Djoann Fal, the French co-founder of tech hiring platform Getlinks, believes that the combined power of Asia's tech hubs could eventually eclipse America's Silicon Valley.
“Many (Asian) regions are working hard on developing startup ecosystems,” Fal says.
“These ‘Silicon Valleys’ combined together could be bigger than the original Silicon Valley (in the) US.”
It was this vision of Fal’s that led him to locate his startup in Bangkok three years ago.
Since then his platform connecting regional tech talent with employees has seen skyrocketing growth. Djoanna Fal this year won a place on the prestigious Forbes 30 under 30 list.
With a claimed 500,000 registered job seekers, Getlinks works with 3,000 companies, including China’s Alibaba and Tencent. It operates in six Asian nations, including India, Singapore and Korea.
The company is eager to expand in other Asian countries. Fal and his team will be in Taiwan for the next three months to gain a deeper understanding of its talent pool and startup ecosystem.
“Taiwan is famous for excellent education (in) engineering and math ...Taiwan is really great from the talent side," Fal said.
Getlinks, whose partners include tech giants Google and Uber, differentiates itself from competitors such as Linkedin by building its base of users offline as well as online.
It organizes community events and parties that attract thousands of attendees. This helps raise awareness of the company's brand and brings employees and job seekers on board. Fal describes Getlinks as a "community platform" rather than a "job platform."
To attract Taiwanese users, the Getlinks team will be organizing events for Taiwanese tech talent. This is also aimed at raising awareness among Taiwanese that Getlinks can be a bridge to Southeast Asia and beyond.
“Taiwanese startups are excellent, (they) have great and innovative ideas," Fal said.
"However, I've heard from a friend that even for those Taiwanese startups (that) are good at ...ideas, and products, there is a stone in front of them -- having no clue how to ... expand in global markets such as (those in) the Southeast Asian region or U.S. market.
"And one of the main goals for Getlinks is to be the platform in Asia. So, we want to help those Taiwanese startups to go global and, at the same time, we are able to connect them (to) other resources.”
The Secret of Success: the Culture of Getlinks
TechCrunch once wrote that the startup started out as a “Tinder for jobs” style company before pivoting into a curated job platform, where both candidates and employer vacancies are vetted being accepted.
GetLinks makes money by taking a cut of the candidate's salary, once hired, much like a headhunter.
It recently attracted new funding led by Australia’s Seek group and Alibaba’s Hong Kong Entrepreneur fund in April, 2018. Its initial seed capital came from CyberAgent Ventures and 500 Startups.
“ I really want to thank my team and personally I think the secret of having this success is our company's culture. Getlinks now has 100 staff from at least 17 countries, such as Taiwan, Sweden, France, Italy and China. Different staff from different (countries can) generate various ideas based on their own experiences and personal stories. They are all the assets for Getlinks," Fal said.
“Technology (is) meant to be a solution to solve … problems and to better the environment we are living now. So my suggestion is to fight for better.”