Workey raises $8 million for AI-powered jobs site

07 Jun 2017

Tel Aviv-based Workey raised an $8-million U.S. Series A round for its AI-powered recruitment platform that focuses on helping millennials find a career. The new funding was led by PICO Partners and Magma VC, which also invested the original $1.6 million in 2015.

Workey’s artificial intelligence compares a user’s skills and employment history with those of other users across the web, including friends on social media, in order to recommend a new job or career path.

The identities of Workey users are cloaked, which is designed to appeal to users who are already in jobs and may be only passively seeking new opportunities — if at all. Workey’s AI can suggest jobs the user might not have considered or known about. Only if the potential job seeker expresses interest in a job, is his or her full identity revealed to the potential employer.

Access to these so-called “passive” job seekers has been one of the Holy Grails for the recruitment classified industry, and combining a user’s “social graph” — the Big Data collected via social media — with machine learning and AI is an enticing step forward.

It’s part of what’s led to a mini-rush of investment in recruitment classified sites over the past year: Shiftgig ($20 million), Job Today ($20 million), The Muse ($16 million), Jobandtalent ($42 million), Jobbio ($5.6 million) and Hired (which closed a $70 million Series C round last year).

Other companies that are developing AI tools to improve or replace headhunting include Engage, First Job, Arya, and Mya.

Workey sees its mission as greater than just helping users find their next job.

“Our aim is to help people take steps that build a career by providing a true reading of the job market and an individual’s potential,” Workey CMO Danny Shteinberg told VentureBeat.

Workey started with a focus on engineering jobs, but its technology can be adapted to work with other industries. Workey charges companies a fee; it’s free for job seekers. Some of the companies on board so far include Yahoo, Amazon, Dell, Cisco and Oracle.

Yahoo praised Workey in a statement. “The smart recommendations and quality introductions facilitated by Workey, combined with its easy-to-use and welcoming platform, has enabled us to fill multiple positions with ideal candidates,” said Yahoo recruitment manager Omri Perek.

Workey didn’t start out emphasizing AI. When the company first came to our attention in 2016, it was pushing a friends-bring-friends referral model helping job-seekers make connections via social media.

Workey says it will use the new financing to open an office in New York as it expands across the U.S. The company was founded by Ben Reuveni, Danny Shteinberg, and Amichai Schreiber, and has worked with more than 400 companies so far.

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Brian Blum

Brian Blum covers the U.S., Canada and Israel for Classified Intelligence Report, and contributes to our special reports and research projects. Originally from San Francisco and now based in Jerusalem, he has been with the AIM Group since 2004. He is the president of Blum Interactive Media, specializing in writing and multimedia content development for online, print, video and audio. His clients include newspapers, universities and non-profits. He is currently working on a book about the billion-dollar bankruptcy of a once high-flying Israeli startup.