Sapia.ai lands $17M Series A funding to reinvent job interviews and remove human bias from hiring
Even with recent technological advances, job interviews have not changed a lot in the past four decades. The traditional recruitment process is still plagued with unconscious bias that affects job seekers more than most people think. That’s why one startup is on a mission to help employers eliminate biases and hire fairer, faster, and smarter.
Enter Sapia.ai, a Melbourne, Australia tech startup that has developed an AI-powered inclusive and intelligent talent solution tool that is based on science and built for humans. Unlike traditional job interviews, job candidates answer five questions in their own time, mobile or desktop, and Sapia’s Ai Smart Interviewer gives HR and hiring managers instant recommendations so they can find top talent. Sapia says its tool currently provides a 75 percent completion rate and candidate satisfaction at over 90 percent.
Today, Sapia.ai announced it has raised $17 million in Series A funding to continue the success of its AI solution in delivering diversity and inclusion in hiring. The round was led by Macquarie Capital and Woolworths Group’s W23 venture capital arm.
Founded by co-founder and former HR executive Barb Hyman, Sapia’s technology is the first solution of its kind to disrupt biases that affect traditional recruitment processes, delivering fair outcomes for candidates and companies. Since its inception two years ago, the startup has grown 200% YOY.
Sapia’s AI-powered automation platform is centered around a blind, untimed, and asynchronous chat interview transforming the speed and quality of hiring whilst removing bias from the hiring process.
In a statement, Hyman describes the mission of Sapia as “to make equity in the workplace a reality”. She added, “Our customers are seeing extraordinary results – and seeing them fast.”
Dan Phillips, the co-founder of Macquarie Capital’s Venture Capital business, said that his team was impressed and excited by the technology solution that Sapai.ai has created and how it is using AI to provide a better way for companies to approach and solve 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,” Phillips added.
“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 Group has been using Sapia.ai for 12 months and is providing funding through its investment arm, W23. Ingrid Maes, Managing Director of W23, 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,” Ms. Maes 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 across the Group.
For the Australian-founded company, the investment comes at a time of huge growth, with customer numbers more than doubling over the last year. Funds from the raise will be used for continued overseas expansion, including making the product available in multiple languages.