AI job matching platform Hatch raises $7m to challenge legacy marketplaces

AI job matching platform Hatch raises $7m to challenge legacy marketplaces

Hatch co-founders Adam Jacobs (left) and Chaz Heitner (right).

Hatch, an artificial intelligence (AI) powered job matching platform set up by co-founders of Zip Co (ASX: ZIP) and THE ICONIC, has raised $7 million in an oversubscribed seed round after growing 20 per cent month-on-month for the past two years.

Established in 2018 by Zip Co co-founder Chaz Heitner and THE ICONIC co-founder Adam Jacobs, Hatch has reimagined the search experience and profile building of job marketplaces with a particular focus on the Gen Z demographic which makes up a quarter of the workforce today.

The platform goes beyond just a CV by taking skills, values, and motivations into account when recommending a role, providing much deeper insights into how teams and candidates prefer to work through content that is closer in nature to social media.

The company claims candidates are three times more likely to be interviewed when applying on Hatch compared to the industry average, and more than 90 per cent of hires made through the platform are rated as "high performers".

Hatch currently lists such companies as Woolworths Group (ASX: WOW), Airtasker (ASX: ART), Qantas (ASX: QAN), Westpac (ASX: WBC), Unilever, Square and Hello Fresh among its 120 leading employer users, who can draw from a community of more than 150,000 candidates who have utilised the service.

"What I saw at THE ICONIC is that CVs are often misleading, and it's actually someone’s underlying skills and traits that matter," says Jacobs.

"We’re excited to scale a new way for Gen Z to find teams where they can belong and grow, and help employers attract the right people to their organisation."

He notes that the past five years have brought an "exciting structural change" in career profiles, priorities and how Gen Z looks for work.

"There’s this idea that AI is here to take jobs from the next generation, but in fact it’s here to help people discover them," he says.

"AI is re-shaping the lives of Gen Z in the way they discover content, create content, get financial advice and how they navigate dating.

"We’re delivering an experience where AI is helping people from all backgrounds find work that’s the best fit for them, but one that always keeps the humans in the centre and in control. Ultimately that’s what hiring is about - people connecting with people."

The seed round was led by Rampersand with participation from other major Australian venture funds including Alberts Impact Ventures, Aura Ventures, Jelix Ventures, and Investible, as well as existing private investors such as Ahmed Fahour, the former Latitude Group (ASX: LFS) and Australia Post boss who now heads up property developer Gurner Group.

With Hatch's team already growing quickly in Sydney and Melbourne, the new funding will be used to fuel growth nationwide, further invest into best-in-class matching technology and a candidate-centric user experience, and onboard more employers and candidates

Rampersand investment principal Taryn Pieterse says Hatch is one of the most exciting fast growth marketplaces she’s seen.

"Hatch is a great example of AI being used to deliver a materially better experience. For a number of years we’ve been the choice seed fund for ambitious AI and marketplace startups," she says. 

"When we met Hatch founders Adam and Chaz, we immediately recognised their successful track record, potential and ambition to bring new solutions to the changing world of work.

"They are so driven to reinvent how people find work so everyone, and particularly young people, have a simple path to meaningful jobs, and employers have a more efficient process to find motivated team members."

She describes Hatch's mission as powerful and ambitious, attracting top talent not just to its platform, but to its business. According to Hatch's profile on the platform, it has witnessed a 33 per cent increase in headcount in the last 12 months and six entry level hires.

"We believe that matching is going to be key to how every person discovers work in the future," she adds.

"We’re delighted to be partnering with Hatch through their future growth as they continue to change how people navigate their careers."

Alberts CEO David Alberts says Hatch is creating genuine impact in changing how Gen Z finds meaningful work.

"We’re delighted to support Adam and Chaz, two pioneering founders who are dedicated to fostering equal opportunities for young professionals," he says.

"At Alberts, we’re focused on promoting equality and creating meaningful impact, and this aligns perfectly with how Hatch’s next generation hiring platform is reducing traditional bias and barriers in the hiring process by empowering diverse candidates to match with employers based on personal values, team fit and motivation."

Hatch is not the only tech startup harnessing a social media-style interface to take on the status quo of the job search industry. Getahead, founded by 2023 Brisbane Young Entrepreneur Awards finalist Sam McNamara, is a "swipe, chat and match" style jobs marketplace inspired by Tinder that claims to have achieved hiring times of under 30 minutes with a "goal of sub-24 minutes".

Founded in December 2022, in FY23 Getahead had five million views on social media and has been used by the likes of Nike, Samsung, Lorna Jane and Coffee Commune.

The Brisbane-headquartered company has raised $1.4 million to date, and since December 2023 has garnered 100 million organic views - double the level it achieved in the entirety of FY23. McNamara says 80 per cent of viewers are aged 34 and under, and the Getahead platform is growing by 32,000 job seekers a month in hospitality and retail.

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