Alex van Klaveren  -  Founder & CEO


Alex founded Kandidate after 15 years of frustrations finding startup talent.

Before launching Kandidate, Alex was at onefinestay (Index Ventures) where he ran the hardware and software team for Sherlock, a virtual key product.  At Take Eat Easy (Rocket Internet, DN Capital) Alex built the sales team as the first person on the ground as Country Manager.

Previously, he founded and built sales and engineering teams for Our Wedding Day Inc. (Acquired by TPG and Leonard Green Private Equity), developed a sales team in New York for MedicExchange Inc, and established the engineering team at Monocle Order Inc.

With over 200 hires for his own startups under his belt, Alex has worked with countless recruiters, and interviewed thousands of candidates in sales, marketing and engineering roles.  At Kandidate, he wants to change the way top startups find and hire the best talent. 


Jason Wong  -  CPO


After graduating from LSE, Jason founded, a curated talent marketplace connecting pre-vetted commercial talent with Europe’s fastest growing tech firms.

RiseHigh was acquired by Kandidate in April 2017. Jason has since joined the Kandidate team, taking the lead on product and marketing.


Kate Buben  -  Head of Curation and Matching


Before joining RiseHigh in November 2015, Kate gained her experience as the Business Planner for a lightweight composite panels manufacturer.

In the early days of RiseHigh, and still today after its aquisition by Kandidate, Kate helps grow the platform's supply of commercial talent through executing and optimising various candidate acquisition strategies. She is an expert at using different matching techniques to find the most suitable candidates for business roles. Kate is also a member of the product team who automates and develops the platform to make the work of the team smoother and faster. She holds an MA in Quantitative Methods in Economics and Information Systems in Warsaw School of Economics in Poland.

Outside of work, Kate practices yoga and meditation and has a huge interest in natural medicine.


Andrew Scherer  -  Marketing Manager


Andrew joined Kandidate as marketing manager in early 2018, helping to spread the good word far and wide.

He has built a wealth of experience in recruitment marketing, from technical SEO to social media, at a range of startup-focused agencies and enjoys the challenge of rising above the noise to help great candidates and companies find each other.

Away from work, he is a long suffering QPR fan, champion six-a-side goalkeeper, and self-declared Teutophile.


Katariina Salomäki  -  Talent Manager


Katariina joined RiseHigh in spring 2017 before the company was acquired by Kandidate, and had her first day immediately after returning from her travels across Japan.

Katariina previously worked in the charity/social enterprise sector, and in her spare time still spends a few hours a week supporting an international human rights association where she monitors media freedom in Nordic countries. She studied her BA on International Migration and continued studying Applied Social Research and Pedagogy in Stockholm University and in UCL London.

Outside of work, Katariina does Iyengar yoga and pottery. Sports have always played a big role in her life, and she holds two Finnish championships in Taekwondo.



Arielle Carrara  -  Talent Manager


After graduating from Rice University, Arielle fell into recruitment when she was hired to recruit top experts globally for consulting work. Since then, she has recruited in different markets including the Healthcare, Professional Services, Legal, Commercial, and Tech industries. After much success in recruitment and developing an interest in the tech world, she joined Kandidate in July 2018. 

Arielle is French-American, has lived in five countries, and speaks English, French, Italian, and Spanish. In her spare time, she is a professional opera singer and enjoys traveling, all things in the arts, and going for long walks in the countryside surrounded by many Labradors. 


Julia Barber  -  Talent Manager


Julia’s career in recruitment started in 2001 when she cut her teeth placing Oxbridge graduates into investment banking and management consultancy, before going on to launch one of the first niche social/professional networks, OxbridgeLife. Returning to the talent space in 2005 Julia co-founded a recruitment business where she continued to build a wealth of expertise in talent acquisition, executive search and career management while scaling internal teams and developing brand longevity.

A born adventurer with an entrepreneurial streak, Julia has broken up her recruitment career with stints working for a team of former MI6 officers and running a yoga studio on a tropical island. Frustrated by the speed and efficiency (or lack thereof) of traditional recruitment methods and powered by her passion for building great teams she joined Kandidate in early 2018.

Julia holds a Masters degree in English Literature from the University of Cambridge. She is a qualified yoga teacher, Certified Myers Briggs Practitioner, and novice trapeze artist.


Nitin Moorjani  -  Talent Manager

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Prior to joining Kandidate in June 2018, Nitin had worked at two startups which compose the bulk of his professional experience. 

As a Talent Acquisition Manager at Onfido, Nitin doubled the size of the company's Machine Learning, Engineering, Product and Commercial teams with 60 hires under his belt. He also supported the scaling of Onfido's Talent Acquisition function from an operational side. At Kandidate, Nitin supports Zego (insuretech startup) as their Interim Head of Talent.

Nitin was born in Gran Canaria, Spain and holds a Business degree in Human Resource Management. Outside of work, he spends his time practicing and Taekwondo (another martial arts fighter like Katariina!) and enjoys playing the guitar. He's also fond of travelling, cooking and reading.


Mathi Narayan  -  Head of Sourcing

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Before joining Kandidate in May 2016, Mathi spent several years working as an IT and engineering resource consultant for various companies, most recently as Resource Consultant(IT) for London-based recruitment firm, BDW Resourcing.

During this time she gained considerable experience as a sourcer specialising in technical and sales roles. She is an expert at Boolean search and finding new techniques to uncover hidden candidates, which she has done for many notable businesses, including Airbnb and Quora.

A mother of two, Mathi lists nature camps and hiking among her interests, and has a huge passion for volleyball. She is a member of the Institute of Recruitment Professionals and has a Master of Business Administration from Bharathiar University, India.


Ivana Blagojevic  -  Sourcing Executive


Ivana joined us in May 2018 after working as a lead generation & digital marketing executive, providing support to marketing and sales teams of VC backed startups.

After graduating with a bachelor’s diploma in journalism, Ivana dove deeper into her interest for new media and fell in love with digital marketing. Soon she found herself engaged in projects which combined both her passion for research and all things digital. It is with a desire to include a human touch to her work that Ivana decided to guide her career towards HR.

When not taking online courses or surfing through social media, Ivana enjoys spending her spare time outdoors, with her friends and pets. For the last 4 years she has been actively engaged in the local community as a volunteer in an NGO, promoting youth activism and mobility in rural areas through international events. 


Zsuzsa Török  -  Sourcing Executive


Before joining the Kandidate team in June 2018, Zsuzsa exercised her passion for sourcing and recruitment at SmartDreamers, a recruitment marketing automation platform. She discovered her love for recruitment while working as a volunteer for AIESEC, the worlds largest student-lead organization & NGO.

Here at Kandidate, Zsuzsa supports the Talent Managers by sourcing for various role types, including sales, marketing and IT. She holds a B.A in Literature and a Masters degree in Human Resources Management.

During her personal time, regardless of whether the sun's out or it's pouring rain; Zsuzsa adores going on long walks. Slightly obsessed with novels, she will never say no to a good magical realism book.