Tallinn-based Skillific has decided to halt its business operations just half-a-year after closing a successful equity crowdfunding campaign.

“This is not the end, we are exploring alternative routes,” founder Rainer Aunpu told ArcticStartup. “This will take some time.”

The news comes as a surprise as Skillific – one of the Arctic15 finalists from June – has been working with a strong team in a red hot market: building an advanced hiring platform. The team was developing a headhunting robot to help employers efficiently recruit the best talent: giving them a fully automated recruitment process with multi-source talent discovery and AI-managed pre-selection.

The proposition is unique, but the wider HR tools market has become a crowded marketplace. Data of Funderbeam shows Skillific having 20 rivals, and its funding probability – the likelihood of the company being able to raise the next round before it runs out of money – was at 34 percent.

The story of Skillific started from a personal problem – founders of the firm struggled with hiring and with getting hired for years before they met in late 2014 at a weekend hackathon and they started to work on the startup. In the summer of 2015 Skillific rolled out its first beta version in Estonia, targeting IT and healthcare professionals. It listed most top employers in the sector as its clients.

The team ran one of the most successful Estonian equity crowdfunding projects, raising a total of 88,500 euros in March.