By Kristy Dorsey

Video recruitment specialist Odro has raised £5.2 million in fresh funding as the Glasgow-based company prepares to beef up its presence abroad.

Growth capital investor BGF has taken an undisclosed stake in the business which remains majority-owned by two of its co-founders, chief executive Ryan McCabe and chief technology officer Mark Beeby. Part of the money from BGF will be used to open offices in North America and Australia by the end of this year to boost sales and provide customer support in those regions.

Set up with two full-time employees in 2015, Odro now employs 40 people providing services to more than 700 clients including household recruitment names Adecco Group, Robert Walters and Kelly Services. The company expects to create more than 20 further jobs within the next two years.

As part of the deal, entrepreneur Rob Crossland has taken on the role of chairman at Odro. Mr Crossland is the founder and former chief executive of Warrington-based professional services provider Optionis, whose revenues reached £350m under his tenure.

He was introduced to the company through BGF’s “Talent Network”, which the group claims is the UK’s largest pool of non-executive directors.

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In addition, the company has also promoted Dougie Loan to the newly-created post of chief revenue officer. Mr Loan was the company’s first salesperson and will play a key role in driving sales and revenue generation as the company enters its next stage of growth.

“Until now we’ve grown organically, reinvesting profits back into the business to help us scale,” Mr McCabe said. “I’m extremely proud of the journey and what we’ve achieved, and now is the right time for us to take on investment.

“We’ve built a solid foundation and are primed for international expansion. With BGF’s backing, we can really accelerate that plan.”

This is Odro’s first major external funding round, the only other being £100,000 secured from a group of angel investors in 2015.

The company has more than doubled in size every year since it began trading, with 111 per cent year-on-year growth in annual revenues as of February 2021. Demand for its services has soared during the pandemic as organisations have had no choice except the wholesale adoption of virtual recruitment to meet their staffing needs.

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In November, Odro said it was on course to double revenues to £3m in its latest financial year. It currently has about 10,000 users of its platform, which provides agencies with interviewing, sales messaging and video content creation tools.

While there are a range of video conferencing platforms used by recruitment agencies, Odro has developed a number of additional benefits that the company says sets its product apart from those of larger rivals. No downloads or passwords are required, while candidate videos, CVs and other documents are all stored in a single place.

The platform also features analytics tools, in-build GDPR compliance and online training programmes.

BGF was founded in 2011 by Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland and Standard Chartered in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. It has to date invested approximately £2.5 billion in 400 companies through its network of 16 offices in the UK and Ireland.

Euan Baxter, investor at BGF, said the growth Odro has achieved to date is a testament to the product and the management team. He added that with this fresh financial backing, this next phase of growth will hopefully “prove the most exciting time in the company’s history”.

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“Odro has built an enviable reputation,” Mr Baxter said. “They are already recognised as one of the world’s foremost video brands in their industry, despite currently concentrating almost exclusively on the UK market.

“We’ve been really impressed with the tech, which provides agencies with a complete 360 solution to manage the digital hiring process, and with their customer advocacy.”

Mr McCabe added: “Crucial for me was taking on the right partner. I met with upwards of 20 investors but decided to proceed with BGF due to the strong level of alignment with the team there.

“I’m really excited to have BGF’s backing, and to welcome Rob to the board. Considering where we are now, I can only imagine the journey we’re about to go on with their support.”

Odro was advised on the deal by Knights, while BGF was advised by Addleshaw Goddard.