Ashby injects recruitment with a dose of AI

Benjamin Encz’s journey to entrepreneurship has been long and unusual.

After working as an R&D engineer at FX Industrial Light & Magic and DreamWorks on films like “Transformers” and “How to Train Your Dragon,” Encz left the film industry in 2012 to join venture capital firm Social Capital as engineer in residence. There, he co-founded Choir, a mental health app for iOS. Several years later, Encz joined PlanGrid, a construction productivity software startup, as director of engineering, responsible for leading and managing the company’s major programming projects.

At PlanGrid, much of Encz’s time was spent recruiting, he said. It was then that he became familiar with the sensitive points of the processes. “The industry has gone from rapid headcount growth to sudden shrinkage, changing the dynamics of the talent market and how talent acquisition teams must adapt,” Encz told TechCrunch. “The pain is felt all the way to the top, with leaders citing talent as the number one topic, which makes them uncomfortable.”

To address this “pain,” Encz and Abhik Pramanik, an engineer Encz met while working at PlanGrid, launched Ashby, a platform that consolidates existing talent acquisition tools and relies heavily on AI to automate the most repetitive stages of the recruitment pipeline. Ashby can help create job postings, source candidates, and send interview invitations while providing stakeholders with dashboards containing real-time hiring metrics.

“As hiring managers and executive team members, we know how difficult it has historically been for employees outside of a recruiting team to have a positive experience with an Applicant Tracking System (ATS). ),” Encz said. “Ashby was created with all stakeholders in mind, because we believe talent is the most important element a business can align with for growth.”

One of Ashby’s AI features, AI-generated candidate search filters, allows recruiters to describe in plain language the type of candidates they are looking for in a candidate database (e.g. example “The candidates with Python skills we hired this year and who didn’t show up). from references”) and have Ashby write the filter logic and booleans needed for the search query.

Ashby can also insert personalized AI-generated copy into outreach emails based on a job description and a candidate’s CV, and automatically categorize candidate email responses as “interested » or “not interested”. Beyond that, the platform can summarize interview feedback collected throughout the recruiting process into reports for recruiters, with highlights citing individual interview feedback.

What if the AI ​​made mistakes, as it is wont to do? Encz notes that results can be edited or adjusted – and that human review is built into every workflow.

“We view our opportunity in AI consistent with our overall focus on speed and product quality,” Encz said. “Our biggest differentiation focuses on the quality and accessibility of data from talent teams, the connectivity of workflows that come from the system built on a single platform versus multiple solutions and the quality of our experience customer.

Ashby’s ATS platform, which can consolidate data from existing hiring and recruiting tools and add a layer of generative AI on top. Image credits: Ashby
Image credits: Ashby

Since coming out of stealth in September 2022, Ashby’s customer base has expanded to more than 1,300 brands, including Quora, Ironclad, Vanta, Reddit, and Lemonade. Income is multiplied by 6; Encz says Ashby makes most of its money through a basic subscription with additional fees for more sophisticated planning and analysis tools.

It appears investors are happy with the numbers. This week, Ashby closed a $30 million Series C round led by Lachy Groom, with participation from tech entrepreneur Elad Gil, F-Prime and Y Combinator, bringing Ashby’s total raised at $70 million.

Encz described the C-series as a “solid step up” from the B-series.

“We have experienced very strong growth over the past two years and are seeing increasing growth rates among both startups and enterprise customers, making this the perfect time to redouble our efforts in product development and go-to-market investments,” he added. “This additional funding gives us many years of runway and many options. »

One of these options is expansion. Ashby plans to hire around 50 people by the end of the year, strengthening its team of around 100 people based at its San Francisco headquarters.


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