'Blind' recruitment platform bags £1.5m funding
A UK tech start-up launched to make recruitment smarter and fairer has raised seed funding of £1.5 million from several VCs and angel investors.
Applied was formed as a company in 2016 after spinning out of the Behavioural Insights Team and has since attracted investment from businesswoman and gender advocate Carol Schwartz and ward-winning Wharton Professor Adam Grant.
The platform removes information from applications such as name, address, hobbies and education (both years and institute) which may introduce bias when reviewing candidates.
Candidates are therefore assessed fairly on what they can do, not what they look like.
"Applied is more than just another tech start-up," said founder and CEO Kate Glazebrook.
"This investment is going to help change people’s lives by opening up the job market to more people and ensure, for the first time, truly meritocratic hiring.
"We're excited at the prospect of helping organisations take a fresh look at recruitment and shake off any unconscious biases which may be stifling their growth and success."
The seed funding round is being led by Blackbird Ventures and supported Skip Capital, Angel Academe, Giant Leap and Impact Generation Partners, along with a number of angel investors.
Already active in industries such as media, government and professional services, the investment will help Applied strengthen its data science programme and the revamped inclusive job description tool.
Customers include BCG's Centre for Public Impact, Frontline, GroupM, Hilton, L.E.K. Consulting, Penguin Random House, the UK Government and Wellcome Trust.
Nick Crocker, general partner, Blackbird Ventures, added: "Our mission is to find the most ambitious founders, and support them through every stage of their company journey.
"Kate and the team blew us away with the depth of their insight, the thoughtfulness of their product, and a mission that we’re obsessed with."