Joonko, an Israeli startup that offers a human resources service that aids firms in reaching their diversity recruiting quotas, raised $25 million in a Series B round of funding led by Insight Partners. Joonko has now raised over $38 million to date.
Joonko was founded in 2016 by CEO Ilit Raz. She explained how the company came into existence. Back in 2016, says Raz, she asked herself, “How can we improve the lives of women, minorities, and veterans in the workplace?”
While so many Israel Startup Nation firms have been forced to make cutbacks recently due to the worldwide financial crisis, Joonko, in contrast, has grown over the past two years, with 500% growth in sales for two consecutive years. Employers like Adidas, Accenture, American Express, Crocs, PayPal, Northwestern Mutual, and Intuit rely on its automated sourcing platform.
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Joonko says that the average business leveraging its services sees a 25% increase in underrepresented candidates in their hiring funnel, and hires one-in-six of the candidates sourced through the platform. Within the platform, 97% of candidates identify as underrepresented in the workforce – 68% as women or non-binary, 32% as Black, and 21% as Latinx. Companies are able to fill their most strategic roles with Joonko, as 64% of candidates are middle or senior management and 53% are in STEM.
Raz herself had plenty of experience with these sorts of problems. She went through more than a decade of climbing ladders in the tech world, as she explains it. Ilit Raz said that she knew that “the odds were stacked against her as a woman in a male-dominated industry. And if she had it tough, were others having issues with accessing the same opportunities?”
“While many companies rely on referrals to fill open roles, the data shows this can lead to a homogeneous workforce. As a woman in tech, I saw this as a major roadblock to hiring underrepresented talent,” said llit Raz. “Joonko puts the spotlight on the overlooked – including ‘silver medalist candidates’ who made it to the final stages at top companies but didn’t get the job. By combining a world-class talent pool with AI-powered software, we’ve become a must-have recruiting tool. Today’s funding will allow us to expand access even further so we can change the makeup of companies everywhere.”
“Over the last few years, I’ve seen many companies pivot to add DE&I to their platforms. Joonko is the first company that started with a focus on underrepresented talent to support organizations with an inclusive hiring strategy,” said Rachel Williams, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at The Motley Fool. “I’m thrilled to help Joonk build additional features to ensure equitable outcomes for talented people and their future employers.”
With the funding, Joonko is looking to increase the headcount introducing its US co-headquarters in New York, NY alongside its existing headquarters in Tel Aviv, Israel. With US-based businesses representing 100% of Joonko customers, the company is doubling down on its US presence with plans to grow headcount by 70% by the end of the year. As part of today’s news, Joonko is also welcoming Albrey Brown as General Manager of US & VP of Strategy. Albrey previously built and oversaw a variety of DE&I programs at companies like DocuSign and Pivotal Software, and most recently at Airtable, where he served as the first Head of Diversity and Inclusion.
“While there are many recruiting platforms out there, Joonko is the first and only platform that focuses exclusively on the underrepresented – putting it front and center of the product, values and mission.” said Albrey Brown, General Manager of US & VP of Strategy, Joonko. “After dedicating the majority of my career to helping companies prioritize underrepresented talent, it was immediately clear that Joonko is where I’d be able to make an impact on a much larger scale.”