The Boardroom’s next startup couldn’t have come at a better time.
There are moments in history where the world shifts all around you.
And out of these cultural and societal shifts come companies that have the right product/service at the right time.
Their unbiased, AI-powered, job matching platform instantly matches, ranks, and scores applicants to jobs.
You see, COVID-19 has created an unemployment crisis like the world has never seen before.
And it’s ripple effect can already be seen.
GDP (Gross Domestic Product)… a key economic indicator… dropped by nearly 33% in Q2 of this year.
Getting the world’s unemployed population back to work will be no small feat.
Demand for their technology is up 1400% since March of this year.
And they’re projecting 2020 Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) sales of $4.8M+ following Q2 deals that just closed.
(I’m talking deals with some pretty high-profile clients…)
Any of which could gobble this company up in a heartbeat.
And this week, we’re opening this deal up to members of The Boardroom AND Boardroom Spotlight buyers.
If it weren’t for an amazing pitch, they wouldn’t have made it this far.
Angela, the founder of The Boardroom’s latest startup, is making AI for Talent Acquisition and Sourcing.
She is an alumna and founder of ideaSpace at the University of Cambridge. During her research there she identified one key issue that keeps people from being successful in the workforce, from finding a job, and keeps employers from being able to find the right people.
What she identified is the problem with bias in the hiring process.
Being an engineer, she set out to find a solution to this problem. This is how her current startup was born.
Right now, we are offering one-time access to The Boardroom so you can invest in this company.
Angela’s competitors claim they do “matching” meaning they match applicants to companies. In reality, those companies just see if an applicant is a good fit for the position to which they are already applying.
Her startup, on the other hand, does much more.
They match everyone that applied to the job, everyone that applied to the company, previous applicants from before the job listing, they attract applicants, and they have a passive candidate outreach system that reaches 169 million people in the U.S.
They even match to current employees which helps during layoffs, if someone can be hired to a new position that was on the chopping block, they can move jobs. This helps employees and businesses alike.
Her platform makes this possible across 48,000 job types.
How COVID-19 Affected Business
Angela knows how tragic the pandemic has been on most startups, but not hers. The opposite happened, actually.
A decade of job growth in a matter of eight weeks. This caused an inflection point that created a demand for hiring and matching tools. On top of this, the outcry for diversity came from the racial tensions we all saw. Companies need to rapidly hire millions and they need to be unbiased and diverse in the process.
Imagine this — around 26.4 million people aren’t planning to return to the job they had before the pandemic.
With this job change and hiring crisis, we are looking at one of the greatest business opportunities in the last 100 years.
Margins and Scalability
The big issue around doing this successfully is that it’s difficult — deceptively difficult.
Angela and her team had to write 400 APIs to create this platform. Most companies that tried to do this before only had one or two APIs.
The next challenge was learning how to serve over 48,000 jobs so they can work with customers immediately, regardless of industry.
After years of R&D, they’ve accomplished just that. Now, they can match all candidates to all jobs at scale with massive margins.
This startup won the HR Tech Innovation Award at the end of 2019. Over 10,000 people voted and Angela and her team won.
Later, they launched a Salesforce partnership integration, giving them access to 150,000 companies. All of this, before the official launch of the company.
The timing of the launch was unfortunate. The Salesforce app went up on March 13, the morning after the World Health Organization announced that we were in a pandemic. Angela wasn’t sure what would happen.
What happened is they ended up generating over $300,000 in sales the first six weeks after the announcements. This unexpected turn of events created a massive demand for her platform. Soon, all 50 states came to her looking for help matching. Today, 150,000 recruiters use their technology.
Angela believes her company will hit over $15 million in sales in 2022.
One of the big issues with matching and hiring is the bias involved. Everyone has biases, they are ingrained, they are a part of being human. Math and science, however, don’t have biases. In this sense, a data-driven tool like this one can make us better people.
The incredible number of jobs that need to be filled can now be matched with incredible speed and precision, all while including the diversity that businesses need and demand.
Diversity doesn’t just come down to race. It includes age, sexuality, culture, veteran-status, and more.
Diversity, Angela says, is about accurately representing your customer base. The fact is, you can better connect to customers and increase ROI when your team looks like your customer.
Q – Diversity and equality are big buzzwords right now, but what do you do that’s different from other job sites?
A – So, we’re not a job site, we sit inside systems that are already live. We do matching for job sites, though. We’re looking at all of the candidates that come in for a job and we’re looking at the job, and we remove the bias from documents. If you can imagine, there are lots of things in a resume that indicates a person’s ethnicity or whether they’re male or female. We remove all of that.
Q – Are you hired by the company to do that?
A – Yes. Or the job board, a lot of times we have integrations with the actual HR tech provider. Think of us like an Intel processor in a computer. We are that, inside HR tech systems. We remove the bias of both sides of the document and then when we deliver the match, we’re not showing the recruiter the biasing elements like the name and gender, things like that.
What happens is that you end up seeing people that you never saw before. You see people that were overlooked. Often times 38% of the people that are qualified are overlooked.
Q – What does the sales structure look like on these? How do you make money?
A – We charge per resume that we read. Everything we read whether they are qualified or not we are charging for. That costs us about one and a half cents to do. And depending on the company, the job, the volume, sometimes are paid .25 cents
Q – What makes you tech unique from what anyone else can do?
A – Part of it is that I have very good engineers. They came from Walt Disney, KPMG, they are some of the biggest companies in the world and these were tech leaders. So, they know how to scale APIs which is our currency for our entire business.
We also identified this bias aspect before anyone else and we did our machine learning around it. And, we are able to sit natively in other systems, a lot of companies don’t have the technical ability to do that, you’d be surprised.
The last part is that we took a different approach. We said, instead of having one or two APIs and trying to force our customers to bend to our will, we built 400 APIs. This allows us to make it a very easy integration.
Q – What is the ownership structure like?
A – Well, we raised convertible notes so on paper I’m 100% ownership, but we are going to convert to equity. My guess is we will probably convert in January.
Q – How much have you raised outside already?
A – We raised 3.5. This is all from professional investors and we have a VC investor. This is the first time we have done anything like an equity crowdraise.
One of the reasons why I really love it is I have learned so much by having diverse customers and diverse people on our platform and I realized we don’t have diversity in our investors. I think this gives us an opportunity to live our company vision in a deeper way.
Q – Where have the funds gone so far?
A – The majority of our investment has been in R&D. The R&D of an AI company is the number one focus. We also have been building proprietary algorithms, we do not file those as patents because we would have to disclose them, but we do have proprietary technology.
Q – Who are your biggest competitors out there?
A – We have another startup that’s called Eightfold that has raised I think $52 million. I think the biggest difference with them and us is that we do one thing and they do about nine things. We’ve focused on one specific niche and want the entire market on that. That is the approach that we are taking is to dominate matching.
The other one is IBM Watson. We are cooperating with IBM Watson now — they share leads with us. After we beat them a few times it was evident that we would be the matching company.
Q – How many customers do you have at the moment?
A – We have 32 customers. One customer that we have, under them, is 150,000 users.
Q – You have had an exit offer already that you didn’t take. What is your plan for an exit?
A – I’m pretty pragmatic when it comes to this. Some people assume that the company is my baby. It’s not, it’s a company. I take into account what’s good for me, what’s good for my team, and what’s good for my investors.
I did not think that the offer was a good one. I felt like we could do a lot better. I will say, I don’t think we are an IPO-type company, we have too much acquisition interest right now. I think we will get an offer that everyone is happy with before we do an IPO.
We can’t say when this startup will land an exit or if they ever will –– but we’re placing a big bet on them because we believe Angel has what it takes to make big things happen with this timely product.