Recruiting startup SeekOut raises 65M to take on LinkedIn and other talent acquisition companies

From left to proper: SeekOut CEO Anoop Gupta; SeekOut CTO Aravind Bala; Madrona Enterprise Group Managing Director and SeekOut board member S. “Soma” Somasegar; SeekOut head of engineering Vikas Manocha; and SeekOut head of product John Tippett. (SeekOut Photograph)

New funding: Seattle startup SeekOut raised 65 million to gas development of its recruiting software program. The Four-year-old firm is worthwhile and noticed annual recurring income spike 10X over the previous 21 months. The Sequence B spherical, led by Tiger World with participation from Madrona Enterprise Group and Mayfield, values the corporate at near 500 million. SeekOut beforehand raised a 6 million spherical in 2019.

SeekOut’s tech: The corporate’s “Expertise 360software program is like LinkedIn on steroids. It pulls info on potential hires from websites equivalent to LinkedIn and GitHub; from analysis papers and patents; and different public domains. Its algorithms may make assumptions based mostly on varied information — for instance, whether or not somebody might need a safety clearance. The platform has built-in range filters to assist scale back unconscious bias; an automatic messaging instrument; and a search engine that understands previous hiring patterns and desires based mostly on job descriptions.

Tailwinds: Firms are placing extra effort into their range, fairness, and inclusion efforts, or DEI. That’s driving demand for a instrument equivalent to SeekOut, which permits firms to seek for candidates based mostly on race, gender, and extra. An rising emphasis on data-driven decision-making and the tech talent gap are additionally benefiting SeekOut.

Prospects: SeekOut is utilized by six of the world’s high 10 most beneficial firms. Prospects hail from a wide range of industries however tech, protection, and pharma make up a big chunk. Salesforce; Waymo; Rover; Merck; Twitter; and VMware use SeekOut.

Competitors: The Seattle startup competes towards a flurry of current hiring and recruiting-related instruments. There are recruiting and HR giants equivalent to LinkedIn and Workday. Smaller startups together with fellow Seattle firms Karat — which additionally raised a Sequence B spherical led by Tiger World — and Textio promote software program for particular elements of the recruiting course of, equivalent to facilitating interviewing or crafting job descriptions. Others which have raised money lately embody Eightfold AI; Hiretual; Hired; Greenhouse; Hireology; Workable; and Beamery.

SeekOut CEO and co-founder Anoop Gupta.

Founder pedigree: SeekOut is led by CEO and co-founder Anoop Gupta, a former technical assistant to Invoice Gates who beforehand led Microsoft’s Unified Communications Group; and CTO Aravind Bala, a former Microsoft accomplice engineering supervisor who labored on merchandise together with Bing and Workplace. Different co-founders embody Vikas Manocha and John Tippett, who each additionally labored at Microsoft.

Quotable: “Individuals are crucial asset for any firm,” Gupta instructed GeekWire. “It’s individuals who make merchandise; it’s individuals who market merchandise, who promote merchandise, who guarantee clients are profitable. And right this moment we consider expertise techniques are fairly damaged.”

Startup backstory: SeekOut’s story is a lesson in pivoting and perseverance.

The corporate is an evolution of Nextio, an expert messaging service previously generally known as Telo that Gupta and Bala based. The premise of Nextio was to present recipients of promotional LinkedIn messages cash paid by entrepreneurs, recruiters and others in search of to succeed in them.

Whereas Nextio by no means took off, there was a “profession insights” function that analyzed hundreds of thousands of resumes to present customers a birds-eye view of potential profession paths and the required steps to attain sure jobs. That garnered curiosity from recruiters who needed to grasp necessities for varied roles at firms; how individuals moved from completely different jobs; and so forth. That led to the creation of SeekOut.

In some methods, SeekOut’s path is considerably just like Slack, which traces its origins to an inner communications instrument used to develop an internet recreation. That recreation shut down — however the instrument would finally grew to become Slack.

What’s subsequent: SeekOut has 50 workers and plans to rent quickly. The startup will spend money on instruments to assist firms assess not solely exterior expertise but in addition their current worker base to help retention, improvement, and DEI efforts.