Steve Bartel learned the value of hiring firsthand. He was one of Dropbox’s earliest employees, and as hiring manager, he helped the firm grow from 100 employees to over 1,000 in less than five years. At MIT, he met co-founder Nick Bushak. Bushak went on to head product engineering teams at Facebook, where he experienced a similar hiring experience.
They both noticed a shift in employment practices from asset-based to knowledge-based and decided to create Gem in 2017 to address these shifts.
“You used to be able to assess a company’s value in factories, raw resources, and things, but now it’s measured in people,” Bartel explained. “Companies are vying for top talent like never before, and our objective is to be the ‘Salesforce for hiring.’” Recruiting is being treated more like sales and marketing, and instead of waiting for prospects to apply, businesses are going after them, he noted. Furthermore, businesses are recognizing that their inbound application pool is not as varied, equal, or inclusive as they would like.
Companies like LinkedIn provide the talent, and WorkDay manages and tracks the hiring process, but Gem serves as the link between the two, allowing businesses to do proactive hiring by sending hundreds of emails, hosting events, running branded email campaigns, and ad spending to engage with candidates.
Bushak stated, “We assist customers hire the individuals they need up to five times faster.” “We can discover if there is any prejudice or drop-off during the interview process by giving statistics that track the end-to-end process and track diversity.”
The company raised $100 million in Series C fundraising on Tuesday, valued at $1.2 billion, to help it speed its growth. ICONIQ led the investment, which comprised previous investors Greylock and Accel as well as new investors Sapphire Ventures and Meritech Capital. The latest donation raises the total amount raised to $148 million.
“Finding investors we loved” was the goal of Series C, according to Bartel. Although Gem did not require the funds, collaborating with investors such as ICONIQ and Sapphire will allow it to “double down on growth, expand into other areas, and build on the early success in the enterprise as Gem explores international expansion and more product investment,” he added.
ICONIQ general partner Matthew Jacobson says he met Gem through an existing contact with Greylock during the company’s Series B round. Jacobson and his team were working on several marketing products and platforms and thought Gem’s approach to managing candidate interactions and talent tracking was unique.