Home Feature Atlanta Startup Grayscale Lands $3.25M To Improve High-Volume Hiring Through Texting

Atlanta Startup Grayscale Lands $3.25M To Improve High-Volume Hiring Through Texting

by Maija Ehlinger

Ty Abernethy has spent the last decade using tech to address the inefficient process of hiring new talent. 

The University of Georgia grad co-founded ConveyIQ in New York in 2012, an interviewing platform ultimately acquired by Entelo.

Atlanta Ventures has taken note of his latest startup, the Atlanta-based candidate engagement platform Grayscale, with the announcement of a $3.25 million seed investment. 

Jon Birdsong, Partner at Atlanta Ventures, said it was the right time to invest because Abernethy and his co-founder Hubert Liu had created a “repeatable, profitable business model.” 

“Ty and Hubert’s assiduous approach to finding product-market fit was like watching a sculptor build a masterpiece,” Birdsong said. “Every time we caught up, new market insights were uncovered, recently-deployed product features satiated a craving market, and happy customers paid at a profitable price point. Their professional and experienced mix of art, science, and execution continually validated our desire to partner with them.” 

Liu, a Georgia Tech graduate, has made his rounds at other Atlanta tech successes like Hannon Hill, Rigor, and Pardot. 

Abernethy and Liu worked together for six months before bringing on their first non-founder hire. Within two years they scaled to hit $1 million ARR with a team of five, two numbers they’ve blown well past as the business continues to scale.

Abernethy said they have just hired their twelfth employee and are actively recruiting engineers, sales professionals, and customer experience experts.

Birdsong added: “[Abernethy and Liu] are living proof Bulldawgs and Yellow Jackets can thrive together!” 



Abernethy told Hypepotamus that Grayscale is focused on the “inefficiencies and challenges that result during high-volume hiring” for call centers, warehouses, and the like.

“What happens typically is that you have things break down throughout the process or candidates don’t show up for interviews. And all those little inefficiencies means the process drags on…and candidates accept a job offer elsewhere,” added Abernethy.

Using SMS messaging, Grayscale is designed to help candidates feel like they are navigating a 1:1 recruiting experience, even though the recruiter on the other end is often tasked with juggling hundreds of applicants at the same time.

Candidates receive updates at each step of the recruiting process via text message to keep up with assessments, background checks, or other interview-specific requirements. For recruiters, Grayscale integrates with common applicant tracking systems (ATS) like Greenhouse, Lever, Workday, BrassRing, and ADP. 

While Abernethy said Grayscale took a hit early in the pandemic as companies pulled back on hiring, business bounced back by May of 2020. He credits the fact that “corporate recruiting teams are really accelerating technology adoption. They no longer feel like the appropriate solution is to throw more bodies at the problem. They’re actively looking for technology to help solve [recruting] problems.”

The startup was largely bootstrapped up until this seed round and has built an impressive list of early customers. Wayfair, Doordash, Warby Parker, Amazon Pharmacy, and Peloton use the platform to quickly and efficiently recruit talent. 

Abernethy told Hypepotamus that two million candidates have been engaged with for a potential job opportunity through Grayscale’s platform to date. 

And for those in the Atlanta area passionate about recruiting or working for a growing tech startup, Grayscale’s own job board is packed with open positions in Engineering, Sales, and Customer Success.


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Featured photo provided by Grayscale: Ty Abernethy (left), Hubert Liu (right)


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