Spire Technologies, a big data startup based in Bangalore that helps customers manage current and future talent requirements using a contextual search engine, has raised $8 million in Series A funding from an unnamed institutional investor.
Saurabh Jain, the founder of Spire, said that this investor has requested two-months embargo before his name can be made public. The financing will be used to hire more data scientists, engineers and also bolster sales, marketing efforts.
Started in 2008, Spire has raised $1 million to date in seed funding from several angel investors. This Series A funding valued Spire at $23 million based on an annual revenue of about $400,000.
Jain said that one of the key differentiators for Spire is that its solution can be used to recruit fresh talent, and to detect and prevent employee fraud. Spire’s list of customers include IT services companies Atos, Cognizant Technology Solutions, and JDA Software. To date, Spire has processed nearly 700,000 candidates for these customers.
SAP’s SuccessFactors and Oracle’s Taleo seem to be decent rivals for Spire, when it comes to the recruitment and talent management market.
With nearly three million engineers in the Indian IT industry, employers such as Cognizant and JDA are always looking for ways to reduce time taken in hiring candidates because they are under pressure to deliver software projects faster. Spire helps these companies identify talent with required skills, and matches them with the projects they can execute, all in real time.
“Our contextual engine is also able to map potential candidates, both from outside and within a company, against projects in the pipeline. This helps them reduce the number of staff sitting on the bench and improve profitability,” said Jain.
With fresh money, Spire plans to tap into U.S. and other Asian markets. However, unlike the Indian market, where its customers need help in sifting through thousands of candidate profiles and matching them with relevant projects, companies in U.S. are not always looking to hire in thousands.
But Spire is betting on its big data, contextual search engine to offer solutions beyond just smart recruitment for customers in U.S. and elsewhere. Employee fraud detection and prevention, is one of them. Spire wants to become ‘Palantir‘ for its customers, and use the big data engine in tackling challenges beyond recruitment and talent management. But that would require testing Spire’s current engine in situations it has not dealt with before.