Dublin-based career guidance and mentorship programme Gradguide has been acquired by Clune Group, with the latter making a €2 million equity investment in the company.

The company, which was founded by Mark Hughes, Ian Guerin, Matthew Brennan and Dave Martin in response to their own difficulties in getting the mentorship they needed, plans to scale its graduate mentorship programme both in Ireland and abroad.

The backing of Clune Group and Terry Clune, who built the TaxBack.com, Immedis and Transfermate, will help the founders focus on that goal with Clune’s HR expertise.

The company pairs graduates with mentors and tech companies to help them make the transition from college into the tech industry. It currently has around 60 mentors and 500 students across six different countries

“So many graduates still have that frustrating experience of sending out CVs far and wide, often more in hope than expectation. From our experience, many don’t even see a way to break into the tech sector but have the exact skillset that so many companies are crying out for. Only through mentorship did I land my own dream job post-graduation at Intercom back in 2017,” said Mr Hughes.

Gradguide co-founders Matthew Brennan, Mark Hughes and Dave Martin with Terry Clune (second from left).

“Gradguide was built from the anxiety I experienced first hand upon graduation and then saw friends and family also encounter who graduated after me. We believe every company is becoming a technology company and we want to bridge the employment gap that currently exists between college and company.”

He said the company was already seeing participants going on to become mentors, and mentors becoming hiring managers building their first team through Gradguide.

Gradguide is free for graduates and mentors, while employers pay an annual fee. Among its customers are TransferMate and Immedis, and it also partners with growing technology companies such as Wayfler, Channelsight, and Quorum to connect candidates with company partners and hiring managers early on in their job search.

“Getting started on the career ladder can be very daunting for graduates. Gradguide is an extremely innovative program connecting graduates with employers through the guidance of brilliant mentors,” Mr Clune said.

“Mark and his team, all in their twenties, have a tremendous passion to help graduates find great employers. We are incredibly impressed by what they have achieved. We are delighted to be investing in Mark and his team to help build Gradguide’s future.”