Summary

Localized partners with schools, organizations, companies and accelerators to connect young professionals in emerging markets with experts who share roots and employers looking for talent. Companies are expanding into growth markets like India, MENA and Latin America in record numbers. As they do, they need to hire quality talent, quickly. Localized is a talent tech platform that connects employers and industry experts to the 100M students and recent graduates in emerging markets whose schools don’t have robust alumni networks or career services infrastructure.

With a growing network of universities and industry stakeholders throughout the Middle East and South Asia, Localized is creating a leading career services platform for students and hiring partners in emerging markets.

Investment thesis

Localized already has 65 university partners including top business and engineering schools in Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia and more along with relationships with large youth employment and youth training organizations as well as the top affinity-based networks in STEM and Finance for the MENA region.

Similar models in the west have been quite successful. Localized seeks to be the connective tissue between industry and students and recent graduates looking to enter the knowledge economy. Their current focus is on MENA and are expanding to a second market this year.

Potential refugee impact

Migration is at peak levels since WWII as people move in search of economic and political stability. Localized focuses on helping aspiring professionals find meaningful employment where they are so that they don’t have to move to do so. In addition, because Localized launched in Arabic and English in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region first, and solves a broken pipeline problem between companies, schools and talent in emerging markets, and because we focus on employers that can hire both locally and remotely, we are well-positioned to also serve refugees looking to work in the knowledge economy in addition to the broader student body that we address.

The ‘youth bulge’, defined as a population increasingly made up of young, new entrants to the labor market, affects the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region more than any other emerging market. In Jordan, for instance, nearly one in four graduates (23 percent) are unemployed, leading to 40 percent youth unemployment overall. 

Students are not being equipped with the skills and knowledge to prepare them for a career within their field of study or beyond, leading to unemployment, emigration, brain drain and instability. In addition, as countries like Jordan and Lebanon absorb refugees, they need to be able to employ both their existing populations and the refugee populations to maintain stability and foster growth and inclusion using scalable solutions. Localized enables both students and refugees to tap into a network of Arabic-speaking industry leaders as role models and mentors; as well as employers looking to hire local talent. 

The company was designed in and for the MENA region–the QA lives in Ramallah, the UX/UI designer in Istanbul, the SVP of BD was born and raised in Ramallah and the entire board has either worked to support Palestinian communities or are themselves of Palestine heritage. The platform was built in Arabic and English and we partner with experts from places including Syria and Palestine. 

Management

The Localized team has extensive experience with technology (10+ years at companies including Microsoft, Airbnb and TripIt­SAP Concur), emerging markets (with a combined 30+ years in the education, business and media sectors), and career services. Our advisors are part of the YPO, EO and YGL networks. Most have lived the challenges that Localized aims to solve: navigating new employment terrain in new contexts. 100% of the US­-based team are immigrants, and the rest live in the markets we serve. For example, the SVP of BD, was born and raised in Ramallah, Palestine, before coming to the US. Our QA is based in Ramallah, our UX/UI designer is in Istanbul.

Structure

Localized is incorporated in Delaware and headquartered in Washington, DC with operations throughout the Middle East and South Asia.