Chatbot Gold Rush Continues With Wade and Wendy Raising $7.6 Million

With messaging apps like TextRecruit and Canvas getting acquired recently, it’s no surprise that chatbots, which are a natural progression of the technology, are getting a lot of attention. Notably, Mya has raised over $30 million to take the automation technology mainstream. AllyO has raised $19 million.

Joining the list this week was New York City-based Wade & Wendy, which announced a Series A to the tune of $7.6 million. The round is led by JAZZ Venture Partners, with participation from existing investors Randstad Innovation Fund, ff Venture Capital and Indicator Ventures.

Wade & Wendy CEO Drew Austin

“Utilizing our own technology, we recently doubled our number of employees,” said CEO Drew Austin. “This funding will give us the resources to continue to grow and expand partnerships with industry leaders like Randstad Sourceright. The feedback we’ve already received from Randstad’s highly trained team has been invaluable to our development and we are happy to continue our work together.”

Randstad has been particularly bullish on chatbots for some time now, and it’s no surprise it has been supportive of Wade & Wendy’s growth. Following a successful series of pilots, the company entered into a multi-year contract with Randstad Sourceright, which will be using Wendy across a range of Fortune 500 companies.

Ilonka Jankovich, a venture partner at Randstad Innovation Fund, said technologies like chatbots, machine learning, and big data are changing recruiting faster than anything else in a conference last year. At the time, she highlighted how investment in recruiting technologies like chatbots was booming, with $1.7 billion flowing into the sector in the U.S. and Europe alone.

“We’ve seen how Wendy automation of top-of-funnel tasks has increased the bandwidth of our recruitment teams during the pilot, and we’re excited to be rolling that value out across even more of our customers,” said Jason Roberts, global head of technology and analytics at Randstad.

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Although I’m not crazy about the name, it makes a little more sense when you dive in.

Wendy,” handles recruiting and “Wade” offers career advice. The company says Wendy understands a candidate’s work history and a job’s requirements, so she’s able to have personalized, role-specific conversations at scale. Candidates chat with Wendy for an average of 29 minutes per conversation. Forty-four percent of chats occur outside of typical working hours.

“While many industries are worried that AI will negatively impact jobs, we see our technology helping to navigate people to new jobs and advancing the hiring process,” said Austin. “2019 will be a significant year for Wade & Wendy.”

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.

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