What we’re planning to do with our seed investment

We’re excited to announce today that we’ve closed a £330,000 investment raise, bringing together institutional and angel investors from the US, UK, and Australia.

More than the money (no really), we’re chuffed about the calibre of investors who’ve decided to jump on board with us: from expert recruitment business leaders, to gender advocates, to social impact investors, to some of the world’s leading behavioural scientists.

If we’d run our investors through an Applied recruitment process, we probably couldn’t have hoped for a more varied or impressive group of people.

We’ve got the likes of Nesta Impact Investments, Carol Schwartz of the Trawalla Foundation, Public and six angel investors (including Adam Grant, Wharton School professor and bestselling author of Give and Take, Originals, and Option B, and James Callander and Adam Clements of recruitment consultancy, Freshminds). This follows some excellent support we’ve had from Nesta, BIT, and the Cabinet Office developing the product to date.

The raise comes at a busy time for the team and will give us the space to really spread our wings.

Applied’s now being used by over 1,000 people in 40 organisations in 5 continents.
Since we launched, over 19,000 candidates have applied for over 700 jobs through the platform.

These jobs range from the people who drive the forklifts in warehouses at Penguin Random House so we can get the books we need, to the people who write speeches for UK Government ministers, to designers who make beautiful products at Made by Many, to hungry grads and interns who make light work at L.E.K. Consulting and BCG’s Center for Public Impact.

But money is just a means to an end

Here’s a taster of a few of the things we want to use it to do:

  • Expanding our reach within the US, UK and Australia, including through our partnership with Freshminds to radically improve testing tools for graduate and apprenticeship hiring. Most grads are put through automatic screeners that are woefully out of date: they don’t test any of the things you actually do on the day job and they don’t care if the end up inadvertently screening out more diverse candidates through poor design. We’re keen to shake that up.
  • Continuing to experiment with empowering the candidate with feedback. We already give every candidate that isn’t successful for the job access to feedback. But we know we can do more. So we’re working with Adam Grant and his team of researchers at Wharton to A/B test all kinds of improvements to the feedback process.

So it’ll be a big time for product development and growth for the team; which is partly why we’re hiring for a new Head of Growth and also for another exceptional full stack developer to join us in what is sure to be a wild ride.

A note to our early adopters

It’s not easy building products — you hit lots of dead ends and have to be OK knowing you don’t get things right the first time round (or even the second, sometimes!). But it’s made a kazillion times easier when you are lucky enough to have great partners in your clients and users. We’re one such lucky product team: our users have given us countless hours of their time providing feedback, breaking early versions of features, and helping us to constantly improve what we do. We wouldn’t be in this exhilarating point without you, so thanks.

PS: Why did our investors invest, you ask? — In their own words

Adam Grant — Author: Give and Take, Originals, and Option B; Wharton professor; NYT writer

“If more companies used behavioral science, it would be much easier to identify and attract a diverse pool of talented people. Kate and her team at Applied have done brilliant work on how employers can pique the interest of applicants and neutralize the biases of recruiters, and I think they’re poised to have a big impact.”

James Callander — MD, FreshMinds

‘It is rather rare in the recruitment world that you find such a healthy combination of a worthy social mission, great technology, and a stand out leadership team as the Behavioural Insights Team’s new spin-out Applied.

Using cutting edge behavioural science, savvy design and a genuine desire to change outmoded recruiting methods. Not only will it reduce unconscious bias from recruitment processes but bring a much need enhanced user experience to corporate recruiting applicant tracking systems.

I am very excited to be supporting them as they grow to the next stage of their development.’

David Halpern — CEO, Behavioural Insights Team

“The solution to a policy problem isn’t always a new policy. Sometimes it’s a tool that organisations can use that enable them to make better, more efficient decisions. We are incredibly excited about the potential for Applied to do just that — by helping organisations to remove implicit bias from their hiring decisions”

Carol Schwartz — Businesswoman, Philanthropist, Member of the Board of the Reserve Bank of Australia, and Chair of the Trawalla Foundation

“We are all unfortunately subject to the influence of unconscious bias. Applied enables organisations to undertake the recruitment and assessment of employees largely bias free. It’s very exciting software which takes advantage of the latest innovative technology, and most importantly, allows us to recruit from 100% of the talent pool.”

Helen Gironi — Investment Director, Nesta Impact Investments (A £17.6 million impact investment fund supported by Big Society Capital, Omidyar Network and Nesta. The fund is run by Nesta Investment Management, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nesta)

“There is a natural tendency to hire those who look good on paper and individuals without traditional qualifications, peer group support and industry experience can be filtered out of the candidate pool early on without being properly considered. Our due diligence confirmed that Applied’s robust and intelligent use of behavioural science sets it apart from the competition. We are really excited to have invested in Applied and believe that the platform will hugely benefit individuals by opening up job opportunities much more widely.”

Read the full press release here!

To find out more about Applied, pop us an email at: hello@beapplied.com.

Kate Glazebrook is co-founder and CEO of Applied, a SaaS platform that increases hiring precision and reduces bias.