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

From a three-member start, Zappyhire's strength has now grown to be 46 people. Photo: Special arrangement

Kochi: Having worked with various IT majors for over 15 years, Deepu Xavier and Jyothis K S had seen up and close the difficulties companies face when it comes to recruitment. Hence, when they decided to take the entrepreneurship route, they knew what to sell – a platform that makes the mundane recruitment task easier. Thus born Zappyhire. The Kochi-based startup, founded by the duo in 2018, is helping over 50 clients with its AI-powered recruitment platform. Having closed two rounds of funding successfully, the company appears to be treading a promising path with an ambitious business expansion plan.

It all started with Infy
Jyothis, hailing 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 then parted ways as both of them took up bigger roles in other companies, but never failed to keep in touch. The two friends took the entrepreneurial plunge with their experience in the realms of AI, finance and management. Jyothis who moved to Cognizant from Infosys was working as the chief operating officer of CogniCor, a Spain-based Conversational AI company before founding Zappyhire. Xavier, after his stints at Infosys and Bosch, was the principal product manager of Java programming language at Oracle, before his startup debut.

“While working in our previous companies, one common challenge we observed was about recruitment. Companies spend a huge amount of time on the never-ending recruitment process. We found a hue scope for automation in the area,” Xavier told Onmanorama about the origins of their company.

Zappyhire had a humble beginning with just three employees, including the co-founders. Now, it’s a 46-member team. The company is based at the Kerala Starup Mission campus at Kalamassery and follows remote work culture now. The company found its initial fortunes with its association with Federal Bank which continues to be strong. A testimony by the banking major says that using Zappyhire, it was able to hire about 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.

(Left) Jyothis K S and Deepu Xavier founded Zappyhire with their experience in the realms of AI, finance and management. Photo: Special Arrangement

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

The platform auto pre-screens and ranks candidates from hundreds of applications using semantic resume parser and AI-enabled video interview. The platform with its database analyses a candidate’s behavioural and language skills and the probability of joining and staying with a firm. It also conducts robotic interviews in the initial phases of hiring.

“We never filter out any candidate. The final decision about recruitment is with the recruiter only. We provide maximum datapoints about a candidate that makes the job easier for a recruiter. The system helps the recruiter right 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 take up a job based on her post offer engagement. Each company can also configure our system without compromising on its recruitment practices,” Xavier explained.

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

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

Funding and expansion
Last November, the company raised Rs 3.71 crore from the 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 M I Sahadulla, Rajesh Nair – associate 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, turn into investors. Xavier said it reassured their belief 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 business to the USA by next year.

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