Visage, Recruiting Startup, Raises $7 Million In Series A Funding

By Bruce Harpham Saturday, April 3, 2021

Hiring employees remains difficult for employers and job applicants. Visage, an AI human resources startup company in San Francisco, aims to make hiring easier for business managers.

A hiring manager interviewing an applicant.

The HR startup company recently announced its Series A investment round, which brought $7 million to the business. Currently, the HR company has 25 employees as of March 24. Joss Leufrancois, co-founder and CEO of Visage, previously acted as co-founder for Aldelia, a human resources (HR) advisory firm serving clients in Europe, the Middle East, and other locations.

How the HR Company Helps With Hiring

Visage uses a crowdsourcing model to start the recruitment process. When a business submits a job opening to Visage, five or more sources are assigned to identify potential job candidates. To fulfill requests, the HR company has more than 3,000 sourcers and expands its recruitment service reach through different locations. Currently, Visage is active in more than 30 countries, including Indonesia and the United States (US). The HR startup uses artificial intelligence (AI) to filter out applicants based on employer feedback (e.g., candidates accepted and rejected).

Competing Against Traditional Recruitment Firms

The traditional recruitment industry tends to charge high fees to recruit employees. The percentage model involves charging up to 20% of what the hired person would earn in their first year. Visage uses a subscription fee model, which may make it more attractive to large employers.

According to IBIS World research, there are over twelve thousand employment and recruitment businesses in the US. Major companies in the industry include Randstad (a global recruitment company that generated over €20 billion in revenue in 2020) and LinkedIn. In addition, Visage also competes against do-it-yourself job posting services like ZipRecruiter (a company that distributes job postings) and Indeed.

Success With Large Business Customers

For a startup, Visage has already won a following in the enterprise. The AI HR startup company is already used by company managers at IBM, Siemens, and Cielo Talent." We needed to supplement our existing team with experienced support to help us find a pool of qualified and diverse candidates and move them through our process," said Global Head of TA at Siemens Energy, Mike Brown, in a press release. Siemens Energy is an energy business formed in 2020 with more than 90,000 employees worldwide.

Investors Contribute $10 Million

The human resources technology business has raised a total of $10 million in total funding. In 2019, Cielo Talent (an outsourced recruitment provider) invested in the HR startup business. The Series A funding round included contributions from Urban Innovation Fund, Newfund Capital, and First Analysis.

Acting as the lead investor in the Series A round, First Analysis offers both investment banking services (e.g., equity research) and traditional venture capital funding. The company has invested in Fortress (a company focused on information security risk management) and Vida Diagnostics (an AI health business).

Recruitment Startup Competition Is Growing

Visage is far from alone in using technology to improve the recruitment process. According to Crunchbase data, there are more than four hundred funded startups in the recruiting industry as of March 2021. For example, Eightfold also uses AI in recruiting and has already raised $176 million in funding. Other businesses take a niche approach to recruiting candidates. Handshake, which has raised $154 million in funding, focuses on serving students and recent graduates.

About the Author


Headshot for author Bruce Harpham

Bruce Harpham is an author and marketing consultant based in Canada. His first book "Project Managers At Work" shared real-world success lessons from NASA, Google, and other organizations. His articles have been published in CIO.com, InfoWorld, Canadian Business, and other organizations. Visit BruceHarpham.com for articles, interviews with tech leaders, and updates on future books.

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