Australian interviewing startup Vervoe has raised $3.5 million in a seed expansion round led by publicly traded SEEK.
Omer Molad and David Weinberg co-founded Melbourne-based Vervoe in 2016 with the goal of transforming the hiring process for small-to-medium-sized businesses. It operated in stealth mode before publicly launching in the U.S. last August. The latest round of funding brings the company’s total raised to $4.5 million, according to Crunchbase.
Australian employment marketplace operator SEEK (ASX:SEK) led the new financing with a $2 million investment. Jesse Hertzberg, formerly the COO of Etsy and Squarespace, Zachary Lewy, founder of Arrow Global Limited, and RusIan Kogan and David Shafer of Kogan.com also participated in the round. Vervoe and SEEK are currently exploring multiple ways to work together strategically, according to Molad.
“We see a huge opportunity to offer SEEK’s customers a seamless path to quickly evaluate candidates as soon as they apply for the job,” he wrote via email.
Vervoe plans to use the latest round funding to develop machine learning algorithms that predict the likelihood that candidates will advance based on how they perform. The platform gives employers a way to evaluate candidates simultaneously, but only spend time reviewing the responses of those who are most suitable, according to Molad.
Vervoe also plans to expand its global sales team so it can reach more customers, particularly in the United States. Forty percent of its customers are currently in the U.S., with the rest spread globally.
Job candidates can take customized tests, complete work samples, and perform on-the-job tasks. Candidates are then ranked based on performance with Vervoe’s platform. The company’s thesis is that its platform reduces or eliminates the need for résumé screening that can lead to biases in hiring. So far, more than 4,000 companies and tens of thousands of candidates in 75 countries have used the platform.
“I love the fact that, by giving every candidate a chance to be interviewed simultaneously, we’re making hiring about how people perform, not their backgrounds,” Molad said.
Vervoe said it has worked with customers in a variety of industries to help fill positions, such as therapists for a family counseling service in California, interns for Uber in Taiwan, graduates for AKQA in Australia, cleaning staff for Home Maid Better in Oklahoma, and personal trainers for fitness chain F45 in Canada.
In a press release, Ronnie Fink, SEEK’s managing director of corporate development, said Vervoe’s platform gives job candidates a way to demonstrate relevant job skills while offering employers and recruiters “more confidence and efficiencies in the short-listing process.”
“Vervoe is making great inroads leveraging technology to address these problems,” Fink said in a statement.
Shafer, Vervoe’s first external investor and COO of Kogan, said he believes Vervoe is revolutionizing the way employers assess candidates.
“In an environment today where top job ads can generate hundreds or even thousands of candidates, Vervoe’s system represents the future of intelligent candidate filtering and selection,” he said in a statement.
Looking ahead, Vervoe wants to bring fairness and speed to the hiring process—which has historically been frustrating for both candidates and employers alike.
Illustration: Li-Anne Dias