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The Tech Behind Teams

By Tony Conrad, April 12, 2017

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When deciding which companies to invest in, it’s always “Founder first” for us. We believe it’s the people behind the ideas that greatly dictate which of those ideas snowball into successful companies.

When I first met Laura Bilazarian, I couldn’t quite put my finger on what was so unique about her. The more I learned about who she is as a person and what drives her, the more excited I became about her vision for her company, Teamable.

Later on, I found out she’s a national rugby champion. I then had context for her appropriate ambition. Translate this into “entrepreneur” and you get something along the lines of the following: She’s no stranger to winning, knows how to handle failure and thrives in high-pressure situations.

TeamableTeamable Co-founders Vazgen Hakobjanyan, Hovhannes Nurijanyan, Laura Bilazarian and Meruzhan Danielyan.

Today, we’re proud to announce our funding of Teamable, the referral recruiting platform that helps companies identify, engage and hire skilled talent through data-driven referral hiring.

We already know that referral candidates are exponentially more likely to be hired and do so 55 percent faster than candidates from other channels. (Source: Jobvite)

For this reason, companies want their employees to recommend open positions to their connections, but it’s awkward to push employees to become recruiters.

Teamable removes this friction by enriching employees’ networks with publicly available professional data and automatically surfacing high-quality candidates for open roles. Hiring teams can then ask for warm introductions to targeted individuals for key roles, making referrals easy for existing employees.

Figuring out who recruiters have access to through employee networks is a big challenge to solve. In fact, social referring emulates how we search for and find the best companies to invest in at True.

So much of what we do, like recruiters, is about vetting talent and connecting with the best, brightest people.

This isn’t the first time we’ve invested in data-driven talent and recruiting intelligence. While Teamable is a new keystone to this suite, our investments in the market date back to 2012.

Connectifier, which we invested in back in 2012, uses AI and search technology to aggregate social data about potential job candidates, filling in some of the gaps in the talent discovery process and enabling recruiters to better connect and have more personal conversations with them off the bat, as opposed to cold-calling. In 2016, Connectifier was successfully acquired for a substantial amount by LinkedIn (now owned by Microsoft).

In 2013, we invested in Namely, a cloud-based, all-in-one HR platform that HR professionals and employees alike actually like to use. Prior to Namely, a lot of the HR technology that was out there at the time was clumsy and a bit of a pain to use.

Founder and CEO Matt Straz has seen terrific growth since our initial investment, and Namely is now considered one of the top cloud companies by Forbes, serving the likes of Optimizely, VaynerMedia and more.

[Read Matt’s guest blog post about scaling: “Life at 200 Employees”]

Selecting a health plan can be complicated for employees and the HR professionals advising them. We invested in Lumity in 2014 to help with this problem. Lumity provides a proprietary, data-driven benefits platform to small and medium-sized businesses to help employers and employees analyze and interpret their data in order to optimize health plan and benefit choices.

Co-founders Tariq Hilaly and Senthil Nagarajan brought a wealth of data, product, and Founder knowledge to the table and continue to pioneer better benefits management.

In 2014, three students at Michigan Tech University, Garrett Lord, Ben Christensen and Scott Ringwelski, realized they’d had limited opportunities to connect with their dream jobs in Silicon Valley.

As a solution, they created Handshake, a recruitment platform that partners with college career service centers to give students more access to jobs and companies more access to fresh talent. We invested in Garrett, Ben and Scott’s idea in 2015. Today, 120,000 employers – from Airbnb to Teach For America – use Handshake to recruit new graduates.

Last year, we invested in Atipica, a people analytics company whose core mission is to help companies realize the lifetime value of their ​talent​ data using a combo of artificial and human intelligence.

Atipica’s resurfacing product​ ​helps companies find qualified candidates with the core competencies and skill​ ​sets required for a role​ while leveling the playing field through bias interrupters and proprietary demographic models. We are happy to witness the evolution of Atipica into a suite of products that includes business intelligence ​analytics for talent acquisition and diversity teams.

Beyond her role as Founder and CEO of Atipica, Laura Gómez is also a founding member of ​non-profit Project Include,​ focused on ​diversity and inclusion, ​making it clear to us that she truly lives and breathes what she’s built.

Newest to the True community, Teamable optimizes social referral hiring so recruiters and hiring managers can more effectively connect with job candidates within existing employees’ networks. Teamable already has an impressive customer roster that includes Lyft, Medallia and Stripe, among others.

With their new round of funds, Teamable will build out its internal team and work to expand and further service its customers.

We’re thrilled to welcome Teamable to the True community and to see all of our portfolio companies in this space thrive. They aren’t just selling software; they’re empowering businesses to become stronger, more talent-rich, diverse versions of themselves.


Read more about Teamable in VentureBeat or TechCrunch