Swarm, a Filipino tech company that connects startup founders with freelance tech builders, has announced that it has raised $1.1 million in a pre-seed funding round.

Leading the round are two early institutional investors, Hustle Fund and Plug and Play, Swarm said in a statement on Tuesday.

Also participating are angel investors Paulo Campos of Kaya Founders; Vivek Padmanabhan and Jim Franke, who are pioneers of the outsourcing industry, as well as early and founding team members at Google, Facebook, and DoorDash.

According to the statement, Swarm bills itself as “an invite-only freelancer network, where members ideate, strategize, and form freelance teams around startup founder projects.”

The company says it aims to transform the way people work by fostering collaboration and trust within its community.

According to the statement, what makes it different from other professional headhunting platforms is its community-driven approach.

Users on the Swarm network qualify for introductions to clients when they are endorsed by other users who stake their reputation in exchange for rewards.

This method appeals to senior consultants and those who are already enjoying exceptional careers.

According to Swarm, over 80 percent of its hired builders have experience working at companies backed by Y Combinator and Fortune 500.

Some of the clients that are on the platform include the former Chief Technology Officer of McAfee, Procter & Gamble, Axiamatic, f(dev), Parallax, Shipmates, and others.

The company now claims to be the top platform for finding senior consultants and agencies, particularly in artificial intelligence (AI), software development, and design.

“We are excited to embark on this journey with the support of Hustle Fund, Plug and Play, and everyone who joined this round,” said Dexter Ligot-Gordon, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Swarm.

“Their strategic guidance and expertise in building startups and in corporate innovation are invaluable as we continue to build a platform that scales the flexible workforce by scaling trust,” he said.

According to the statement, Gordon is the Co-Founder of Kalibrr, a Southeast Asian and Philippine startup accepted into the global startup accelerator Y Combinator.

He also worked as an analyst for the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development in the city of San Francisco as well as the Insight Center for Community Economic Development in Oakland, California.

“Swarm is taking a novel approach to scaling warm referrals by building a community of trust,

“Their platform facilitates work by empowering individuals to vouch for tech professionals they trust, and reap rewards in return,” said Shiyan Koh, General Partner at Hustle Fund.

Jie Lun Ong, Senior Director, Ventures at Plug and Play Asia Pacific (APAC), added that Swarm is solving the pressing problem of traditional workforces scaling up and down due to market forces post-pandemic.

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