Sydney and Tel Aviv-based recruitment startup MyInterview has raised $1.6 million to develop its AI-enabled video interview platform, and to manage increased demand as it expands even further overseas.
The funding round is jointly led by former managing director for LinkedIn Australia Cliff Rosenberg, and Entrée Capital, a venture capital firm focused on the UK, the US and Israeli startups.
MyInterview was launched in 2015 when co-founders Benjamin Gillman and Guy Abelsohn secured an initial $300,000 in seed funding from Entrée Capital.
Using artificial intelligence and machine learning, it screens prospective employees based on particular employer criteria.
While making the recruitment process faster, and improving the suitability of applicants, the startup is also geared towards applicant experience.
Gillman tells StartupSmart it’s designed to be user-friendly, and “gives employers an insight into those soft skills, and those personality traits”.
Three years on, the startup has “a couple of hundred employers and recruiters” on board, Gillman says, and has processed more than 100,000 interviews.
Having completed Austrade’s Landing Pad program in Tel Aviv, it now has an office — and a chief technology officer — in Israel, which “means we’ve been able to reach the States and the UK with a lot more ease”, Gillman says.
And the co-founders are only just getting started in their global expansion plans.
Abelsohn adds that the startup has also now integrated with US human resources software provider Workable, and is working with “a number of job boards overseas”, including one client in India.
High profile investors
For Gillman and Abelsohn, this funding round is about more than just the cash. When they decided to raise, they found they had “quite a lot of demand, and so were able to be a bit more picky”, Gillman says.
“We made sure we had the right people on board,” he adds.
Entrée Capital had been on board from the beginning, and the VC firm is known in the UK and Israel for “the assistance and support they give founders”, Gillman says.
“The support and loyalty they’ve shown us has been exceptional from the very beginning,” he adds.
However, bringing LinkedIn’s Cliff Rosenberg on board was also a big win for the founders, and already they are reaping the value of his experience, Abelsohn says.
“We can tap into this amazing resource. He’s been on a similar journey to what we’re embarking on,” he says.
“[It’s] allowing us to unlock doors that we wouldn’t have been able to unlock on our own,” he adds.
“It was very important to us that whoever we were bringing on board in this round had experience within the recruitment space, or could add value to our startup as a whole,” Abelsohn says.
Growth and development
But, of course, cash is still king. And these funds are pegged for more growth, and to help the startup tap into new markets.
In fact, the reason the founders opted to raise now was because they were struggling to keep up with demand.
Last year, Abelsohn and Gillman travelled to the US to meet various job boards and marketplaces that could be potential partners.
“The demand that came off the back of that meant that we had to grow quicker than we could if we just carried on [without investment].”
Now, the funds will be used to support that growth in demand, as well as to invest in the engineering team, and to bring more data scientists on board to further develop the startup’s machine learning capabilities.
The startup’s current eight-person team is likely to double within the next three months, Abelsohn says.
The startup is also working on a new product: a “PayPal-style” button for application forms, which will allow candidates to easily add a video when they submit their application, Gillman says.
“That’s going to enable us to give more insight via interviews and make the experience a lot more data driven for candidates … as well as for employers to get real insights to help them along in their decision making,” Gillman adds.
Just do it
When it comes to launching and growing a startup, Gillman says he and Abelsohn have come to live by the advice they were given when they were first starting out: “Just do it”.
“It’s come to be our mantra,” Gillman says.
“You can plan, you can put a lot of energy into making sure your business plan is right, that it’s the right time, that the market’s ready for it — all these kinds of things — but at the end of the day you just have to do it,” he says.