KULA, a recruitment automation startup, has raised a $12 million seed round led by Sequoia Capital India and Square Peg Capital. Existing investors Venture Highway and Together Fund, as well as some existing angel investors, also participated in the round. To date, the startup has raised approximately $15 million in funding.
Six months after the pre-seed announcement, in which the company raised $2.7 million, came the seed funding. The funds will be used to expand the startup’s R&D, product, and go-to-market teams across its three offices in the United States, Singapore, and India.
Kula, founded in 2021, is a recruitment platform that assists companies and recruiters in expanding their talent pool by unifying all sources and automating top candidate outreach and engagement.
Kula’s founding team includes co-founders Achuthanand Ravi, an ex-Stripe, Uber, and Freshworks recruiter, Sathappan M, engineer number three at Freshworks and later an engineering leader at Grab, and Suman Kumar Dey, an early member of the Freshworks and Grab infrastructure teams and a Salesforce architect.
“Recruitment is an absolute priority for companies across the spectrum of size, industry, and geography and is still an under-served business function,” said Piruze Sabancu, partner of Square Peg Capital.
The startup currently has six paying customers for its product, which is still in alpha testing. After its product launch on September 6, Kula intends to target North America, Singapore, India, and Australia as its primary markets. Customers with fewer than 1,000 employees are the target market’s underserved segment.
Kula provides an in-built Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform for recruiters
The startup assists recruiters in improving their candidate-to-hire conversion rates in two ways. The first is expanding the internal networks of current employees in a company. A recruiter can see who current employees are connected to on social platforms like LinkedIn and get a warm introduction to the candidate, increasing the chances of conversion.
The other way to improve engagement is to reach out to potential candidates across multiple platforms. Kula allows recruiters to create automated workflows to engage with candidates via emails, LinkedIn nudges, and LinkedIn’s message system, InMail, rather than spray and pray for responses on LinkedIn.
“I have been a recruiter all my career at places like Stripe, Uber, and Freshworks. Never have I ever enjoyed writing the same email, a couple of dozen times every day, or updating the candidate spreadsheet based on the replies to those emails or LinkedIn requests,” said Achuthanand Ravi, co-founder and chief executive officer of Kula.
Ravi believes that hiring will continue even in the current climate of hiring freezes and job cuts. While new hires may slow or stop, backfilling positions from departures or promotions will continue.
“Across my career, I’ve seen three to four such cases, where we will probably take a brief pause for like two to three months to do a proper headcount planning, but recruiting will never stop because for any business to run effectively, you need to have great people,” said Ravi.