- The recruiting startup Joonko sources underrepresented candidates for firms like Adidas and PayPal.
- Its ability to back its mission with metrics persuaded investors to take a chance, its CEO said.
- Read the pitch deck Joonko used to raise a $25 million Series B led by Insight Partners.
Joonko, a human-resources tech startup in Israel, just raised a $25 million Series B funding round led by the venture-capital heavyweight Insight Partners.
Backing its mission with business metrics like annual recurring revenue and a growing client base won over those investors, CEO Ilit Raz told Insider. The firm finds underrepresented candidates who made it to the final interview round at coveted tech firms but didn’t get hired. These people can then join Joonko and get automatically matched with jobs at other companies seeking diverse candidates.
“I learned very early on that it’s important to pitch Joonko as a business,” Raz said. “Once you can prove that your message is able to stand up itself in terms of metrics, then you can raise from major players.”
While Insight Partners led the round, people with a diversity, equity, and inclusion background, such as Etsy’s DEI director, Nicole Cuellar-Lopez, and Visa’s vice president of global human resources, Samuel Tam, also joined in. Joonko’s partner companies include the fashion company Adidas, the consulting firm Accenture, and the payment-services firm PayPal.
Raz told Insider she started Joonko after noticing that she was often the only woman in the room while working in the tech industry. Initially, the firm started as a way to detect bias in office messaging, such as on Slack or Microsoft Teams. But Joonko pivoted to a recruiting platform when Raz saw the need for high-quality diverse candidates.
“If you’ve made it to the final round at an interview, it means that the recruiting team has done a lot of work to get you on-site,” Albrey Brown, Joonko’s vice president of strategy, told Insider. “Typically, it means that you have the skills and qualifications that allow us to match you with another company that both cares about diversity and inclusion.”
The firm has seen a lot of growth in the past two years, with 500% growth in sales, according to Raz. It raised a $10 million Series A round last year at a $89 million valuation, according to PitchBook.
And the startup expects to continue to grow despite the market downturn. Companies are reconsidering how they manage open roles, which gives Joonko a chance to sell its services to tech firms looking to be more strategic in hiring underrepresented candidates, Brown told Insider.
“Now that the landscape is changing, this is an opportunity for companies to really look at how they manage their recruiting practices,” Brown said.