Big data startup for talent sourcing, Belong raises USD 5M series A funding

By Alok Soni|22nd Jun 2015
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Bengaluru-based talent sourcing startup Belong, today announced that it has raised $5 million in Series A funding led by Matrix Partners India. Blume Ventures; Snapdeal co-founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal; Phanindra Sama, co-founder of redBus, and Raju Reddy, founder of Sierra Atlantic, also participated in the investment round. The funding will be invested to build team and technology.

Founded in 2014 by BITS Pilani alumnus Vijay Sharma and Sudheendra Chilappagari, Belong was running for a few months in stealth mode. Both Vijay and Sudheendra were earlier a part of Exotel. The company is now 35 member-strong distributed across data science, product engineering and customer success team.

Belong-team
(From L-to-R) Vijay Sharma, Saiteja Veera, Sudheendra Chilappagari, Rishabh Kaul

Belong.co's working mechanism

Belong enables growing companies to discover and engage high-impact talent through data science and predictive analytics. Its search and recommendation technology analyzes millions of profiles across social, internet and public sources to help companies discover potential candidates who best fit their culture and skills requirements, while gaining verified insights into whether they are passively open to new opportunities. The data-driven solution also helps companies kickstart engagement with candidates through personalized interactions that are backed by social insights. Vijay says,

We're using data & predictive analysis to source the talent. We do not just look at skill space matching, but the culture fit as well. Vijay says,

Belong goes beyond the conventional discovery of talent. We work towards personalizing the interaction as well. We are here to solve the problem not gunning at 10000 clients.

The clientele and the impact

Belong's solution has been put to test by some of India's fastest-growing companies that are using it to recruit for product and engineering positions. Over the last year, Belong has worked with 15-20 customers including Snapdeal, Ola, Practo, Akosha, Zivame, and more -- all of which have collectively made more than 100 offers through the solution. According to Bhavish Aggarwal, CEO and Co-Founder of Ola believes that Belong's ability to consistently bring relevant, competent and interested talent to the table makes it stand out. The company has helped Ola recruit mid to senior hires.

Vijay says,

Our revenues vary a lot from client to client because of our unconventional SaaS model. We emphasize a lot on customizing according to different clients and requirements.

Belong's revenues have been growing at a healthy 40-50% M-o-M.

Investment's interest

According to Tarun Davda, Director, Matrix India the SaaS market in India is developing very fast and the next few years will see world-class SaaS companies coming out of India. Matrix India has made five SaaS investments in the past twelve months and plan to continue investing to build upon our Global SaaS franchise.

Belong has got a few strategic investors on-board as well. Vijay shared that the angels participating in this round (Kunal Bahl, Rohit Bansal and Phanindra Sama) will mostly help with their ability to think exponentially.

Karthik Reddy, Managing Partner at Blume Ventures believes that hiring is broken at a fundamental level at most levels in most organizations. He says,

Belong is deeply committed to engineering solutions using data to solve the problems of hiring the 'right' people to the right jobs and companies.

Where will the funding go?

The company intends to triple-down on its product and focus majorly on data Sciences, R&D, and engineering in the coming months. While Belong is currently open for growing companies to hire product and engineering talent, it will soon be available for hiring data sciences and design talent, as well.

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