North East Venture Fund

Shine set for bright future after £300k investment

An entrepreneur who has developed a new recruitment platform which allows companies to interview candidates by video has secured £350,000 from the North East Venture Fund, supported by the European Regional Development Fund and managed by Mercia Fund Managers.

Shine Interview, which is based in Sunderland, removes the need for the interviewers and the candidate to be present in the same room at the same time, reducing costs and speeding up the recruitment process. Managers set interview questions online and candidates then record their responses in their own time via their mobile phone. The resulting videos can then be reviewed by the manager and shared with colleagues.

The platform includes a Values Based Recruitment (VBR) tool which helps organisations to align candidates’ values, goals and behaviours with their own, ensuring a better cultural fit.

Shine was founded in 2016 by David Copple, who was formerly CTO of The Test Factory, which was sold to GL Education two years earlier. He developed the platform in response to the challenges he had faced while recruiting staff.

The company now employs 10 people and has clients including Nissan, Matalan, Reed, SkyBet, Parkdean Resorts and the University of Toronto. The investment will allow it to create eight new jobs in research and development, and sales and marketing.

David Copple, the CEO, said: “I’ve been involved in start-ups for years – from growing a team from scratch, to scaling up following investment rounds, managing offshore teams and setting up new contact centres. In each case, the quality of the team was paramount and I was keen to look beyond the CV and consider how the individual would fit with the team. There had to be a better way than receiving endless CVs and sitting through numerous first-round interviews.

“Shine has grown rapidly over the last few years. The investment will help us to capitalise on our position as the UK’s leading video interview and pre-hire assessment platform.”

Ian Wilson of Mercia Fund Managers said: “Shine Interview offers a more modern approach to recruitment, ensuring a more positive experience for candidates and allowing managers to reduce the time spent by almost half in some cases. The funding will allow David to build his team, step up marketing activities and provide working capital to meet the growing demand.”

Dawn Dunn of the North East Fund said: “The North East Fund are proud to be involved with this innovative approach to streamlining the recruitment process. Shine has already secured an impressive client base and with additional funding we look forward to the company creating more jobs and enhancing the regional economy.”

Nick Gray of Watson Burton provided legal advice to Shine while Richard Butts of Ward Hadaway advised Mercia. The North East Venture Fund can invest up to £1.0million for firms in Northumberland, Durham and Tyne & Wear, particularly those which are engaged in innovation or developing disruptive business models. Funding is available to all companies with high growth potential and also pre-start up enterprises.