Social Capital’s first Southeast Asia investment is an Indonesian HR startup

Indonesia-based Urbanhire – which develops software to help companies manage their recruiting process – announced its pre-series A financing round today.

The round was led by local VC Convergence Ventures. The amount raised wasn’t disclosed. Social Capital, 500 Startups, Tortola Capital, Denali Capital, and Intrafood Group also participated.

The investment is Social Capital’s first in Southeast Asia, says Urbanhire.

This makes Social Capital the latest established US VC firm to seek opportunity in the region. Tim Draper also recently announced his first Southeast Asia investment.

Social Capital is known for backing enterprise chat software Slack and other global software-as-a-service (SaaS) unicorns like SurveyMonkey. Its founder, Chamath Palihapitiya, started his career as an early employee of Facebook.

The Silicon Valley firm’s expertise in helping enterprise SaaS startups grow led to its interest in Urbanhire, the startup’s co-founder and CEO Benson Kawengian told Tech in Asia.

Social Capital joined the round later in the day, with Convergence Ventures and 500 Startups already committed.

None of the new investors are joining the startup’s board as part of this round, Kawengian says, though there’s a chance this might change with future capital raises.

Sticky product

Founded in early 2016, Urbanhire enables more efficient recruiting, allowing employers to post and update job openings at multiple job portals at the same time, track applications, and coordinate teams throughout the entire hiring process.

The company is seeing impressively high employee engagement and employer retention.

Urbanhire now has 2,500 businesses subscribing to its software, according to Kawengian. It integrates with 40 job portals. It counts large institutions like Indonesia’s public healthcare provider BPJS and media group Kompas Gramedia as clients.

Kawengian says the product’s high retention rate is promising, with some firms logging “thousands of sessions” on the platform once they’ve signed up.

This also seems to have caught Social Capital’s attention. “The company is seeing impressively high employee engagement and employer retention,” partner Ashley Carroll is quoted as saying in today’s press release.

Any type of business can make use of the software, Kawengian says, but the best fit has been with medium to large companies that typically have a headcount over 300 people.

Moving forward, Urbanhire plans to expand partnerships with job portals across the region. It wants applicants from everywhere in the world to be able to use its software.

In terms of its team on the ground Urbanhire plans to stay local for now, targeting Indonesian companies. Being local gives it an edge over established enterprise HR management solutions from the US or Europe, Kawengian says.

Indonesian startups like Rekruta and Ekrut have some overlap with what Urbanhire is doing, yet their focus is more on the matchmaking rather than managing the entire application process. Philippine startup Kalibrr has more similarities with Urbanhire, Kawengian says.

Urbanhire wants to use the additional financing to build sales and marketing capabilities and accelerate product development.

The startup last took on capital in its March 2016 seed round (link in Indonesian), from local VC RMKB Ventures and angel investors.

Nadine Freischlad

Indonesia Editor
Tech in Asia

Source: Techinasia

https://www.techinasia.com/urbanhire-pre-series-a

The Urbanhire team. Photo credit: Urbanhire.