Paradox, a conversational recruiting platform, announced a $200M Series C investment. The round was led by Stripes, Sapphire, and Thoma Bravo, and included participation from Workday Ventures, Willoughby Capital, Twilio Ventures, Blue Cloud Ventures, Geodesic, Principia Growth, DLA Piper Venture Fund and current investor Brighton Park Capital.
Paradox's vision is embodied by Olivia — the conversational AI assistant helping companies like McDonald's, Unilever, Nestle, CVS Health, and General Motors automate tasks like candidate screening, interview scheduling, onboarding, and more through smart, simple, mobile-first experiences. In just five years, Olivia has helped 500+ global clients save millions of hours of manual work — freeing their teams up to spend time with people, not software.
Help Wanted Everywhere
Union’s contactless ordering and payment technology triples each server’s capacity, allowing more of the restaurant or bar to be open for business. Three-fourths of restaurants (74%) say their top challenge is recruiting employees, according to the National Restaurant Association's mid-year supplement to the 2021 State of the Restaurant Industry Report. Operators have been offering incentives for new hires and added benefits for existing employees. On-demand pay apps and other tech tools can help to increase job satisfaction for a more positive workplace culture, which is highly correlated to retention.
A Banner Year for Restaurant Tech Investments
Paradox's cash infusion coincides with other key investments in the restaurant and restaurant tech space.
Union, a hospitality engagement platform, raised $22M earlier this month. Drone delivery company Flytrex raised $40M in its latest funding round. Recent, high profile IPOs and acquisitions in the restaurant tech space include SpotOn acquisition of Dolce Software, a labor-management solution, and the digital and mobile commerce platform Appetize. HungerRush plans to acquire Menufy. Plate IQ raised $160M. On the M&A front, FAT Brands bought Fazoli's for $130M. On the vendor side, Punchh was acquired by ParTechnology and Restaurant365 Bought Compeat. First Watch filed to go public, and Toast filed for an $100M IPO. Online ordering company Olo held its IPO in March.
Solving Real, Painful Hiring Problems
Unilever Global Head of Employee Experience Tom Dewaele said his organization was attracted to Paradox because they saw a partner that thought differently about building recruiting software.
"For more than 120 years, Unilever has been a pioneer, innovator, and future maker — and when we look at technology partners, we seek out the same characteristics," said Dewaele.
For Gui Neves, Global Talent Acquisition Sourcing and Solutions Lead at Nestle, Paradox's impact has been twofold — helping recruiters get work done faster with automated interview scheduling and giving candidates an always-on concierge throughout the hiring process. "Olivia has been an incredible enhancement to our recruiting team's day-to-day," said Neves. "Our ability to engage with candidates across 47 countries in 18 different languages 24/7 has been critical to achieving our hiring goals, especially when candidates prefer to schedule their interviews on weekends or after working hours, as shown in Paradox reporting. We look forward to our continued partnership and success with Paradox."
Paradox's focus on client outcomes has paid dividends. The company was recently ranked as the fastest-growing company in HR Tech in the Deloitte Fast 500. And in September, it was awarded HR Executive's prestigious Top Product award for the second time in three years. The company's three-year revenue growth rate is nearly 2,000% and it currently serves more than 500 clients globally.
The $200M investment now values the company at $1.5 billion. In just five years, the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based startup has won numerous awards, including Human Resource Executive's Best HR Product of 2019 and 2021, and consecutive honors in 2020 and 2021 as one of Forbes Top Startup Employers. The company acquired Traitify, the world's fastest personality assessment, in August 2021 and was recently ranked the fastest growing company in HR Tech by the Deloitte Fast 500.