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

Kochi: After working with various IT majors for over 15 years, Deepu Xavier and Jyothis KS had seen the difficulties companies face in recruiting and closing. So, when they decided to take the entrepreneurial route, they knew what to sell – a platform that facilitates the rare task of recruiting. 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. After successfully closing two rounds of funding, the company appears to be moving forward with an ambitious business expansion plan.

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 took on larger roles in other companies, but never managed to keep in touch. The two friends approached entrepreneurship with their experience in the fields of AI, finance and management. Jyothis who moved to Cognizant from Infosys worked as the chief operating officer of Spain-based Conversational AI company CogniCor before founding Zappyhire. Xavier, after working with Infosys and Bosch, was the lead product manager of the Java programming language at Oracle, before he first started.

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“While working in our previous companies, we noticed one common challenge related to recruitment. Companies spend a lot of time on the endless recruitment process. We found scope for automation in the area,” Xavier told Onmanorama about the origin of their company.

Zappyhire had humble beginnings with three employees, including the co-founders. Now, it is a team of 46 members. The company is based at the Kerala Startup Mission campus at Kalamassery and now follows a remote work culture. The company found its initial success with its association with the Federal Bank which remains strong. Evidence from the banking giant says it was able to hire around 1,100 candidates across the country with a team of three in three months using Zappyhire. The company’s client line includes small finance bank ESAF, Children’s Memorial Hospital, Hedge and CareStack.

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

The platform automatically pre-screens and ranks candidates from hundreds of applications using a semantic resume parser and AI-powered video interview. The platform with its database analyzes the candidate’s behavioral and language skills and the likelihood that he will join and stay with 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 data points about a candidate that makes the job easier for a recruiter. The system helps the recruiter from writing a job description to issuing the offer letter to a potential employee. It can also sense a candidate’s willingness or reluctance to accept a job based on their participation in the job offer. Each company can also configure our system without affecting their recruitment practices,” 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 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 transparent communication and updates to candidates during the recruitment process.


Pandemic gain
Zappyhire belongs to that category of businesses that benefited from the lockdown due to Covid. “Before Covid, recruitment automation or digital recruitment was just a ‘nice to have’ feature for companies. With the lockdown of the pandemic, it has become a ‘need’ and digital recruitment is becoming the new normal. It helped us accept it,” said Xavier.

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

He has started the process for the next round of funding as part of his business plan to expand to the United States of America by next year.

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