Recruitment and talent analysis startup Sapia.ai, formerly known as PredictiveHire, has raised $17 million in Series A.
The round was led by Macquarie Capital and W23, the venture capital arm of Woolworths Group. The capital is earmarked for continued overseas expansion, including making the platform available in multiple languages.
Sapia’s artificial intelligence-powered automation platform is centred around a blind, untimed and asynchronous chat interview transforming the speed and quality of hire whilst removing bias from the hiring process.
Founder and CEO Barb Hyman said Sapia’s mission is “to make equity in the workplace a reality”.
“Our customers are seeing extraordinary results – and seeing them fast,” she said.
“We give them data and insights that let them track fairness and bias in their decisions across the employment journey. I’m excited to have Macquarie and Woolworths investing in our technology – it’s an incredible validation for my team who have been committed to our mission from the get go and we can’t wait to open our technology to new markets.”
The Melbourne- based global company has seen its customer numbers more than double over the last year.
Macquarie Capital’s VC cofounder Dan Phillips said that his team was impressed and excited by how Sapia is using AI to provide a better way for companies to approach and solve for diversity and inclusion.
“We’ve all been talking about the value of diversity for some time, but many companies are still not equipped to bring about real change. This is primarily because we fail to acknowledge our human biases,” he said.
“Sapia’s Smart Chat Interviewer has redefined what a fair recruitment process can be. It is blind, it is efficient, and it is backed by valid, peer-reviewed science.”
Woolworths has been using Sapia.ai for recruitment for 12 months and W23 managing director Ingrid Maes said the program had helped reshape the Group’s hiring process and improved the experience of candidates applying for roles.
“Woolworths Group is always recruiting and we see tens of thousands of applications processed annually in our supermarket business. This new technology positively impacts bias during the recruitment process,” she said.
“Not only does it provide a flexible platform for our recruitment teams, we’re really pleased with the experience our applicants have in the process ultimately delivering the hiring and equality outcomes we strive for.”