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We just posted our list of startups that went bankrupt in 2017, when we received word that promising HR-tech startup Yearn will cease to exist. With a bit of a cliff-hanger…
In 2016, we wrote about the startup with a tantalizing headline: “Dreamteam of founders starts secretive recruitment startup” (in Dutch). Back then, we spoke to founder and CEO Kaan Anit, formerly the founder of recruitment firm Ambitious People, about his vision and ideas. With said dreamteam of founders, there were high hopes for the startup.
The business model initially was basically good old online recruitment with a social twist. Yearn utilized the power of the crowd by offering so-called ‘super-connectors’ a kick-back fee when they successfully introduced candidates for open positions. Tech companies like Ace&Tate, Booking.com, Hotelchamp, and Helloprint amongst many others made use of the service.
Fresh new CEO
After 100 days of the business, Steven Veenendaal was appointed as a fresh new CEO. As a tech publication, we kept waiting for the announcement of a big funding rounds, although according to Crunchbase, three angel rounds of €200,000 each were made in 2015 and 2016.
We haven’t heard anything significant during 2017 about the company until word got out three weeks ago that the startup has reached the end of the road. “We are very sorry to inform you all, that Yearn as you know it will end as of January. Unfortunately, it was impossible to create a sustainable business model around our dream…”
Weirdly enough, Yearn announced a pivot to YearnPRO just weeks ago, with an applicant-focused business model. So it might be the case, we’ll hear something interesting soon. Founder Kaan Anit in the meanwhile has moved on, as Head of Talent Management at Digital Insurance Group, an insurtech merger between digital insurance broker Knip and the insurtech startup Komparu.