Indianapolis-based software company Woven has completed a $2.5 million seed round of funding. The company, which provides a technical screening platform to help software engineering teams hit their hiring goals, says it plans to use the funding to scale its efforts by investing in its product and add engineering and sales jobs.
Woven says the round follows a year that include a 340% growth in revenue. The company uses its platform to help engineering teams find what they call “hidden gem” software engineers that can work remotely, who are often missed by traditional recruiting and screening processes.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Chief Executive Officer Wes Winham said finding software engineers, especially those that can work remotely, is difficult.
“It’s really hard to hire the most in-demand people in general, but especially software engineers,” said Winham. “One of the advantages of remote work is you get to hire from all over the country or maybe even all over the world. And when you’re doing that, some of your regular signals about what’s good…that goes away because you’re getting applicants from cities you’ve never heard of, companies you’ve never heard of. Our solution gives you a really good read on these folks, on what they can do in your context using a work simulation.”
Winham says the rise of remote teams has gone from a trend to a national imperative. He says the rise of COVID-19, both globally and in the United States, has made finding remote work a more pressing matter.
Woven says its platform requires job candidates to take part in an hour-long assessment to get a more robust look at their technical, communication, and problem-solving skills. The company says about a third of all hires made through the platform would have been rejected on their resume alone.
The funding round was led by High Alpha Capital in Indianapolis, along with existing investors and Indy-based Elevate Ventures. It comes more than a year after Woven secured $500,000 in early-stage funding.
“Woven has seen phenomenal growth over the past year, confirming our belief that hiring great software engineers is harder than it should be and showing clear signs that the tech industry is in desperate need for a product like Woven,” said Eric Tobias, Woven board member and partner at High Alpha. “We’re excited to double-down on our investment in Woven and continue helping them achieve their mission to remove bias from the hiring process.”
Winham says being located in Indianapolis has been a real advantage for the company.
“There are folks that took a chance on us early to be early customers, to let us try things out. And then investors are willing to form that relationship and they can judge you based on what you’ve learned and what the vision is. It’s great to see investors like High Alpha, Elevate and Gravity Ventures supporting the local communities because at the seed stage, it’s really investing on people. There’s so much stuff that you just have to figure out and having those relationships and being local, it’s what’s going to fuel the next generation of billion-dollar startups in Indianapolis.”
Last March, Woven acquired New York-based technical screening platform Headlight. Winham says in the long-term he hopes to bring Woven’s platform to other industries.
“Imagine a flight simulator for your job and you get to spend an hour and your prospective employer gets to see that you’re awesome at this thing. You don’t have to have gone to the right school or have the right title. That allows more career mobility. It allows better teams, more specifically. I think this applies to at least every knowledge-worker job. We want to go out and make hiring better everywhere, not just software development.”
Winham said finding software engineers, especially those that can work remotely, is difficult.