Xor, a San Francisco-based startup developing an AI chatbot platform for recruiters and job seekers, today announced that it has raised $8.4 million in a seed funding round led by SignalFire, with participation from Gurtin Ventures and Twin VC. The capital infusion comes after a year in which Xor tripled sales in the U.S., reaching $2 million in annual recurring revenue and closing deals with over 100 customers in 15 countries, including ExxonMobil, Ikea, Baxter Personnel, Heineken, IBS, Aldi, Hoff, McDonald’s, and Mars.
Cofounder and CEO Aida Fazylova said the fresh funds will enable Xor to expand its workforce of 52 people and accelerate development of its forthcoming product, which is designed to automate internal processes like onboarding, paperwork filing, and estimating job satisfaction and churn. She says that several of Xor’s customers are already piloting the solution ahead of a broad launch in the coming months.
“Xor was born out of my personal pain. Throughout my long career as a recruiter, I have noticed that 75% of my working hours are spent on routine and repetitive tasks, like scheduling interviews, CV screening, asking the same questions over and over again on phone interviews,” said Fazylova. “I started the company to let recruiters focus on the human touch — building relationships, interviewing candidates, and attracting the best talent to their companies. Meanwhile, AI takes care of repetitive tasks and provides 24/7 personalized service to every candidate. We are proud to get support from SignalFire and other amazing investors who help us drive our mission to make the recruitment experience better and more transparent for everyone.”
Xor was founded in 2016 by Fazylova (who has a background in recruiting) and Nikolay Manolov (a serial entrepreneur) and provides a chatbot that automates tedious job recruitment tasks, like scheduling interviews; sorting applications; and responding to questions via email, text, and messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and Skype. The eponymous Xor — which is hosted on Microsoft’s Azure — draws on over 500 sources for suitable candidates and screens those candidates autonomously, leveraging 103 different languages and algorithms trained on 17 different HR and recruitment data sets.
With Xor’s backend tools, hiring managers can build dialogue flows code-free — using a visual design tool — and schedule SMS reminders about upcoming interviews. Additionally, they can integrate the Xor chatbot with existing applicant tracking and candidate relationship management systems such as Talantix, Tempworks, Lever, Avature, Taleo, and JazzHR, in addition to calendar providers like Google Calendar and Outlook.
Xor has competition in Mya, a chatbot that claims to automate as much as 75% of the recruitment process, and Wade & Wendy, a recruitment platform cofounded out New York University that offers both recruiting and career advice chatbots. But Xor has achieved impressive momentum in just three years, with 2.5 million job seekers prescreened to date and a claimed 99.3% satisfaction rate.
“Xor is enabling employers to hire better and faster while providing candidates and employees with a better way to communicate during the hiring process and on the job,” said SignalFire cofounder and managing director Ilya Kirnos. “We believe every company will be using machine learning and conversational AI to streamline their recruiting and HR processes, and Xor is at the forefront of that movement. It’s a massive opportunity and Xor has the domain and technology expertise to win this market.”
The chatbot market is expected to reach $1.23 billion by 2025, according to Grand View Research, and there’s a good reason for its continued growth: Roughly 69% of consumers prefer chatbots for quick communication with brands, according to a recent Salesforce survey. Moreover, Gartner predicts that they’ll power 85% of all customer service interactions by the year 2020.