Recruiting Chatbot Market Remains Red Hot, Mya Raises $18 Million

The ongoing automation of recruitment marches on with Mya Systems, creator of Mya, securing $18 million in Series B funding last week. This follows a Series A round of $11.4 million in May 2017, and a seed round of $3 million in 2012 as FirstJob, a hiring solution for millennials. The raise was led by Foundation Capital with participation from Emergence Capital. Foundation Capital partner Paul Holland will join Mya Systems’ board as part of the raise.

“The existing recruiting landscape is made up of applicant tracking systems, online assessments, job boards, and professional networking sites,” wrote Mya Systems’ founder and CEO, Eyal Grayevsky, in an email to VentureBeat after their Series A round. “The market is broken, as evidenced by the fact that 75 percent of workers submitting applications don’t hear back from employers and 54 percent of employers say it’s become more difficult to find qualified candidates.”

Mya, born out of FirstJob in the summer of 2016, is an ‘original gangster’ in recruitment automation along with others like Beamery, Teamable, Olivia, and GoBe. Others like Crowded, Breezy HR, and Lever have joined the party as well. More startups, job boards, and ATSs are sure to get into the act as money and interest continue to flow in the direction of all-things automation and AI.

The company also announced the release of products, including multilingual support and “proprietary capabilities” that automate sourcing. “The new funding will enable Mya Systems to accelerate growth of its world-class AI team, open new offices in Europe to support its ever-growing global customer base, and expand its solution into new job categories,” the company said in a release.

“We’re at an exciting inflection point in Mya’s development during which we’re both scaling our existing platform and developing new capabilities to support our longer-term vision,” said Grayevsky. “This funding will provide the capital to extend our market leadership position, expand our solution globally, and invest toward innovation, like our outreach capabilities and multi-lingual support, that makes Mya truly unique.”

Built in house, the company says the sourcing automation technology engages with passive candidates from internal sources, like an ATS. It is also in talks with major job boards and professional networking sites to open up Mya’s outreach to external third-party sources as well. Through a conversation initiated via SMS or email, Mya is able to match job seekers to relevant job openings, or schedule them for an interview. The company is also testing messaging apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger to initiate conversations with candidates.

The company says its new automated candidate sourcing technology delivers 45 percent response rates, 10 times greater than traditional manual approaches. The automated sourcing solution enables recruiting teams to spend their time intimately interviewing candidates and making hires rather than spending time searching online profiles and manually sending cold emails.

“The need for a solution like Mya Systems is immense,” said Paul Holland, general partner at Foundation Capital. “High-volume recruiting is wracked with inefficiencies, which cry out for a technological response. AI will fundamentally change the industry, and we believe that Mya Systems, with the breakthrough capabilities it has introduced introduced, is by far the best application of AI to the recruiting space.”

The company also announced multilingual support that will begin rolling out in 2018. The company says this will make Mya the only AI recruiter with the capability to support clients in both the U.S. and in the largest markets in Europe and the Asia-Pacific regions.

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With so much money pouring into the AI space, should we believe all the hype? At least one tech founder thinks we should pump the breaks a bit. “There are only five true AI companies,” said Erik Kostelnik, founder and CEO of TextRecruit, in a recent webinar. “Google, Facebook, IBM, Amazon, and Microsoft. Everyone else is just a decision tree company.”

Whether or not these companies are really making products powered by true artificial intelligence is debatable. What isn’t debatable, however, is the fact that more and more pieces of the recruitment process are getting automated, and will continue to do so. Sourcing, for example, is at real risk of becoming extinct at the hand of technology.

And another $18 million says that’s only going to continue happening sooner rather than later.

Joel Cheesman

Joel Cheesman has over 20 years experience in the online recruitment space. He worked for both international and local job boards in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s. In 2005, Cheesman founded HRSEO, a search engine marketing company for HR, as well as launching an award-winning industry blog called Cheezhead. He has been featured in Fast Company and US News and World Report. He sold his company in 2009 to Jobing.com. He was employed by EmployeeScreenIQ, a background check company. He is the founder of Ratedly, an app that monitors anonymous employee reviews. He is married and the father of three children. He lives in Indianapolis.