Crelate Closes $1.2 Million in Seed Round

Crelate, a startup with offices in Bothell, Washington, and Bethesda, Maryland has successfully closed an investment round of $1.2 million. The investment round was led by the Alliance of Angels, a group based in Seattle.

A look at Alliance of Angels’ portfolio reveals other employment-related investments such as PeopleMatter, TalentSpring, and Poached.

“They’ve had a couple of successful prior exits and this is a domain they understand well,” said Yi-Jian Ngo of Alliance of Angels when recently asked in an interview why they invested. “In addition, there was also some market validation in the form of paying customers.”

The company, a talent relationship management and applicant tracking system tool, intends to use the funds to boost its business and development teams. With the funding, Crelate will also be able to employ a new CTO, so cofounder Aaron Elder can become the CEO. Set to be the new CTO is startup vet, Clint Simon, who has previously worked with Elder on several business deals.

“Through all of my previous companies, I’ve always playing the CTO role,” said Elder. “It is especially rewarding for me to be able to step back and guide the growth strategy for Crelate.”

Additionally, Elder and the company’s other cofounders, Mark Barrett and Michael Speca, have worked together for companies like Avanade, Ascentium, and BES Capital.

Crelate’s goal is to expand beyond recruiting and create an avenue for talent management and workforce engagement, in the coming years. The company also provides onboarding services. Pricing ranges from $55 per user, per month to $89 per user, per month.

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“Problems that become even more challenging with the rise of freelancing, contingent staff, and the need for on-demand employment,” said Elder. “We believe we can facilitate the full lifecycle of this increasingly complex and agile employment landscape.”

The company has their work cut out for them, as this is an incredibly crowded arena filled with well-known and well-funded providers of applicant tacking and candidate management systems. Additionally, the team lacks a core competency of experience in the recruiting industry. Elder, for instance, has spent his career as a technologist and investor at organizations that weren’t focused on employment.

That said, the company touts superior service and technology as reasons to choose them over the myriad of competitors. “We have been extremely happy since moving to Crelate,” said Gregg Moser of Krauthamer & Associates. “They have amazing support, they are eager to listen to us, and they add new functionality all the time.”

Presently, Crelate has 14 employees across both locations.

Joel Cheesman has over 20 years experience in the online recruitment space. He worked for both international and local job boards in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s. In 2005, Cheesman founded HRSEO, a search engine marketing company for HR, as well as launching an award-winning industry blog called Cheezhead. He has been featured in Fast Company and US News and World Report. He sold his company in 2009 to He was employed by EmployeeScreenIQ, a background check company. He is the founder of Ratedly, an app that monitors anonymous employee reviews. He is married and the father of three children. He lives in Indianapolis.