Talent Acquisition Start-up Belong raised $ 10 million in Series B
In the ever evolving HR Technology space within India we see a lot of action happening lately. Whether it is acquisition of CoCubes by AON, or shutdown of TalentPad after running for 18 months, this space is abuzz with activities. The latest news is, Belong, joins the list of select few HR Tech start-ups in India to have raised Series B funding with this latest round of $ 10 million.
The fact that this investment round was led by Sequoia while existing investors matrix partners also participated, indicates the confidence reposed in this start-up by these experienced investors. Sequoia & Matrix partners are behind some of the well-known brands in Indian and international markets & their experience in building companies of scale will surely come in handy at Belong.
With this current Series B funding Belong seems to be focusing on improving its offering by expanding beyond tech hiring and foraying into sales and marketing hiring, by improving its product and also hiring talent across data science, enterprise sales and customer success. Their board is now filled with experienced investors and business leaders like Gautam Mago, Tarun Davda, Raju Reddy, amongst others. With a combined experience of investing or running companies like Sierra-Atlantic, Druva, Micromax, Mu Sigma, Ola, Quickr, Practo among others, this board is a great sounding board for the Belong founders.
Belong founded in 2014, is focused on technology hiring in an “outbound” manner using AI technology. The SaaS platform helps companies hire the right technology talent using predictive analytics, machine learning, & social data. It essentially helps companies target their hiring to specific talent pools and then ensuring the talent is engaged via personalization of the recruitment experience. The company claims to search millions of profiles across social, internet & other public sources to discover the potential candidates who are best fit for the skill and cultural requirements of the companies, while gaining verified insights into whether they are passively open to new opportunities.
In its list of customers, Belong has a good mix of established technology companies like Amazon, Cisco and Thoughtworks while also having new age technology companies like Ola, Big basket, Snapdeal and Brillo, among others. They claim to have doubled their mid-market and enterprise customers since June 2015.
At $10miilon of series B, this is one of the biggest funding in HR Tech space in India. To put things in perspective the last time someone invested in Series B in HR tech startup it was $5 million each in GreytHR and Aasaanjobs in Jan 2016. If one looks at Tracxn Report- HR Tech-2016, only 6 out of 716 companies in HR Tech space reach Series B stage. Given the fact that candidate sourcing is the biggest investment in HR Tech space both in India & globally, this series B funding for Belong means a lot to Indian HR Tech industry in particular. This deal comes close to Series B funding raised by HackerRank in June 2014, $9.2M from Khosla ventures and Battery ventures. HakerRank later raised series C in July 2015 of $ 7.5M, thus indicating that future for SaaS platforms to help solve the recruitment challenge in industry specific or talent specific space is bright.
The real challenge for companies like Belong and HackerRank would be to build scale by adding more types of skill sets and making the platform scalable globally. The possibility of a global player in this space emerging from India is higher than earlier given the pace & quality of activity happening in India.