October 12, 2022

Investment Notes: Kula $12m Seed

Combine a world-class recruiter with two rockstar engineers, and you get Kula. We just co-led their US$12m seed round.

Piruze Sabuncu

October 12, 2022

Investment Notes: Kula $12m Seed

Combine a world-class recruiter with two rockstar engineers, and you get Kula. We just co-led their US$12m seed round.

Piruze Sabuncu

Why invest in your people… but not in finding them?

It has been over 15 years since the famous phrase ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast’. We know that talent is a big competitive advantage yet companies do not have the requisite tooling to access and hire top talent.

Teams spend hours of their weeks sourcing and reaching out to candidates; hiring managers may spend 40hr+ on one mandate and meanwhile recruiters are unequipped to manage their burgeoning pipeline.

Let’s take sourcing talent as an example. At best, this is achieved by throwing together a Google Sheet and asking colleagues if they ‘know anyone good’. At worst, it’s a lone wolf recruiter cold reaching to candidates on LinkedIn.

The impact on an organisation is much broader than just time spent. A slow recruitment pipeline hampers product velocity, causes missed sales targets and can lead to burnout for current team members.

Worst still - this is a problem that only deepens as you scale. Asking your colleagues for recommendations may work at an early stage start-up trying to bring in their first few hires, but not at a scaled company trying to hire whole teams.

As a result, recruiting is one of the top “issues to solve” for any executive in a tech company.

Current solutions don’t work.

The organisation of today looks very different to yesterday; our sales people have best-in-class CRMs and can A/B test their interactions to sell more effectively, our engineers have great productivity tools and collaboration tools to build faster and our recruiters have… a legacy ATS?

Technology in the recruiting world has not kept up with the times. We’ve seen a shift towards outbound recruiting, towards hiring for specific technical talent, towards hiring globally from Day 1… these shifts require a new way of thinking about recruitment, and better tools to empower recruiters & hiring managers alike to access and attract the very best talent.

Kula = community

Adapting to this shift cannot be done by a recruiter alone. It requires a community, and hence Kula was formed.

The product makes it simple for colleagues across a company to find, access and close the best talent.

Circles - their first product - does this by bringing the full force of a company’s network into one place. Allowing a hiring manager to tap into their amazing team’s network and using their time more effectively.

Outreach - their second product - does this by empowering the recruiter with a best-in-class outbound recruiting flow, looping in others in their company to engage with a candidate and working across multiple different channels.

Overall, they take away the administrative tasks enabling recruiters, hiring managers and team members alike to focus on only the most important activities.

The right team for the ‘job’

These challenges have been lived day in, day out, by the three Kula founders - Achu, Sath and Suman.

Achu is a world-class recruiter in his own right. He felt this pain while hiring for leadership roles at Stripe, as a recruiting lead at Uber and whilst scaling Freshworks from ~90 to >900 employees.

Sath & Suman have felt this from the other side of the company - as hiring managers. Sath, whilst building out Freshworks as their Head of Engineering & more recently as a Software Engineering manager @ Grab. Suman, through his roles at Freshwork, Grab and SalesForce.

If there’s a team to fix recruiting, this is it. We’re excited to be a part of their journey.