Recruitment automation startup Kula raises US$12m seed round

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KULA, a recruitment automation startup has raised a US$12 million seed round co-led by Sequoia Capital India and Square Peg Capital.

Other investors in the round include existing backers Venture Highway and Together Fund as well as some angel investors. The startup has raised about US$15 million to date.

"Recruitment is an absolute priority for companies across the spectrum of size, industry, and geography, and is still an under-served business function," said Piruze Sabancu, partner, Square Peg Capital.

The startup helps recruiters improve their conversion rates of candidates to hires in two ways, first by building out the internal networks of current employees in a company. Scraping social platforms like LinkedIn, a recruiter can see who current employees are connected to and get a warm introduction to the candidate, improving chances of conversion.

The other is by improving engagement in reaching out to potential candidates across platforms. Rather than just spray and pray for responses on LinkedIn, Kula allows recruiters to create automated workflows to engage with candidates through emails, LinkedIn nudges and LinkedIn's message system, InMail.

"I have been a recruiter all my career at places like Stripe, Uber, and Freshworks. Never have I ever enjoyed writing the same email, a couple dozen times every day, or updating the candidate spreadsheet based on the replies to those emails or LinkedIn requests," said Achuthanand Ravi, co-founder and chief executive officer, Kula.
Currently, the startup has 6 paying customers for its product, which is still in alpha testing. The primary markets Kula is looking to target are North America, Singapore, India and Australia after its product launch on Sept 6. Target customers are organisations with headcounts of under 1,000, the under-served portion of the market.

Even in the current climate of hiring freezes and job cuts, Ravi believes hiring will still happen. While new hires might slow or freeze, backfilling roles from departures or promotions will still occur.

"Across my career, I've seen three to four such cases, where we will probably take a brief pause for like two to three months to do a proper headcount planning, but recruiting will never stop because for any business to run effectively, you need to have great people," said Ravi.

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