Zappyhire– Kerala-based AI startup helps companies solve recruitment riddle

Kochi: Having worked in various IT majors for over 15 years, Deepu Xavier and Jyothis KS have seen and closed down the difficulties companies face when it comes to recruitment. So, when they decided to take the entrepreneurial route, they knew what to sell – a platform that facilitated the mundane task of recruiting. Thus Zappyhire was born. The Kochi-based startup, founded by the duo in 2018, is helping over 50 clients with its AI-powered recruitment platform. Having successfully closed two rounds of funding, the company appears to be on a good path with ambitious business expansion plans.

It all started with Infy
Jyothis, who hails from Kolenchery in Ernakulam district, and Xavier, a native of Cherthala in Alappuzha, met in 2010 when they were with Infosys. The two then parted ways as they both held larger roles at other companies, but never failed to keep in touch. The two friends took the entrepreneurial plunge with their experience in the field of AI, finance and management. Jyothis who moved to Cognizant from Infosys was working as the chief operating officer of CogniCor, a Conversational AI company based in Spain before founding Zappyhire. Xavier, after his stints at Infosys and Bosch, was the principal product manager of the Java programming language at Oracle, before his startup debut.

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“While working with our previous companies, a common challenge we observed was about recruitment. Companies spend a large amount of time on the endless recruitment process. We found a color range for automation in place ,” Xavier told Onmanorama about the origins of their company.

Zappyhire had a humble beginning with just three employees, including the co-founders. Today, it is a 46-member team. The company is based at the Kerala Startup Mission campus in Kalamassery and follows a remote work culture today. The company found its initial fortunes with its relationship with the Federal Bank continuing to grow. A banking major’s testimony says that using Zappyhire, it was able to hire around 1,100 candidates across the country with a three-member team in three months. The company’s client line includes ESAF small finance bank, Baby Memorial Hospital, Hedge and CareStack.

What does Zappyhire do?
The company follows the software as a service (SaaS) model and earns its revenues from subscription. It offers a complete platform powered by artificial intelligence (AI) that helps its clients make the hiring process easier, saving resources and time. The Zappyhire platform automates a company’s entire recruitment process – from creating a job requisition to issuing an offer letter and onboarding – by adapting its existing processes.

The platform automatically pre-screens and ranks candidates from hundreds of applications using a semantic resume parser and AI-enabled video interviews. The platform with its database evaluates the behavioral and language skills of a candidate and the possibility of joining and staying in a firm. It also conducts robotic interviews in the early stages of hiring.

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“We never filter out any candidate. The final decision regarding recruitment rests solely with the recruiter. We provide maximum datapoints about a candidate which makes the job easier for a recruiter. The system helps the recruiter right from writing the job description to issuing an offer letter to a potential employee. It can also sense a candidate’s willingness or reluctance to take the job based on his interaction with the post offer. Each company can also configure our system without compromising its recruiting practices,” explains Xavier.

According to its founders, the Zappyhire platform is useful not only to recruiters but also to business leaders as well as candidates. It helps business leaders and C-levels track their hiring performance, gain insights and recommendations tailored to the organization and improve their recruiting ROI (return on investment). It provides candidates with clear communication and updates throughout the recruitment process.


Pandemic benefit
Zappyhire belongs to that category of businesses that have suffered from the Covid-induced lockdown. “Before Covid, hiring automation or digital recruitment was just a ‘nice to have’ feature for companies. With the pandemic lockdown, it has become such a ‘must have’ that digital recruitment has become the new normal. It helped us gain acceptance,” said Xavier.

Funding and expansion
Last November, the company raised Rs 3.71 crore from Kerala Angel Network and from Alex K Babu, founder and CMD, Hedge Finance Limited. The round also witnessed the participation of strategic investors such as Shihab Muhammed, ex-co-founder of Freshservice (Freshdesk), Navas Meeran, chairman, Eastern Condiments Pvt. Ltd, Dr MI Sahadulla, Rajesh Nair – associate partner EY, chairman and managing director, KIMS, and K Paul Thomas, founder of ESAF Group of Social Enterprises. The funding round saw more than four of Zappyhire’s customers, including ESAF and Hedge Securities, become investors. Xavier said this reassured their belief in the company’s potential in the recruitment automation domain. As of January 2020, the company has raised nearly Rs 70 lakh.

It has already started the process for the next round of funding as part of its plan to expand the business in the USA next year.

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