The nature of work is changing. And if funding is any indication, the Southeast startup scene is helping to shape what’s next for companies.
There are over 550 HR and recruiting-focused startups in the region, including many we’ve recently featured like Virginia-based Inclusively, Birmingham-based Boulo and Joonko, and Nashville-based Clovers.
20 HRTech startups in the Southeast raised VC funding over the course of the last year, according to available Crunchbase data. The latest one of these startups is Charleston-based Sprockets, a SaaS platform focused on improving how companies recruit talent.
The team also just secured a $10 million Series A round.
The Southeast is well represented on Sprocket’s cap table, as the Series A was led by Atlanta-based Forte Ventures with participation from Virginia-based Blu Ventures and South Carolina-based VentureSouth.
Healthy Ventures, Thayer Ventures, and Lytical Ventures also joined in the round.
For AJ Richichi, Sprockets’ CEO and founder, the Southeast is a unique place to build such a startup because of its “ wonderful blend of two things: a burgeoning tech scene that’s accelerating due to talent relocating from NY/CA and a strong franchise and hourly employer concentration (particularly in Atlanta).”
Sprockets takes a different approach to matching customers with the right talent. Using AI, the platform looks to streamline the hiring process for sales, hospitality, call centers, home health, and other important industry verticals.
This helps improve employee retention by 43% and reduces time spent on the hiring process by 37%, according to the company.
Richichi told Hypepotamus that the “candidate journey is changing from a one-sided, traditional paper application to a multifaceted, two-sided experience. Candidates today, especially Gen-Zers and Millennials, expect different things from work. They want to conduct more fulfilling work with companies that have corporate purposes, have fun during their shift, and have flexibility with work-life balance. They are oftentimes even willing to sacrifice a high salary to get these things, and they can be very selective with applying to companies due to the recent labor shortage.”
The WorkTech space is crowded, but Richichi said that Sprockets stands out by automating the first candidate screen, which he said is where “the majority of inefficiencies and discrimination currently occur.”
“By speeding up this process and making it more effective, our customers get to candidates faster and with far more confidence,” he added.
The team has grown by 4x over the last year, according to Richichi, and he expects a similar growth trajectory this year with hiring planned in “nearly every department.”