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Venture capitals looking to make multiple bets on India Rs 4,800 crore hiring space, Mumbai

HR & Payroll
India recruitment sector is back on the agenda of venture capital investors after more than a decade as they back a set of niche startups in the space. The latest is Matrix Partners India, which has invested an undisclosed amount in GrownOut, which uses professional networks such as LinkedIn to make automated referral hirings.

This comes as other recruitment portals have attracted funding from venture capital firms such as IDG Ventures India, Mayfield and Helion Ventures over the last three-four months. VCs are looking to make multiple bets on the space as India's search and recruitment market is Rs 4,800 crore and growing at a compounded annual growth rate of 20%.

This has been a largely untapped market and we believe there are several opportunities to solve the hiring needs of Indian small and medium businesses," said Tarun Davda, director Matrix Partners, which will make more investments in the space this year. These startups are looking to make hiring more time efficient and cost-effective by leveraging technology solutions in a market dominated by staffing agencies, job boards and company HR. The largest player in the online space,, focuses on listing resumes and jobs and has revenue of Rs 372 crore, less than 10% of the total market.

Despite incredible innovations in technology in the last decade, recruiting still remains a fundamental challenge in the industry and an unsolved problem," said GrownOut co-founder and CEO Sumit Gupta, a computer science graduate from Delhi's Indraprastha University. The Gurgaon-based startup was founded last year by 25-year-old Gupta and 26-year-old IIT Delhi graduate Harsimran Walia. GrownOut has found more than 100 clients already and is being used by companies such as Quikr, Olacabs, Appiterate, Stayzilla and Winshuttle.

The biggest headache in hiring is spamming, said Gupta, who said that the success rate of referrals getting hired is high at 40% even though they contribute to 7% of total resumes that come in. While referral network is one segment of the market, other niches targeted by VCs include recommendation engines, technology-enabled hiring and skill-assessment firms. "Our thinking is that the time is ripe for the next generation of recruitment websites and one-size-fits-all is not the correct paradigm ..

The resume database itself has become a commodity, so one has to build value added services on top of it, said Ritesh Banglani, partner at Helion Venture, which is investing in an auction-based recruitment platform. Helion has seen a fourfold increase in deal flow from startups in the recruitment space this year and is also eyeing multiple investments. TimesJobs, owned by the publisher of this newspaper, is another player in the segment that launched an independent site called Techgig which serves as an engagement platform with the IT community.

Companies can position themselves better for skills and technologies they have, rather than just their working environment, said Vivek Madhukar, COO of Times Business Solutions. Other startups that have attracted funding include IDG Venturesbacked MyNoticePeriod, which focuses on candidates serving notice and Talview, a video interview platform that was funded by Mayfield in July.

Talview's flagship product is an automated video interview platform that companies can use to screen candidates on the basis of predetermined questions. This is also finding traction overseas. "We have done 70,000 video assessments in more than 100 countries," said CEO Sanjoe Jose. The startup counts Cognizant, ABB and Wockhardt as clients.

Source : E T
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