A crowdsourcing startup to help bridge the talent gap for software projects

Codvo.ai helps businesses find the right pool of software engineers to work on AI, ML, cloud and similar projects
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Serial entrepreneur Amit Verma, who worked in the space of crowdsourcing and technology earlier, started witnessing a change in the attitude of young job seekers after the pandemic. People looking for jobs wanted something more than a paycheck, he says.

“Today, the young generation is increasingly looking at the learning opportunities that their job roles provide them and give more meaning to their life and careers. But many companies and job roles fail to deliver this expectation,” says Amit. 

To strike a balance between the expectations of job seekers and the growing demand for talent in tech businesses, Amit launched Codvo in 2020. The Hyderabad and Texas-based startup helps enterprises crowdsource software engineers to develop digital products.

Codvo.ai curates a talent pool of software engineers who can work with client companies on projects related to artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), cloud computing, ecommerce, UI/UX development, and more.

With a talent pool of around 150 experts, the team has delivered over 40 projects to companies in different sectors such as fintech, gaming, tech startups, ecommerce, and healthcare.  

Redefining hiring criteria

The bootstrapped startup was born out of Amit’s love for computer science. A software engineer, Amit has an MBA in Marketing and Strategy from Texas McCombs School of Business.

“Our target is to get the best software engineers to help a business. Codvo.ai can be defined as a work tech company that enables a curated talent pool and the businesses we cater to,” says Amit. The company devotes almost 50 percent of its time to hiring, he adds. 

While hiring, the team makes sure the potential employees have a set roadmap for the future.

“We give equal weightage to both customers and employees. We follow a strict code while hiring do not hire if you need them to solve just one pain point. The potential candidates need to have a future roadmap for the next few years. Otherwise, there is no growth opportunity neither for the team nor for the employee after a project is completed,” says Amit.

The hiring process begins with posting about the job openings. Candidates who have applied go through a pre-screening round, followed by a ‘tech round’ where a panel of experts from the Codvo team understand the expertise levels. In the final round,  Amit takes a call on whether to hire a candidate as a full-time employee or not.

Although not set in stone, the hiring team considers work experience of a minimum of five years as a plus point. 

How does it work?

Client companies reach out to the Codvo team with a specific skill required for a particular project. These skills are mostly related to Enterprise AI, Web 3.0, and Data. Codvo curates a team of technologists, developers, and product owners, who are called the ‘RightFit Team’, keeping in mind parameters like skillset match, cultural alignment, time zone, etc. There is no cap on the minimum or maximum number of developers to work on a particular project. 

Commenting on the time zone collaborations, Amit says, “The day starts at 2 pm for the RightFit team and ends at around 9 pm. These timings might seem odd, but it helps the team sitting in India to have at least a few hours to collaborate with the client team, which might be sitting in a different time zone.”

The company uses Time and Material contracts, which are similar to a subscription model, and charges client companies on a monthly basis. However, the company did not disclose the subscription charges.  

As per the filings with the Registrar of Companies, Codvo.ai made a revenue of approximately Rs 87 lakh in FY22.

Codvo.Ai

Challenges

Codvo began with a team of about five people. One of the challenges it faced was delivering critical projects on time while being a completely virtual team. 

“Before the pandemic, very few companies were 100 percent virtual and it was a new concept. But the pandemic increased the value of our company and work policy. Even during the Great Resignation phase, we adapted well and retained maximum people with the help of good company culture,” says Amit. 

The pandemic also opened the doors for more women to join the Codvo team. About 35 percent of the talent pool at Codvo comprises of women who are reaping the benefits of remote work and flexible time.

The startup has a net promoter score of 90 percent—indicating a high likelihood of its clients recommending its services to others.

The market and future

According to Markets and Markets, the global crowdsourced testing market size will grow from $1.6 billion in 2022 to $2.5 billion by 2027, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 9.4 percent. 

At present, Codvo.ai competes with the likes of InnoCentive, OpenIDEO, Amazon Mechanical Turk, and Upwork Inc. According to the founders, the remote setup and the opportunities for its employees to grow and contribute independently or with collaboration makes Codvo.ai different from other crowdsourcing platforms.

Codvo team is now building a SaaS platform (Zelio) to power Virtual Silicon Valleys across the globe and fuel scale and acceleration in high-tech areas.

The platform is also coming up with a feature called the ‘Learn and Earn’ Programme. It is a peer-to-peer training programme where developers of a specific area of expertise can mentor other developers to upskill them. Amit feels this feature will be more beneficial than a one-week training programme or a boot camp. 

According to him, working professionals are increasingly looking for learning opportunities within their job roles because it is directly related to their empowerment. 

“Facilitating a learning environment within a job role is a challenge in our industry. What if you put someone in a project and they lose interest later or want to explore more options? We have to be mindful and create a learning mechanism that would not just give professionals a certificate or training, but a meaningful work experience that empowers them,” he concludes.

Edited by Megha Reddy

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