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HR Tech startup Sense raises $50M at a valuation of $500M from SoftBank Vision Fund 2 to expand internationally

HR Tech startup Sense, which helps some of the biggest recruiting agencies find and hire talent, raises $50 million in Series D funding at a valuation of $500 million from SoftBank's Vision Fund 2 to build new products and continue expanding internationally. 

The startup is rapidly growing and has added to the Series C funding it raised just six months ago. So far, it has raised a total of $90 million in the five-and-a-half years of being in business. Some of the company's early investors include Avataar Ventures, Accel, and GV-formerly Google Ventures.

The San Francisco-headquartered startup employs automation and artificial intelligence to recruit blue and grey-collar workers and maintain their entire lifecycle at their company.

Anil Dharni, the Co-founder and CEO of Sense, commented, "With increasing resignation rates, record number of job openings, and exponential pressures to fill open roles, businesses are faced with the increased challenges of hiring talent fast, and at scale, without sacrificing a hyper-personalized experience."

He also reiterated Sense's speed and agility in hiring talent, "Our customers report filling critical roles 55% faster, a 60% improvement in candidate response rates, and a 2X boost to candidate NPS, just to name a few."

It is only suiting that Dharni started Sense after facing issues hiring the right talent while running Funzio, a gaming startup sold to GREE for $210 million. 

He added, “We realized that talent is what makes or breaks a company. If you can’t attract the right people, your company is not going to be successful. It doesn’t matter what your TAM or business model is. It was with that realization that I decided that the next startup we are going to do, it’s going to be around solving for the talent space.”

According to Sense's website, over the past year, they have doubled revenue, increased their deal size by 70%, and added industry leaders like Dell, Sears, and Adecco to their existing customer base of more than 600 organizations.

The startup has also more than doubled its headcount over the past year and is still actively hiring. They will begin expanding their international footprint by opening a Sense office in Bengaluru, India, early next year.

Sense wants to continually develop and be at the forefront of product innovation when it comes to Conversational Recruiting, Preference-based Job Matching, and DEI.

According to Dharni, Sense is pursuing a $200 billion untapped market. 

Munish Varma, a Managing Partner at SoftBank Investment Advisers, said, "We have tracked Sense's growth and product innovation amid one of the most transformative years in the talent landscape. Powered by AI, the Sense platform aims to help companies manage the entire talent lifecycle which is of utmost importance in today’s competitive environment.”

“We believe the critical nature of the Sense platform in enabling enterprise customers to find and hire quality talent faster has been clear. As it expands both nationally and globally, we have no doubt in their ability to positively transform how companies build great teams and compete," concluded Sumer Juneja, Managing Partner, SoftBank Investment Advisers.

Aswin Raghav Rengarajan

Aswin has been a full-stack digital marketer and content creator since 2017. He is hooked to the Tech, Marketing, and HR world and constantly follows and documents all developments including, funding, M&As, and new launches. Apart from this, Aswin manages a nonprofit, co-hosts a podcast, and cheers for Manchester United.

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