Cowboy Ventures
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Cowboy Ventures

Announcing Cowboy Ventures’ Investment in Byteboard: The Technical Recruiting Platform That Companies & Candidates Love ❤️

By: Aileen & Robby

Hiring technical talent in today’s environment can most accurately be described as “brutal.” It’s expensive, time-consuming, and extremely competitive. To add insult to injury, many companies are still using age-old technical hiring practices, which include spending engineers’ precious time quizzing candidates about arcane computer science problems. Candidates also complain about these painful, bias-ridden, impractical interviews they would rather avoid if they had the choice.

That’s why today, we’re excited to announce our investment in Byteboard. Byteboard is transforming the way technical talent is hired and is already being used by an impressive and growing customer list that includes top engineering-centric companies such as Figma, Lyft, and Betterment.

Byteboard is a software-based platform that replaces pre-onsite technical interviews with a project-based, remote-friendly solution that mirrors on-the-job work. Today, they deliver technical assessments for all kinds of roles — software engineering, data engineering, site reliability, front-end engineering, and mobile engineering. The Byteboard approach also reduces potential bias in the process as candidate identity is shielded in their process. This gives all candidates, regardless of their background, a fair shot at the job.

For Byteboard co-founders Sargun Kaur and Nikke Hardson-Hurley, the company’s mission is personal. As two women of color in engineering, they both felt technical interviews did not accurately assess their skills. Instead of accepting a broken system, they started Byteboard inside of Google’s internal incubator Area 120. While there, they realized the market size and potential impact for Byteboard was massive so decided to spin out as an independent company in order to serve the large external interest they were receiving from companies beyond Google.

Byteboard is the only solution in the market that is a win for candidates, and multiple stakeholders at every hiring company.

For Candidates:

✅ Assessed for the work they will do on-the-job, not abstract computer science problems that often require hours of interview prep and don’t align with the job’s tasks

✅ Get an unbiased review as candidate identity is shielded and subjective dynamics are removed from the assessment

For the Hiring Company:

✅ Engineering teams spend fewer hours interviewing, allowing them to fill roles faster and with more confidence in their hiring decisions

✅ HR teams fill roles faster while improving their recruiting brand

✅ DEI teams see reduced bias in interviews and greater diversity in hires

✅ Finance teams see reduced costs (the tech recruiting process costs ~$10k less per hire with Byteboard)

The market opportunity for Byteboard is enormous. Companies spend billions on recruitment software annually and last year there were 3.9M new job postings for technical roles just in the US. So much is wasted on ineffective hiring practices and tools that hold companies back from filling their roles with fantastic talent.

Because Sargun and Nikke have developed a product that’s a win for all involved with the recruiting process, Byteboard is growing quickly and working with customers including Figma, Lyft, Betterment, Ezioc, Imperfect Foods, Hulu, and Webflow. We have been blown away by the Byteboard customer love (a couple of examples below). In fact, an engineering lead from Figma, Thomas Wright, was so impressed with Byteboard as a customer that he decided to join as their Head of Engineering.

“Byteboard has been a game-changer for Webflow! We looked at many other tools and were very impressed with Byteboard’s project-based approach and the thoroughness of the evaluations. Byteboard has been crucial in helping scale Webflow’s Engineering org, and they are well-positioned to become the industry standard for technical interviews.” — Arquay Harris, VP Engineering, Webflow

“Byteboard has been pivotal to our recruiting strategy at Figma. In a hyper-competitive market, Byteboard has reduced our time to hire by over 30%. It’s also allowed us to interview and hire a more diverse group of students, resulting in increasing our underrepresented hires by over 50%.” — Kristen Dauler, Recruiting Lead, Figma

Byteboard’s focus on the candidate experience is unmatched in their space. Reflecting on their own experiences as engineers, Sargun and Nikke created a solution that mirrors real-world work. In today’s hyper-competitive hiring environment, smart companies have become more candidate-centric in order to hire the best talent. Byteboard is the only platform that allows engineering teams to impress candidates with their project-based, streamlined interview approach.

“I really appreciated Figma’s interview process. I’m really not a big fan of Leetcode-esque problems/Hackerrank/etc in the sense that I don’t believe they fully capture a person’s abilities, so seeing Figma use Byteboard was already a great sign in my eyes. (Their platform) dealt with topics that you typically see as an engineer, which I appreciated a lot.” — Engineering Candidate at Figma

When we met the Byteboard team at Cowboy Ventures, we immediately felt “Founder-Investor fit.” Their mission, values, and culture are strongly aligned with how we operate at Cowboy.

Today, we are thrilled to officially announce our partnership with the Byteboard team alongside an incredible group of co-investors and angels. We love how the founders were purposeful in the composition of their cap table — 50% of Byteboard’s angel investors identify as women* and 59% identify as BIPOC**. We’re incredibly proud to have partnered with founders who have large ambitions and have built a diverse community of world-class angel investors to be a part of their success.

If you’re looking to modernize your technical recruiting process to fill roles faster with fantastic quality talent while freeing up your engineers to do their work — check out Byteboard!

And — Byteboard is hiring! We have open roles in engineering, sales, operations, finance, and marketing. Check out all open roles 👉 here.

*50% by count and dollars

**59% by count, 46% by dollars

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Cowboy Ventures

Cowboy Ventures

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A seed-stage focused technology fund backing exceptional founders.