TextRecruit Raises $3 Million

TextRecruit has raised $3 million in series A financing, led by San Francisco-based investment firm SignalFire.

You may not be familiar with the company, but you sure know the technology. If you have a phone, you’re probably texting on it, or at least have the option to do so. The technology that was popularized in the early 2000s by shows like American Idol have stuck with us through the smartphone revolution and still garner 95 percent open rates within 15 minutes of receipt or better.

“We believe that TextRecruit is the frontrunner to solve the $160 billion opportunity of connecting talent to companies and optimizing employee communication,” said Ilya Kirnos, cofounder and managing partner of SignalFire in a release. “Our teams share a vision that to improve hiring, employers need to be equipped with best-in-class communication tools. We are thrilled to partner with TextRecruit to further accelerate their rapid growth and ensure that they continue to be the market leader in enterprise text messaging and chat.”

Founded in 2014 as a bootstrap startup, TextRecruit has achieved its success by successfully marrying reach of text messaging with the fundamentals of recruiting. Recruiters find value in the immediacy and open-rates of text messaging and many job seekers are open to connecting to employers in this way. Last year, they sent text messages to over 5 million candidates on behalf of global employers.

“Global communication has changed with the number of text messages overtaking phone calls as far back as 2008,” said Erik Kostelnik, TextRecruit cofounder and CEO. “TextRecruit helps the world’s largest employers centralize and monitor engagement through the preferred communication channels of their candidates and employees.”

When I demo’d the company last year, what struck me was how TextRecruit took a complicated process like text messaging or SMS, and made it look like personal email. In short, it has done a nice job of taking a tech-heavy, complicated backend business and making it user-friendly.

Partnerships have also been a key to TextRecruit’s growth. It has formed integrated strategic partnerships with applicant tracking systems such as ADP, iCIMS, Greenhouse, Jobvite, Lever, Avature, Telemetry, and SmartRecruiters, as well as job boards such as Beyond.com and Careerbuilder. It also counts HR systems like Workday, Oracle’s Taleo, and SAP SuccessFactors.

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“TextRecruit is the best text recruitment marketing product currently available,” said Joe Stubblebine, Beyond.com vice president, talent solutions. Stubblebine is also an advisor to TextRecruit.

The company touts over 200 companies including VMware, Kindred Healthcare, Sodexo, Waste Management and the U.S. Marine Corps. TextRecruit plans to use the capital to further accelerate its rapid growth and profitability, enhance its suite of top-of-the-line intelligent messaging solutions, and expand into global markets already leveraging text message communication.

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.