Spam fighting start-up Impermium will hire up to 20 new employees after raising $8 million in a new financing round last month led by Highland Capital Partners. Founded in 2010, the company currently has nine employees and is based in Palo Alto, Calif.
Impermium was co-founded by Mark Risher, the former senior director of product management for Yahoo email, where he was responsible for making the product's anti-spam software 65% more effective. When other Yahoo product teams, like Flickr's, began to ask him about using his software to fight spam on their sites, he came up with the idea for Impermium. The company takes a networked approach to spam, scanning tens of millions of user actions from various sites across the social Web and analyzing what actions indicate a well-intentioned user or a spammer.
By getting a number of companies to share their user action data, Impermium is able to pool their resources to fight the common problem of spam. "An attack against one gets defended by all -- It's like NATO," Risher says.
The company's hiring needs include engineers with experience in distributed systems, scaling, and big data. It's also looking for candidates with experience in machine learning, natural language processing and data science, as well as user interface designers.
"Some of the things I look for are versatility, or switch hitters, and people who tend to be self-managed," Risher said.
While the company seeks out elite engineers, candidates must also be humble, Risher said. The company recently rescinded a job offer after the candidate began complaining about his title and came off as putting his ego before the goals of the company. "It was really unfortunate that at this end stage of negotiation, we realized that it was not going to be a good cultural fit," he said.
The company's cash and equity compensation is competitive, Risher said.
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