October 13, 2021 | News & Events

The Interviewing Cloud is the future of technical hiring

Karat raises $110M in Series C funding to make the Interviewing Cloud the global standard for technical hiring. Learn what it is, why it matters, and how we got here.

Mo Bhende
CEO and co-founder

In the race to hire software engineers, companies invest $60 billion of engineering time each year conducting interviews. Unfortunately, despite that significant investment, every engineering leader we speak with shares that they are not able to interview and hire at the scale and speed required to compete for top talent. Most organizations aren’t able to conduct enough interviews with the quality and consistency needed to meet hiring targets and differentiate the candidate experience. We call this the Interview Gap. The Interviewing Cloud closes it.

Karat’s Interviewing Cloud has been a game-changer for us. We’ve gotten back over 25,000 hours of developer time that we’re able to spend innovating and building products. Our candidates love the Karat experience and they move more quickly through the process. Without Karat, it would have been a challenge to grow our engineering team at the pace that we have, and with the high talent bar that we have.

Joseph Sirosh
CTO, Compass

Jeff and I started Karat with a clear purpose in mind: to unlock opportunity. And that’s exactly what we help clients and candidates to do. Compass is one of dozens of Karat clients who have gone public working with Karat, but the Interviewing Cloud isn’t just for high-growth IPOs and technology enterprises. As digital transformation accelerates, we’re seeing the world’s biggest companies like Ford Motor, Bank of America, Schlumberger, and Amgen turn to Karat to transform their technical hiring.

Just like the public cloud moved everyone from private computing to shared infrastructure, Karat’s Interviewing Cloud is upending the old way of do-it-yourself interviewing that eats into valuable engineering time and fails to delight candidates.

Today, Karat announced our Series C funding round. We raised $110M at a $1.1B valuation, led by Tiger Global, and joined by other inside-investors, including Norwest Venture Partners, 8VC, Exor, Base Partners, and Sempervirens Fund. This funding accelerates the opportunity to make the Interviewing Cloud the global standard for technical hiring.

Jeff and I would like to extend a sincere thank you to every Karateer, client, candidate, Interview Engineer, investor, advisor, partner, mentor, and friend who helped make today possible.

What is the Interviewing Cloud?

The Interviewing Cloud is an always-on human + tech solution for conducting interviews on behalf of companies worldwide, 24/7. We built a global network of highly skilled Interview Engineers–experienced developers who love to conduct technical interviews. They use Karat’s purpose-built interviewing technology to deliver predictive, fair, and enjoyable interviews at scale.

Clients love the Interviewing Cloud and adoption is accelerating. We’ve unlocked millions of hours of engineering time. Clients are hiring up to four times faster and conducting three times fewer onsite interviews per hire than they were before Karat. Over the past year, Karat has tripled bookings and doubled our number of customers. In addition to the rapid growth, we are focused on building deep, strategic partnerships. Our average enterprise client is doubling their contract size year-over-year, and we now have eight companies spending more than $1M per year.

Candidates love the Interviewing Cloud because we created a flexible candidate-centric process designed to give more people a shot at interviewing and to reduce anxiety. Candidates have access to on-demand interviews and the ability to interview when they want, and 50 percent of candidates interview on nights and weekends. Increased capacity also unlocks innovations like the interview redo, which gives candidates second chances and reduces their interview anxiety. Twenty percent of candidates elect for a redo, but what I’m most proud of is that 95 percent of all candidates rate their Karat experience as positive.

Karat is a great resource, I liked the fact that you have a redo option, and I like that you are approaching the interviewee with empathy. For an interviewee, it can be stressful, and I think your service is doing the best it can to alleviate it.

--Candidate Feedback

The future of the Interviewing Cloud

Today, the Karat Interviewing Cloud has the capacity to conduct more than 50,000 interviewing hours per month. Next year, we’ll interview more engineering candidates than any company on the planet. Karat has the largest cross-company technical interviewing dataset in the world, and this new funding will allow us to invest even more in data science and interviewing innovations to unlock insights for companies and to expedite hiring processes for candidates.

Karat’s Interviewing Cloud has become a significant differentiator for how we hire engineers. Our engineering team loves the time they get back -- tens of thousands of hours over just two years. Karat’s 24/7 interview coverage is great for candidates, and their around-the-clock scheduling support has helped us to streamline our remote hiring processes. Karat is also incredibly consistent and has data nobody else has, it’s like holding a mirror up to your full hiring process and seeing what’s working well and where you need to improve.

Jonathan Kehoe
Director of Talent Acquisition, Wayfair

Innovations like the redo, candidate feedback and our Brilliant Black Minds program are giving candidates from diverse backgrounds more opportunities to break into tech by creating more equitable hiring processes. Moving forward, Karat will continue to find ways to enhance the candidate experience and bring fairness and enjoyment to interviewing.

Why Karat?

Before Jeff and I founded Karat, we had both experienced the importance of the interview as a uniquely powerful moment that connects people to jobs, and organizations to talent. Unfortunately, we had also seen firsthand the impact of haphazard, unprofessional, and ineffective interviews.

Prior to Karat, I was leading global strategy within Xbox at Microsoft. We needed to hire 300 software developers as fast as we could. I spent a lot of time on hiring, but I didn’t mind. I have a love for connecting people, hiring, and interviewing. But I also noticed that many of our engineers were spending more time interviewing than coding which is never good for driving product innovations. And despite how much time engineers were spending conducting interviews, it was nobody’s job. Nobody was reviewed or bonused on being a great interviewer.

At the same time, Jeff was at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation serving as Chief of Staff to Melinda Gates. He saw how many hard-working candidates weren’t getting the jobs they wanted, and he was passionate about unlocking economic opportunity. While meeting with hundreds of job seekers, Jeff came to believe that the key to closing the wealth gap was helping people have clearer paths to great jobs that could become promising careers.

We were approaching the same problem in complementary ways. Meanwhile, we knew that the tech industry is the greatest innovation and wealth-creation engine of our generation. And so we focused on unlocking opportunities in tech.

At Karat, we start with the customer and work back. We spoke to countless CTOs, Directors of Engineering and candidates.  We learned about the challenges facing computer science students and senior engineers. At each stop the interview surfaced as the biggest source of frustration for engineering leaders and the biggest barrier to entry for candidates.

The problem, we realized, was that no one had ever made interviewing a full-time job. Interviewing has never had an owner to make the process smarter and better. So we made it our job. We created Karat and the Interviewing Cloud.

Today is a very big day for Karat and for the future of technical hiring. As we launch Karat’s next chapter of growth, delivering predictive, fair, and enjoyable interviews continues to be our North Star just as it was when we started. And we can’t wait to share more about the innovations and impact that are yet to come.

Mo Bhende

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