Headstart Hiring Platform Secures $7 Million in Funding

November 19, 2019 – Investors are pouring money into recruiting solutions businesses, especially those with an AI component. Just recently, Headstart, a platform that leverages data science to help companies reduce unconscious bias in the hiring process, raised $7 million in funding led by AI-focused Silicon Valley venture capital firm FoundersX, with participation from Founders Factory.

Launched in 2017, Headstart is one of a growing number of start-ups promising to help companies increase their diversity during recruitment drives. This is achieved through combining machine learning with myriad data sources to find the best candidates based on specific objective criteria.

“The machine — the algorithms and models — does this without emotion, fatigue, or overt subjective, conscious or subconscious opinion or feeling. Unlike a human,” Headstart cofounder and chair Nicholas Shekerdemian told VentureBeat in a recent article. “We use this data to determine if any individual has had any obvious social disadvantage and [has] possibly outperformed their social norm group.”

The candidate data is garnered at the point an individual applies for an advertised position online. Headstart’s technology sits behind the “apply” button on its clients’ digital properties, and at this point companies are given the best matches based on data gleaned from the applicant’s CV, psychometric assessments and any other tools that are used through the screening process. “This allows us to evaluate each candidate algorithmically, with a 360-[degree] picture of their suitability, ensuring everyone has a fair experience,” Mr. Shekerdemian said.

Headstart, which is based in London, said it will now look to expand internationally. The company’s client, Accenture, has already signed a deal to use the Headstart platform in other markets around the world.

Investment Funding

Here’s a look at some recent funding deals secured by these companies from the Hunt Scanlon Media archives:

Talent-matching platform TalentPool has secured an additional £1 million to develop the firm’s advanced candidate-matching and talent pool technology. The bespoke software solutions are designed to help public and private sector employers streamline their recruitment processes. The investment round is for TalentPool’s Alvius, the new software as a service (SaaS) division. It was led by Joe Saumarez Smith, an original investor in TalentPool and a well-known investor in early-stage disruptive technology companies.

Checkr has announced a $160 million round of funding at a valuation of $2.2 billion. The equity round was led by funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, joined by Bond, Coatue, and long-time investors Accel, Y Combinator and IVP. This round is in addition to the $150 million previously raised.

Jobble, an on-demand marketplace and management platform that connects companies to the 60 million U.S. gig economy workers, has raised $11 million in new Series A funding, led by Vestigo Ventures and AXA Venture Partners with participation from Guardian Strategic Ventures and Harlem Capital Partners. 

Enboarder, the cloud-based HR technology company that helps employers create employee onboarding experiences, has closed $8 million in Series A financing. Greycroft, who participated in Enboarder’s previous funding round of $4 million, is the lead investor in the new Series A investment, which brings Enboarder’s total funding to $12 million. 

Talent acquisition platform SmartRecruiters has raised a $50 million series D round, led by repeat investor Insight Partners and joined by long-time investors Mayfield and Rembrandt Venture Partners. The round follows a year marked by strong performance, including 100 percent year-over-year enterprise growth and the launch of SmartAssistant…

humanpredictions, a machine learning technology company, has received a $1.16 million funding round led by Network Ventures with additional investment from Hyde Park Angels, SaaS Ventures and M25. The new capital is targeted to help humanpredictions further grow and invest in its team of engineers and data scientists.

Hireology, a Chicago-based recruitment management platform, closed $27 million in series D financing led by Blue Cloud Ventures, with full participation from current investors Bain Capital Ventures and Baird Venture Partners, as well as Silicon Valley Bank.

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media

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