Ideal announced that they have raised $3 million in seed funding to scale its AI-enabled recruiting platform.
The round was led by investors including former Scotiabank CEO Mike Durland and BlueCat co-founders Michael Hyatt and Richard Hyatt. The MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund contributed $500,000 in capital, and the company co-founders Somen Mondal and Shaun Ricci put up nearly a third of the funding themselves.
The company’s intelligent virtual assistant software automates repetitive recruitment tasks to quicken high-volume hiring, including candidate sourcing, resume screening, short listing and candidate outreach.
The new funding will be used to improve the technology’s existing features, develop new features like an internal messaging tool, and speed up the onboarding of new customers.
“We want customers to get up and running faster. Less than a week, maybe even down to a day so they can they see the benefits faster,” said Mondal.
The inspiration for Ideal came from the experiences of the co-founders at their first software venture, Field ID.
Mondal explained that while hiring two salespeople a week, they were screening hundreds of candidates which led way to “terrible efficiency,” including using biases in the selection process—like favouring candidates that went to the same university—and even interviewing the wrong people.
“AI a perfect fit for solving that,” he said.
Ideal was built for companies that are recruiting thousands of people and sifting through millions of applicants, such as multinational retailers or banks. For these companies, over 70 per cent of applications go untouched. Ideal’s technology tackles that challenge by leveraging AI to screen and shortlist job candidates.
Mondal said that while screening was Ideal’s bread and butter, they’ve developed two additional functions: sourcing people that might not have applied for the job, and rediscovering previous candidates in a company’s database for new opportunities.
In fact, one of their current national clients is Indigo Books and Music which has used their AI tool to hire thousands of customer service and sales staff in the past year.
“The talent was already there, we just didn’t have the resources to unlock it. Ideal found a way to triple our pace and both the cost and time savings were immediately significant,” said Sarah Wilson, Indigo’s director of talent acquisition.
Apart from speeding up the hiring process, the tool removes front-line bias. Ideal doesn’t train itself on name, age or sex, thus eliminating any hiring decisions that could be influenced by those traits.
Mondal credits Ideal’s success to the 12 person team behind the AI-enabled hiring tool, and said the new funding will help them build up their staff.
“Right from our CTO to our development staff, we’ve put together a world class AI team—a team that is hard to put together in a competitive environment,” he said.
While it’s currently built for use by large companies looking to hire thousands of people in similar roles, Mondal said the technology could be tweaked in the future to help businesses hiring for more specific roles.