Ukrainian HR-tech startup Hirio has announced raising around €330K pre-seed funding on its way to automating hiring, led by Pipedrive unicorn founders.
Hirio is on a mission to automate high-volume hiring processes and enable customized applications flow. Founded in February 2020, just at the entrance to the pandemic crisis, by Kostya Miska (co-founder and CEO) and Artem Dudinskyi (co-founder and CTO), their current user list includes Ukrainian market ‘big fish’ such as Rozetka, Raketa, and Metro.
“We signed our first customers without a single line of code. During the first quarantine months, businesses strived for a quick remote-first hiring approach. That is why we have created a no-code solution that enabled recruiters to set up and run a hiring process within minutes fully on remote. In the beginning, we only had prototypes of the product. Despite this fact, companies were willing to pay for the solution,” said CEO Kostya Miska.
The founders decided to raise money to grow more aggressively on the international markets. According to co-founder and CTO, Artem Dudinskyi: “Hirio is primarily disrupting the US market of over 70 million low-skilled workers, where companies still use Excel to streamline their hiring process”.
With world-wide expansion in mind, the approach to fundraising was quite strategic. The round was led by the Pipedrive Mafia that included three unicorn co-founders (Ragnar Sass, Martin Henk and Martin Tajur). Pipedrive Mafia’s dominance in the round was followed by former Pipedrive employees, Kair Kasper and Martin Koiva (now, founders of Klaus), and even the very first Pipedrive employee, Elar Nellis (now, co-founder of Salto & LIFT99). The rest of angel investors bring unique market expertise from Miro, yes, Bolt, ect.
“Our initial goal was to raise $300K to ensure achieving our KPIs and growth targets. Once we had offered the market to invest in Hirio, we generated extremely high interest from investors, and decided to increase the target amount to $400K. In two more days, we again had more offers than we needed even for the $400K target. Thanks to this, we were able to select the investors with the most relevant expertise for Hirio, and close the round in five days” , said CEO Kostya Miska.
Hirio joined LIFT99 Kyiv Hub, a Ukraine-based startup hub, for the ‘LIFT99 F*ck Corona Campaign’ back in June 2020. Since then, the startup has grown fast, and LIFT99 Kyiv Hub acted as fundraising facilitator in this round. Tanya Chaikovska, LIFT99 Kyiv Hub’s CEO, commented: “It is extremely sad to see how early stage Ukrainian startups are being undervalued and removed from the investment radars of international angel investors, whereas international expertise is exactly what is needed to have these products take off and conquer the rest of the world. We decided to change it by inviting international angel investors and VC funds from our network to come talk with our Hub members, make matches with Ukrainian founders, and had success cases with, amongst others, Restream, AxDraft, Awesomic.io, etc. This year, we are taking it further, creating a new vector to help startups fundraise strategically and verify it for the investors”.