As hiring remains a challenge in an economy where jobs are plentiful (depending on the industry), venture capitalists continue to pump money into HR startups that focus on candidate assessment and onboarding. According to for PitchBook, companies focused on tackling payroll and human resource management and recruiting hurdles raised $12 billion last year. For example, Speed worldwidewhich provides a platform for onboarding and payroll, raised $400 million in a single funding round last year, while Rippling, an employee management software provider, raised $250 million.
In a sign that the enthusiasm does not die, Ashby, a new recruiting platform being secretly launched, has raised $21.5 million in equity funding. F-Prime Capital led the Series B with participation from Elad Gil, Lachy Groom, Semper Virens, Base Case Capital and Gaingels, bringing Ashby’s total amount raised to $34.5 million.
Ashby was founded in 2018 by Benjamin Encz and Abhik Pramanik, who met while working together at PlanGrid, a construction productivity software startup. Before joining PlanGrid, Pramanik was an R&D engineer at Industrial Light & Magic and launched Choir, a mobile app designed to provide therapies to people with mental health issues. Encz was a project leader at German IT service provider Datagroup before building clinical software, workflows and processes for the Mayo Clinic.
At PlanGrid, where Encz was the engineering director and spent most of his time on recruiting and recruiting-related tasks, Encz said he ran into limitations with existing applicant tracking systems (ATS) — and was inspired to look into it. build one from scratch. He’s not alone. according to an questionnaire50% of employers do not use ATS software, either because of blockers with implementation or insufficient C-suite buy-in.
“Recruitment teams are being disproportionately affected by the current tech layoffs — this creates the need to run leaner budgets and do more with fewer staff,” Encz told londonbusinessblog.com in an email interview. “Ashby is consolidating recruiting tools for companies with double-digit employee numbers. [The platform’s] automation of tasks such as sourcing and scheduling are major benefits for lean recruitment teams.”
Encz sees Ashby replacing solutions from vendors such as Greenhouse and Lever with algorithms, especially scheduling and profiling algorithms. He claims the platform uses AI to automatically find times appropriate for interviewers and interviewees and to derive demographics such as gender and ethnicity, which clients use for aggregated analysis of diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI) hiring metrics.
Encz was quick to argue that the demographics can only be used in general and not in a way that influences individual hiring decisions.
“The average recruiting team at a company with more than 100 employees has three to five tools, which is expensive, compromises data quality and slows down the process,” says Encz. “Existing recruiting data and analytics are limited and unreliable, making it difficult for finance to… plan. Hiring managers can’t track candidate pipeline or DEI metrics. Ashby’s platform is particularly strong in data collection, data quality, cross-departmental workflows and reporting – we have templates and custom options.”
The recruitment software market can to achieve reach $3.85 billion by 2028. A number of startups are competing for some of it, unsurprisingly, such as Guide and Fletcher. Elsewhere, Gem recruiting platform was granted unicorn status last September.
But Encz says Ashby already has some high-profile clients, including Notion, Opendoor, FullStory and Figma, and a client base of more than 500 brands. He declined to share revenue statistics, but claimed the company is prepared for a potential slowdown, noting that Ashby plans to increase its workforce from 55 to 75 by the end of the year.
As mentioned, one factor in Ashby’s favor is the continued demand for HR technology in general. The market has proved remarkably resilient in the face of both pandemic and economic headwinds, as companies invest in digital infrastructure and macroeconomic fears increase pressure on HR teams – some of which have faced layoffs in their ranks – to carefully screen candidates. to research.
“Last year was a huge accelerator, this year less so,” said Encz. “We foresee a possible delay, but we are well capitalised. The Series B was opportunistically based on strong growth and the need to have a healthy cash reserve. Over the next 12 months, we will use the new funding injection to expand Ashby’s offerings beyond what is typically found in ATS, enabling us to be more aggressive in product, design and technical recruiting.”