The process of finding applicants often involves a lot of tedious manual work for recruiters, such as sending versions of the same email over and over. That’s why Kula was founded. The platform not only automates tasks such as sending introductory messages, but also brings out promising leads from the first-degree connections of an organization’s existing workforce.
Kula announced today that it has raised a $12 million starting round co-led by Sequoia Capital India and Square Peg Capital, with participation from recurring investors Venture Highway and Together Fund.
The new funding comes less than six months after Kula’s pre-seed and brings the total amount raised to $15 million ahead of the public launch. It will be used to expand its research and development, product and go-to-market teams in the United States, Singapore and India.
Before co-founding Kula, CEO Achuthanand Ravi worked as a recruiter at tech companies like Stripe, Uber and Freshworks. During that time, he saw marketing and sales teams get more and more sophisticated technical tools, but the hiring process stayed more or less the same.
Kula helps solve this by integrating with tools commonly used by recruiters, including LinkedIn, Github, Gmail, and the Applicant Tracking System (ATS), and automating workflows. For example, it can send introductory messages to promising leads via emails, LinkedIn nudges, and InMails. A feature called Kula’s Circle consolidates all employee networks into one dashboard, allowing recruiters to identify potential candidates from the first-degree connections of all their employees. Kula also includes analytics that help recruiters more accurately predict and measure their talent pipeline.
Kula currently has early sales with six paying alpha customers and monetizes selling to businesses through its go-to-market strategy, which is primarily focused on the United States. It mainly focuses on SMEs and medium-sized organizations with fewer than 1,000 employees, which, according to Ravi, are underserved.
Ravi identified Gem.com, HireEz and Beamery as Kula’s closest competitors. But Gem.com only offers automated reach-outs as a product and doesn’t have a referral workflow feature like Kula’s Circle. HireEZ’s only channel to reach a candidate is email, but Kula’s platform also automates InMails on LinkedIns, a major source of potential candidates. Beamery, meanwhile, counts only the outbound recruiting workflow as a small part of its platform, Ravi said.
In a statement, Square Peg Capital partner Piruze Sabuncu said recruitment is an absolute priority for companies across the spectrum of size, industry and geography, and continues to be an undervalued business function. Kula’s founding team brings an unparalleled combination of substantial recruiting experience and distinctive technical talent — enabling them to understand the issue in depth and build a solution that scales with the organizations they serve.”