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

Kochi: Having worked with various IT majors for over 15 years, Deepu Xavier and Jyothis KS have seen and closed the difficulties companies face in terms of recruitment. So, when they decided to go the route of entrepreneurship, they knew what to sell – a platform that facilitates the mundane task of recruitment. Thus Zappyhire was born. The Kochi-based startup, founded by the duo in 2018, is helping more than 50 clients with its AI-powered recruitment platform. Closing two rounds of funding successfully, the company appears to be following a good path with an ambitious business expansion plan.

It all started with Infy
Jyothis, from Kolenchery in Ernakulam district, and Xavier, a native of Cherthala in Alappuzha, met each other in 2010 when they were with Infosys. The two soon parted ways as they both took bigger 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 worked as chief operating officer at CogniCor, a Conversational AI company based in Spain before founding Zappyhire. Xavier, after his stints at Infosys and Bosch, was the chief 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 in the area of ​​recruitment. Companies spend a lot of time on the endless recruitment process. We found a hue scope for automation in place ,” Xavier told Onmanorama about the origins of their company.

Zappyhire had small beginnings with just three employees, including the co-founders. Today, it is a 46-member team. The company is based at the Kerala Starup Mission campus in Kalamassery and follows a remote work culture today. The company found the initial fortunes of its association with Federal Bank continued to be strong. A banking major’s testimony says that using Zappyhire, it hired about 1,100 candidates across the country with a three-member team within 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 derives its revenues from subscription. It offers a fully artificial intelligence (AI)-powered platform that helps its clients make the hiring process easier, saving resources and time. The Zappyhire platform automates the entire recruitment process of a company – from creating a job requisition to releasing an offer letter and onboarding – by streamlining its processes.

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

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“We never filter any candidate. The final decision regarding recruitment rests with the recruiter. We provide maximum data points about a candidate that makes work easier for a recruiter. The system helps the recruiter from writing a job description to issuing an offer letter to a potential employee. It can also sense a candidate’s willingness or reluctance to take a job based on his engagement with the post offer. Each company can also configure our system without compromising its recruitment methods,” explained Xavier.

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


Pandemic profit
Zappyhire belongs to that category of businesses that have recovered 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 a ‘must’ that digital recruitment has become “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 – fellow partner EY, chairman & 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 that this reassured their faith in the company’s potential in the recruitment automation domain. In January 2020, the company raised nearly Rs 70 lakh.

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

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