[Funding alert] Talent management startup Sense raises $16M Series C round led by Avataar Ventures

Talent management startup Sense will use the Series C funding of $16 million to expand its global footprint in India and add new members to the executive leadership team.

[Funding alert] Talent management startup Sense raises $16M Series C round led by Avataar Ventures

Thursday June 17, 2021,

4 min Read

San-Francisco based talent management startup Sense has raised Series C funding of $16 million led by Avataar Ventures. The round also saw participation from existing investors Accel Partners and Google Ventures

With this round of funding, Sense is expanding their global footprint in India with the addition of new members to the executive leadership team. Sanjay Dharmani (ex-InMobi) will join as Managing Director, Sense India, while Nishant Rao, Founder of Avataar Venture Partners, will join the board. 

Anil Dharni, CEO and Co-founder of Sense, said, “We see India as a highly strategic market for us. The tech talent in Indian is very robust and knowledgeable in SaaS solutions. This global expansion allows us to tap into that rich talent market to grow our product and engineering team as well as a dedicated marketing and customer success team. And eventually it will serve as our regional HQ for broader Asia expansion which itself holds a $110 billion market potential.” 


Sanjay Dharmani

Sense was founded in 2015 by Anil Dharni and Pankaj Jindal, who come with deep expertise in staffing and software. Sense is an enterprise-ready solution that provides a system of engagement for talent acquisition teams.

Speaking of joining the team, Sanjay told YourStory, “I am looking forward to joining a startup in a growth domain where I can impact the overall success of the company significantly. I got connected to Pankaj Jindal (Co-founder of Sense) through a common friend. We met a couple of times and I got excited about the HR tech domain as this serves a very important purpose and directly impacts people’s lives.”

The India plans

Sanjay said the pandemic had negatively impacted industries like hospitality and travel while demand for people grew significantly in industries like healthcare and ecommerce as they underwent a transformation to meet growing demand.

He said amid the pandemic they worked closely with customers, understanding their changing needs and aligned plans accordingly

Sanjay said, “Serving as Sense’s India Managing Director, my focus is on nurturing the company’s culture and values as we grow the team across different functions in India. We will look to utilise the funds to further accelerate our expansion plans. For Sense India, our priorities are:

  1. Grow our technology centre of excellence by growing our data sciences, product, and engineering teams.
  2. Enhance our operational excellence by expanding our business operations, marketing, inside sales, and customer success teams.
“Since COVID our revenue has doubled and so has our employee count. Our customer base also grew significantly during this period,” Sanjay said. 

Sense leverages technology and provides an AI-driven talent engagement and communication platform for recruiting. It focuses heavily on following aspects: 

  • Singular Engagement Platform: There is a growing demand to hire relevant candidates in bulk for temporary and permanent assignments. The singular engagement platform lets customers engage thousands of candidates through multiple touch points swiftly and help recruiters hire in the shortest possible.
  • Automation first: The automation platform helps recruiters focus on building better relationships and connecting with candidates. This enhances the overall hiring process and contributes directly to the bottomline of customers as the overall efficiency of the recruitment process improves significantly.
  • Personalised experience: This is the most important aspect. “Our AI and machine learning platform understands candidates better and helps recruiters provide personalised communication across the entire talent lifecycle at scale. There is a dedicated focus on the overall engagement experience as irrespective of the hiring outcome, candidates as well as recruiters should have a pleasant engagement experience,” Sanjay said. 

Future plans

Since inception, Sense has experienced significant growth, servicing more than 400 customers across the globe, including Amazon and Kelly Services.

This past year, the startup has doubled revenue and employee headcount, extending this impressive streak to four years in a row.

Nishant Rao, Founding Partner, Avaatar Venture Partners, said, “Based on my extended stint running LinkedIn in the region and thereby developing a great appreciation for HR tech, I’m really excited about the immense potential Sense holds. The macro-shift to contingent labor and gig economy has already grown 10x over the past decade and yet we’ve only just begun scratching the surface. I believe our investments in new products will allow Sense to go from a robust system of engagement to a truly distinctive network/platform play for the future.”


Edited by Teja Lele