The candidate search process often involves a lot of tedious manual work for recruiters, like sending back and forth versions of the same email. That is Kula has been created. The platform not only automates tasks like sending referral messages, but also displays promising leads from the organization’s existing employee base first-level connections.
Kula today announced it has raised a $12 million seed round led by Sequoia Capital India and Square Peg Capital, with participation from back investors Venture Highway and Together Fund.
The new funding comes less than six months after Kula’s pre-seed and brings the total raised to $15 million prior to going public. It will be used to expand research and development, product and marketing teams in the United States, Singapore and India.
Before co-founding Kula, CEO Achuthanand Ravi served as a recruiter at tech companies including Stripe, Uber, and Freshworks. During that time, he found sales and marketing teams increasingly equipped with sophisticated technology tools, but the hiring process remained more or less the same.
Kula helps fix that by integrating with tools commonly used by recruiters, including LinkedIn, Github, Gmail, and the Candidate Tracking System (ATS), and automating the workflow. For example, it can send referral messages to promising leads through emails, reminders on LinkedIn, and InMails. A feature called Kula’s Circle consolidates all employee networks into one dashboard, helping recruiters find potential candidates from all their employees’ first-level connections. Kula also includes analytics that help employers forecast and measure their workforce more accurately.
Kula is currently pre-sales with alpha customers and monetizes by selling to businesses through a go-to-market strategy, primarily focusing on the US. In particular, it targets small and medium-sized businesses and mid-market organizations with fewer than 1,000 employees, which Ravi says is unmet.
Ravi identifies Gem.com, HireEz and Beamery as Kula’s closest competitors. But Gem.com only offers automated outreach as a product and does not feature the referral process like Kula’s Circle. HireEZ’s only channel for reaching candidates is email, but Kula’s platform also automates InMails on LinkedIns, an important source of potential candidates. Beamery, meanwhile, counts only the external hiring process as a small part of the platform, Ravi said.
In a statement, Square Peg Capital partner Piruze Sabuncu said, “Recruiting is an absolute priority for companies across size, industry and geographic scope and remains an underserved business function. . Kula’s founding team brings an unprecedented combination of significant recruiting experience and distinguishing technical talent – giving them the ability to deeply understand problems and build solutions tailored to the organization that they serve. “