AllyO, a Sunnyvale, California-based company developing AI-powered job recruitment products, today announced that it’s completed a series B financing round with $45 million in venture capital, contributed largely by new investors Sapphire Ventures and Scale Venture Partners, as well as existing investors Gradient Ventures (Google’s AI fund), Randstad Innovation Fund, Bain Capital Ventures, and Cervin Ventures. The fresh funds bring AllyO’s total raised to $64 million, and CEO and cofounder Sahil Sahni said they’ll help to further develop the company’s products and expand its reach.
Work is well underway, it would seem. Sahni noted that AllyO grew 4.5 times in the past year, and he expects that the company’s candidate-matching suite will be used by as many as 15% of Americans in 2020.
“At AllyO, we aim to make recruiting more delightful and efficient for everyone,” said Sahni, who founded AllyO in 2015 with longtime friend and former Oracle data center architect Ankit Somani. “The AllyO team works very hard prioritizing customer success, generating clear ROI for the world’s largest employers. We are humbled by our exponential growth but also acknowledge the excitement of being able to see the path to an IPO in around 3 years. Partnering with [Sapphire] and [Scale] will aid this significantly.”
As Sahni explained, AllyO’s tools tap conversational AI to quickly identify qualified job seekers, automate recruiting processes, and deliver actionable insights to hiring managers. They don’t pigeonhole customers into particular platforms or recruiting flows — rather, AllyO’s tech integrates with existing career pages, job boards, text and post apps, and referrals on LinkedIn, Monster, and Indeed, plus social media networks like Twitter and Facebook and human capital management suites like SAP SuccessFactors and Taleo.
From AllyO’s settings panel, admins can configure smart workflows that automate screening, scheduling (via Google Calendar, Exchange, and Outlook), and periodic post-hiring check-ins. These might prompt a job seeker to fill in missing profile information, to keep the database up to date, for instance, or proactively contact would-be employees with best-fit opportunities to determine their interest.
In this respect, AllyO’s products are akin to Mya, a startup that leverages natural language processing to automate as much as 75% of the recruiting process. There’s also Wade & Wendy, a recruitment platform that offers two chatbots for the price of one: Wendy, who handles recruiting, and Wade, who offers timely career advice.
AllyO’s tools are available in multiple languages across channels including web, text, and email, and enable candidates to continue conversations with the same persistent identity. Moreover, thanks to their sophisticated underlying natural language processing algorithms, they’re able to determine from job descriptions and employee profiles alone appropriate screening criteria; juggle different types of interviews; and provide new hires reminders for activities like trainings and orientations.
AI job-matching startups are more common then they used to be. Pymetrics comes to mind — it recently raised $40 million to expand its intelligent hiring product to new markets. So does Plum, which uses machine learning to surface workers based on their “raw talent” as opposed to specific skills, and Hiretual, which scrapes the web with data-extracting algorithms to build sourcing databases. Most rely on webpages and apps to coordinate candidate screening and selection, but a growing subcategory eschews portals for chatbots — companies like Stella, Mosaic, Newton, Woo, and Eightfold.
Sahni claims that AllyO’s toolset is more efficacious than most, and can increase the applicant pool by six times, boost application completion rates to 91% on average, lower sourcing costs by 20%, and increase candidate satisfaction to 91%. It’s not just talk — after emerging from stealth in 2018, AllyO attracted clients in the Fortune 50, as well as familiar brands like Avis Budget Group, The Cheesecake Factory, Pitney Bowes, and Brinker International.
To date, AllyO’s platform has processed “millions” of applicant interactions and facilitated the scheduling of over 100,000 interviews, according to Sahni.
“AllyO is a fast-growth … startup that has helped some of the largest employers staff up their teams quickly,” said Sapphire Ventures present Jai Das, who intends to join AllyO’s board of directors. “In some instances, customers have gone from a proof of concept to enterprise-wide usage of AllyO to help them hire the best employees. Sapphire Ventures is delighted to invest in AllyO as they rapidly scale their business, and I look forward to their digitizing the ancient industry of hiring in the process.”