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Aon Hewitt acquires Gurgaon-based hiring assessments platform CoCubes in all-cash deal

Aparajita Choudhury
15th Nov 2016
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Aon Hewitt, the global talent, retirement and health solutions business of Aon Plc, has acquired Gurgaon-based hiring assessment company CoCubes in an all-cash deal.

The acquisition will see Aon Hewitt adding two million assessments to its existing global portfolio of 20 million assessments spread across 164 countries.

cocubes

A solution provider in selection and assessment, Aon Hewitt helps organisations make better hiring decisions and improve performance by predicting the success of their potential employees. CoCubes, meanwhile, connects colleges, students and corporates using assessments, creating a seamless entry-level hiring ecosystem.

Harpreet Singh, Co-Founder and CEO of CoCubes, says,

“After spending nine years on building a successful assessment business, we felt it was time to find an organisation to propel our growth further and faster. This is not a deal that happened in 30 days - it took around 730 days, 100 meetings, 200 coffees, 300 beers and 1,000 emails to make this possible.”

He further wrote in his blog that Aon Hewitt was actively looking for a partner to build a comprehensive solution in hiring assessments. Employability and job readiness is seen as the number one challenge in the hiring process by their clients, not only in India, but in several markets across the Asia Pacific region. Aon Hewitt’s focus on assessments as a priority area, complementary product strengths and global reach fit these needs. With over 20,000 clients globally, Aon Hewitt serves 70 percent of the Fortune 500, spread across more than 160 countries.

Started nine years ago by Harpreet Singh and Vibhore Goyal, CoCubes’ business has three pillars – corporate, college (students) and vocational assessments. The startup conducted over two million assessments for 600 clients across 350 cities. The company is profitable, with a CAGR of about 50 percent.

“With Aon Hewitt’s 30 years of experience in helping employers use science and data to measure employability, we are better equipped to create assessments that directly tie in with current and future job requirements, have increased validity and a continuous improvement in ROI,” says Harpreet.

Aon Hewitt claims to be the global leader in human resource solutions, with over 35,000 professionals in 90 countries serving more than 20,000 clients worldwide across more than 100 solutions.

Harpreet and Vibhore will continue to lead the business as a separate practice line, and will join Aon Hewitt’s Talent, Rewards and Performance (TRP) vertical, reporting to Nitin Sethi, Partner and Chief Commercial Officer, India Consulting, Aon Hewitt.

“With the acquisition of CoCubes, we will now be a one-stop-shop for entry-level hiring assessment solutions. CoCubes complements our specialisation in behavioural and leadership assessment with its technical and vocational assessments, in addition to its innovative proctoring solutions. By solving the employability challenge with educational institutions and sector skill councils, Aon Hewitt is now geared to fulfill the entry-level hiring needs for corporate clients,” says Nitin.

Harpreet says that all the investors of CoCubes are making a positive return, with angels making manifold returns. And more than 20 percent of the CoCubes' employees are making money from this acquisition.

“We have only one institutional venture, Ojhas Venture, with us right now. Ojhas invested in CoCubes’ Series A and B rounds, and is making a positive return. We have 106 employees, who will all join Aon; we will, however, operate out of here. 10 percent of our stock was in ESOP. Each one of the employee shareholders, current and old has been cashed out and we are proud that we have been able to generate wealth for about 18 percent of our team size.” adds Harpreet.

Nitin says, “The key areas where the acquisition will help Aon are corporate assessment, technical assessment of companies using various tools and programmes, providing job opportunities to them, and occasional assessment in the form of scheme development programmes.”

Market Overview

The online hiring space has lately seen a surge of entrants, who are increasingly becoming the go-to platforms for job seekers and recruiters alike. Mobility has also played a significant role in cutting down the turnaround time and driving high efficiency.

Hiring today is not only about sourcing, interviewing candidates and getting the vacancy filled, but also about making the right match between the required role and a candidate’s capability.

Bengaluru-based job portal Hiree, which raised Rs 18 crore from IDG in early 2015, recently got acquired by cross-category classifieds platform Quikr. Online marketplace for entry-level and blue collar jobs Aasaanjobs raised $5 million in a Series A round in November 2015. Babajob, through its RapidHire platform, drives inbound phone calls from screened candidates to employers. The startup secured $10 million in funding in April 2015.

Website: CoCubes

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