, uploads a job, sets a cash reward and sends it to their employees and broader network, in just a few minutes. Zao then provides employees with tools to forward the job on a personal basis to the people that are most likely to be or help find the right candidate, with any reward split across those in the chain as a further motivation for friends of friends to refer the right candidate. Most of the service is free, but Zao adds a 30% mark-up to any reward included in return for automating the whole process.

Competitors include BranchOut, the professional network that runs on top of Facebook Inc. (Nasdaq: FB), and Jobvite.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news – – on July 1, 2012