I first wrote about Australian-based Vervoe about a year ago when the startup raised $1 million. The focus of the infusion of cash was to bring its act to the States for growth opportunities. At the time, I wasn’t very bullish on the service, which touts “Hire the right people in 4 days, not 40” in its messaging, which focused on SMBs.
“Interview simulations and four-day hirings sound sexy, but this stuff also sounds new and risky,” I said at the time. “Learning the ins and outs of a new product is an investment many small businesses aren’t interested in making. Endless ZipRecruiter radio ads and TV spots are there for those willing to dip toes in different waters. If I saw it on television, it’s gotta be safe, right?” I was also pretty critical on my podcast.
Maybe I was wrong. Announced today, the company has raised $3.5 million to keep on keepin’ on. To further support the business model, fellow Aussies Seek, a publicly owned job platform, spearheaded the check-writing to the tune of $2 million. Additional investors include Jesse Hertzberg, former COO of Etsy and Squarespace, Zachary Lewy, Founder of Arrow Global Limited, and Ruslan Kogan and David Shafer of Kogan.com. In addition to the investment, Vervoe and SEEK are in discussions surrounding a strategic partnership.
“We are pleased to support Vervoe in their growth ambitions,” said Ronnie Fink, managing director of corporate development at SEEK. “We know candidates are looking for ways to demonstrate relevant job skills and employers and recruiters are seeking confidence and efficiencies in the short-listing process. Vervoe is making great inroads leveraging technology to address these problems.”
If you’re not familiar with Vervoe, it was founded by Omer Molad, who serves as CEO, and David Weinberg, both Australians. Vervoe helps employers and recruiters test the technical and personal skills of multiple candidates simultaneously through the platform, which uses simulations written by industry professionals. Candidates take customized tests, completing work samples, and executing on-the-job tasks. Vervoe claims this reduces the need for résumé screening.
The infusion of new cash will be used to develop machine-learning technologies, which the company says will rank candidates based on how they perform in online simulations against an employer’s hiring requirements. Additionally, the money will also be used to build a global sales team and further expand its customer base, as well as developing new and existing features.
“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,” said Molad. “That’s our mission at Vervoe, and this capital raising gives us the opportunity to bring our way of interviewing to more companies around the world.”
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Vervoe is also expanding its board of directors, in light of the new capital, as well as add to its senior leadership team. Daniel Benor will join as head of product in the coming months to further drive the company’s product innovation and user adoption. Dr. Orin Davis has also joined the company as head of behavioral science. The board has expanded to include Spencer Greene and David Shafer, Vervoe’s first investor.
“Vervoe is revolutionizing the way employers assess candidates,” said Shafer. “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.”
In making this bet, SEEK has a potential vehicle into the U.S., where it’s mostly an unknown. And in an environment where job postings are challenged more than ever, Vervoe provides a sexier way to penetrate the market. Considering the fact that $2 million is a relatively small amount for them, it’s not a big risk and it’s also close to home Down Under, which could make an eventual acquisition more convenient.
Vervoe says it has been used by over 4,000 companies and tens of thousands of candidates in 75 countries worldwide. Pricing starts at $99 per month for one job and scales up to custom pricing for enterprise needs.