Zappyhire– a Kerala-based AI startup helps companies solve the recruitment conundrum

Kochi: After working with various IT majors for more than 15 years, Deepu Xavier and Jyothis KS have seen and closed the difficulties faced by companies during recruitment. Hence, when they decide to take the entrepreneurial route, they know exactly what they have to sell – a platform that facilitates the usual recruitment tasks. Thus was born Zappyhire. The Kochi-based startup, founded by the duo in 2018, is helping more than 50 clients with its AI-powered recruitment platform. After closing two successful funding rounds, the company appears to be on a promising path with ambitious business expansion plans.

It all started with Infy
Jyothis, originally from Kolenchery in Ernakulam district, and Xavier, a native of Cherthala in Alappuzha, met in 2010 when they were with Infosys. The two then drifted apart 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 realm of AI, finance and management. Jyothis who moved to Cognizant from Infosys worked 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 the Java programming language at Oracle, before his startup debut.

“When working in our previous company, one common challenge we noticed was about recruitment. The company spent a lot of time in the endless recruitment process. We found the scope of hue for automation in that area,” Xavier told Onmanorama about the origin the company.

Zappyhire had a humble beginning with just three employees, including the co-founder. Now, it’s a 46-member team. The company is based at the Kerala Startup Mission campus in Kalamassery and follows a remote working culture today. The company found its initial fortunes with the association with the Federal Bank which continues to be strong. A testimony by the main banking said that using Zappyhire, it can hire about 1,100 candidates across the country with a three-member team in three months. The company’s client line includes small finance banks ESAF, Baby Memorial Hospital, Hedge and CareStack.

(Left) Jyothis KS 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 a software as a service (SaaS) model and receives revenue from subscriptions. It offers a complete artificial intelligence (AI)-powered platform that helps its clients streamline the hiring process, saving resources and time. The Zappyhire platform automates the entire recruitment process of a company – from creating job requisitions to issuing offer letters and onboarding – by adapting to existing processes.

The platform automatically pre-screens and ranks candidates from hundreds of applications using semantic resume parsers and AI-enabled video interviews. Its platform and database analyze the candidate’s behavioral and language skills and the likelihood of joining and staying with the company. It also conducts robotic interviews in the initial phase of hiring.

“We never filter any candidate. The final decision about recruitment is only with the recruiter. We provide maximum datapoints about the candidate that makes the job easy for a recruiter. The system helps the recruiter right from writing a job description to issuing an offer letter to a potential employee. can also sense the desire or reluctance of candidates to take a job based on their post offer engagement. Each company can also configure our system without compromising their recruitment practices,” explained Xavier.

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

gain pandemic
Zappyhire belongs to the category of businesses that benefited from the lockdown caused by Covid. “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 get it,” said Xavier.

Financing 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 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 – EY associate partner, 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 it warrants confidence 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 to the United States by next year.

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