Sense, the San Francisco-based all-in-one hiring platform, has announced the securing of $50 million in new funding from SoftBank Vision Fund 2, which it will use to increase its headcount and come up with new products.

The company said it was now going to focus on “developing its conversational AI recruiting tools, preference-based job matching tech with the help of machine learning, as well as helping organizations to de-bias their hiring process”.

The investment will also allow Sense to grow internationally, in India — where it is due to open an office in Bengaluru in Q1 2022 — and Western Europe.

Tech Crunch reported that the capital injection valued the company at $500 million.

The company seeks to “help organizations achieve success in hiring fast, at scale, without sacrificing a personalized experience.”

It uses automation, artificial intelligence and personalization in its screening processes, with a focus on blue-collar workers.

Sense is active in three main areas. In terms of conversational recruiting, it says is it continuing to build more advanced conversational AI recruiting tools to scale and personalize hiring without overburdening recruiting teams.

Based on advanced AI and machine learning, it offers preference-based job matching, and is launching what it calls “the first of its kind matching technology that dynamically matches candidates to the right jobs based on their preferences, skills and experience.”

Finally, the California-based platform champions DEI, saying that it “remains committed to building more technology tools to help recruiting teams fairly and equitably build diverse candidate pipelines and workforces to support broader business initiatives and goals around Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.”

The start-up describes its founding mission as “to equip companies to engage with best-fit talent both quickly and effectively” — something it says is more important than ever amid the so-called Great Resignation, as high numbers of workers quit their jobs amid the ongoing pandemic.

The company said its customers report filling key roles 55% faster, and registering a 60% improvement in candidate response rates, and a twofold boost to candidate net promoter score (NPS), among other benefits.

It says it has doubled revenue and headcount, and added industry leaders to its roster over the last year.

CEO Anil Dharni — who founded the start-up along with Ram Gudavalli, Pankaj Jindal and Alex Rosen — said that the latest funding “comes on the heels of record growth and significant achievements for Sense. Over the past year we have doubled revenue, increased our deal size by 70% and added industry leaders to our customer base of more than 600 organizations including Kelly Services, Adecco, Kindred Healthcare, Sears, and Dell.”

He added, “Our latest funding is not only validation of the need for personalized talent engagement in today’s candidate-centric world but is also an accelerant for our platform globally as we help reshape the future of work.”

SoftBank Group Corp., Avataar Venture Partners, Accel, GV, and Signia Venture Capital participated in the investment round.

Sumer Juneja, head of India and partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers, said “We believe the critical nature of the Sense platform in enabling enterprise customers to find and hire quality talent faster has been clear. As it expands both nationally and globally, we have no doubt in their ability to positively transform how companies build great teams and compete.”

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