Fountain raises $100M to develop its applicant monitoring system

The “Nice Resignation,” the pattern the place employees are leaving their jobs at a higher-than-usual fee, is constant unabated. According to a Might PwC survey, 20% of staff mentioned that they’re prone to swap jobs within the subsequent 12 months, whereas some 35% are planning to ask their employers for a increase within the subsequent 12 months. The explanations are myriad — employees record few alternatives for development and less-than-stellar advantages amongst their main complaints. However regardless of the trigger, the exodus is squeezing the hiring market throughout industries, from tech to eating places and retail.

The excessive proclivity to go away roles is inserting a burden on HR organizations, the majority of which count on hiring to turn out to be more difficult for the rest of 2022. That’s led firms to canvass the software program marketplace for options, significantly applicant monitoring techniques (ATS) with options that promise to streamline elements of the job candidate search course of.

“The Nice Resignation has been extraordinarily tough on the hourly workforce, with COVID restrictions including complexity to how hourly employees can execute their duties,” Sean Behr, the CEO of ATS vendor Fountain, advised TechCrunch in an electronic mail interview. “Most significantly, the Nice Resignation really compounds the challenges within the hourly workforce. For instance, in case you are a part of a ten-person workforce staffing a restaurant or working a shift in a warehouse and two folks resign, the remaining eight folks have to do 25% extra work simply to remain on course. This leads these eight folks to be much more prone to resign and also you get a downward spiral.”

Fountain is among the main beneficiaries of the renewed curiosity in ATS. Based in 2014 by Jeremy Cai and Keith Ryu, the preliminary imaginative and prescient was to construct a system to streamline job candidate interviews. However over time, a bigger addressable market revealed itself. The pivot paid off as Fountain’s buyer base grew from dozens to lots of of manufacturers, together with Simply Eat, Instacart, Chipotle, Sweetgreen, Sew Repair and Gopuff.

Buyers warmly acquired Fountain’s new route. At this time, the corporate introduced that it raised $100 million led by B Capital Group with participation from SoftBank, Mirae Asset Enterprise Funding, DCM, Origin Ventures, Commerce Ventures, SemperVirens Enterprise Capital and Uncork Capital. An extension of its Collection C spherical, the brand new capital brings Fountain’s complete raised up to now to $225 million at “very, very shut” to unicorn standing (i.e. $1 billion valuation), in keeping with Behr.

“Almost 70% of the worldwide workforce is hourly, and but we noticed that the majority hiring software program was designed for hiring extra company positions. Because the gig and repair economic system exploded, the legacy ATS firms didn’t evolve with it,” he added. Behr was appointed CEO in 2020 after founding fleet infrastructure platform Stratim, serving as SVP of Adap.television by way of its acquisition by AOL, and holding numerous administration roles at “We [at Fountain] perceive that hiring for hourly employees is exclusive and essentially completely different, and so we’re constructing a product designed to make a dent by preserving candidates related by way of the method, guaranteeing hiring managers are engaged, and that recruiters really feel empowered.”


One in every of Fountain’s dashboards. Picture Credit: Fountain

Actually, there’s proof that handbook HR processes are exacerbating the challenges across the employee shortfall. One well timed survey of workplace employees within the U.Okay. discovered that 66% of HR departments are nonetheless utilizing conventional paper-based and handbook strategies for onboarding administration. Greater than 33% of respondents mentioned that paperwork, akin to contracts and compliance insurance policies, hadn’t been accomplished by the point they began work.

The promise of ATS platforms like Fountain is automating away the extra arduous, time-consuming steps in recruitment to permit HR professionals to give attention to extra necessary duties. For instance, Fountain makes use of robotic course of automation — software-based “robots” that deal with repetitive, rule-based duties — to reduce the necessity for recruiters to request extra info from candidates. Utilizing the platform, HR groups can put up openings to job boards like Certainly, join with candidates over textual content and video and leverage “automated” doc e-signing in addition to Fountain’s skilled sourcing companies.

Newer additions to the platform embrace On the spot Rent and On the spot Interview, which allow hiring managers to configure applicant workflows whereas permitting candidates to launch a telephone interview with a recruiter whereas they’re making use of. Fountain additionally just lately launched Fountain Supply, a collection of sourcing services together with a brand new direct integration with Certainly.

“A C-suite degree supervisor in HR or operations cares about Fountain as a result of the software program will instantly remedy enterprise issues and hiring challenges,” Behr mentioned. “Automation and pace returns time to the HR workforce, and means extra time for different duties. Eradicating re-work and simplifying workflows is vital … Simplifying HR with one answer that may remedy a number of issues, i.e., all the pieces behind a single pane of glass.”

Fountain actually isn’t the one ATS vendor round. Behr considers each incumbents and startups like Paycom, Workday, Icims, SmartRecruiters and Jobvite to be the corporate’s prime rivals. SmartRecruiters is formidable, having raised $110 million at a $1.5 billion valuation final July. Paycom has a market cap of over $16 billion. And Workday in March raised $3 billion by way of a debt providing.

There’s additionally the query of development prospects. Fountain, which declined to disclose income figures, seems to have captured the early tech adopters (e.g. Instacart). However many HR departments are reluctant to embrace new applied sciences. A PwC report exhibits that eight out of 10 HR leaders wrestle with tech adoption challenges, whether or not a scarcity of flexibility, competing priorities or poor enterprise plans. In the meantime, others who’ve deployed inside, custom-built techniques face hurdles in shifting to a software-as-a-service mannequin.


Picture Credit: Fountain

However Behr expressed confidence in Fountain’s trajectory — even considering the cloudy financial forecast.

“The pandemic was a catalyst for advancing the embrace of expertise options for hourly and on-demand work. Important work impacts everybody each day, and Fountain is proud to have helped each job seekers discover new alternatives whereas partnering with our prospects to attain their hiring objectives,” he added. “We consider that the present hourly labor market scarcity will proceed to drive funding in options like Fountain, and with this funding we consider we’re positioned properly to climate any potential headwinds.”

With the brand new cash, Fountain intends to develop internationally with a give attention to Europe and Asia and “widening the platform’s capabilities to supply extra distinctive insights and analytics.” Bucking the pattern, Fountain additionally goals to develop its workforce from 230 staff to 325 by the top of the 12 months.

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