The process of finding job candidates often entails a lot of tedious manual work for recruiters, like sending versions of the same email over and over again. That’s why Kula was created. The platform not only automates tasks like sending introductory messages, but also surfaces promising leads from the first-degree connections of an organization’s existing employee base.
Kula announced today it has raised a $12 million seed round co-led by Sequoia Capital India and Square Peg Capital, with participation from returning investors Venture Highway and Together Fund.
The new funding comes less than six months after Kula’s pre-seed and brings its total raised to $15 million before its public launch. It will be used to expand its research and development, product and go-to-market teams in the United States, Singapore and India.
Before co-founding Kula, CEO Achuthanand Ravi worked as a recruiter at tech companies including Stripe, Uber and Freshworks. During that time, he saw marketing and sales teams get increasingly sophisticated tech tools, but the recruitment process still remained more or less the same.
Kula helps fix that by integrating with tools commonly used by recruiters, including LinkedIn, GitHub, Gmail and the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) and automating workflows. For example, it can send introductory messages to promising leads through emails, LinkedIn nudges and InMails. A feature called Kula’s Circle consolidates all employee networks into one dashboard, helping recruiters figure out potential candidate from the first-degree connections of all their employees. Kula also includes analytics that helps recruiters forecast and measure their talent pipeline more accurately.
Kula is currently in early-stage revenue with with six paying alpha customers, and monetizes by selling to businesses through it’s go-to-market strategy, which is mostly focused on the United States. In particular, it targets SMBs and mid-market organizations with less than 1,000 employees, which Ravi says are underserved.
Ravi identified Gem.com, HireEz and Beamery as Kula’s closest competitors. But Gem.com only offers automated reach-outs as a product, and has no feature for the referral workflow like Kula’s Circle. HireEZ’s only channel to reach out to a candidate is email, but Kula’s platform also automates InMails on LinkedIns, an important source of potential candidates. Beamery, meanwhile, only counts the outbound recruitment workflow as a small part of is platform, Ravi said.
In a statement, Square Peg Capital partner Piruze Sabuncu said, “Recruitment is an absolute priority for companies across the spectrum of size, industry, and geography, and is still an underserved business function. Kula’s founding team brings an unmatched combination of substantial recruiting experience and distinguishing engineering talent – giving them the ability to understand the problem deeply and build a solution that scales with the organizations they serve.”