In the global race for technical talent, businesses are looking for ways to accelerate and scale the hiring process to snag the best candidates before their competitors. Today, a company that has developed a solution to assist with one aspect of this — the interviewing process — announces a large round of funding, highlighting the demand.
Tiger Global is leading the round, having previously led the company’s $28 million Series B in 2019. Previous backers Norwest Venture Partners, 8VC, Exor, Base Partners, and Sempervirens Fund also participated.
Karat has closed a $110M funding in a Series C that values the Seattle startup at $1.1 billion. Karat intends to use the funding to incorporate more technology and data science into its process to train and guide interviewers and analyze the interviewing process to improve it in the future. Longer term, it may consider bringing in interviewers, skill sets, and data to expand beyond technical hiring. However, technical hiring remains a significant market for startups. Mohit Bhende, the co-founder and CEO of Karat, says that on an average day, 500 interviews are performed on the platform while working with businesses including Roblox, American Express, Intuit, Compass, and Wayfair (not all for one company).
The emphasis on offering tools to do work online was nice rather than necessary in the big picture since, when we last spoke with Karat, COVID-19 was not even on the horizon; it was May 2019.
Meanwhile, Karat’s contention that live, technical interviews were far superior to administering actual tests remained debatable.
After a few months, the world has completely changed, and with it, the world of work. Karat’s tools have suddenly come into their own as a critical way for businesses to continue and possibly improve their recruiting efforts.
The company began by sourcing people to conduct interviews as a side job for working engineers. Now, according to Bhende, the volume of interviews is such that those who run them on the platform use it as their primary source of income, with some earning $250,000 per year through Karat. (This is not to say that they are full-time employees of Karat; Bhende confirms that they are all contractors working by their respective labor laws.)