San Francisco-based Gem was founded in 2017 by Steve Bartel and Nick Bushak after their experiences of recruitment at Dropbox and Facebook respectively.
The pair, who had met at MIT, realized that recruitment was becoming more like sales and marketing, and they decided to launch a startup that enabled companies to do more proactive hiring.
In a blogpost, Bartel wrote: “When Nick and I founded Gem, we did so on the thesis that companies can’t hire the best people for their needs while sitting around and waiting for them to apply. Just like you market products to people who haven’t considered them yet, you need to do the same to land ‘passive talent’.”
They achieve this through an all-in-one recruiting platform that integrates with LinkedIn, email providers like Gmail and Outlook, as well as companies’ applicant tracking software. Then Gem aims to help the build lists of potential candidates to reach out about open roles.
Gem’s technology can also automate the follow-up emails and outreach, like ad campaigns and events. This helps companies to “hire the people they need up to five times faster – scale and in a predictable way”, writes Bartel.
Unsurprisingly given how crucial hiring has been central to companies’ success during the pandemic, Gem has had a stellar 2021. It has doubled its employee base, it now doubled its customer base to 800, which include Shopify, Peloton and Gusto, and tripled its revenue.
Gem becomes a unicorn
Now the recruitment platform has raised a $100 million Series C led by ICONIQ. This round brings its total funding to $148 million and its revenue to $1.2 billion, thereby making it the newest HR tech unicorn.
Existing investors – Greylock and Accel – as well as new investors Sapphire Ventures and Meritech, also participated in the Series C.
Talking about the round, ICONIQ general partner Matt Jacobson said: “We have had our eye on Gem for a long time because the product has helped so many of our business partners hire the people that fuel their growth.
“We have heard time and time again that Gem is irreplaceable because of the way it combines talent sourcing, nurture, CRM, and analytics into a complete and modern recruiting suite.
“For recruiters, we believe it provides massive productivity gains, and for all business leaders, it offers a real-time view of the candidate funnel and how their teams are tracking toward hiring goals.”
Sapphire Ventures partner Cathy Gao tweeted:
Congratulations to @Gem_Software on their $100M Series C!🎉🎉 @SapphireVC is so excited to back the ultimate platform for modern recruiting. https://t.co/6rlN6lHTxh #HiringReimagined #talentacquisition #startuptrends #VCfunding #SeriesC #entreprenuership #venturecapital
— Cathy Gao (@cgao) September 28, 2021
Gem is planning to use the capital to target its product to Fortune 500 companies, as well as invest in product innovation particularly around talent data and insights and simplifying workflows.
In addition, the funding will help Gem to further deepen relationships with its customers outside the US in West Europe and Asia Pacific.
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