On a mission to build the next generation of HR and recruiting software through conversational AI, Paradox raises $200M Series C
Round co-led by Stripes, Sapphire, and Thoma Bravo; with participation from Workday Ventures, Indeed, Willoughby Capital, Twilio Ventures, Blue Cloud Ventures, Geodesic, Principia, DLA Piper Venture Fund and current investor Brighton Park Capital. New funding will help the fastest-growing company in HR Tech double its team and accelerate innovation for world-class clients.
SCOTTSDALE (December 27, 2021) – Paradox, the conversational recruiting platform built to give every recruiter, hiring manager, and talent professional an assistant to get work done, today announced a $200M Series C investment. The round was led by Stripes, Sapphire, and Thoma Bravo, and included participation from Workday Ventures, Indeed, Willoughby Capital, Twilio Ventures, Blue Cloud Ventures, Geodesic, Principia, DLA Piper Venture Fund and current investor Brighton Park Capital.
Paradox’s vision is embodied by Olivia — the conversational AI assistant helping companies like Unilever, Nestle, McDonald’s, CVS Health, and General Motors automate tasks like candidate screening, interview scheduling, onboarding, and more through smart, simple, mobile-first experiences. In just five years, Olivia has helped 500+ global clients save millions of hours of manual work — freeing their teams up to spend time with people, not software.
“When we created Paradox, we saw a future where software became invisible — driven by conversations that untether people from their desktop through an assistant who gets work done for them. That vision is now taking hold in some of the biggest companies in the world and we couldn’t be prouder of that accomplishment,” said Paradox founder and CEO, Aaron Matos.
“This fundraise was entirely about team building. It’s a new starting line in a bigger race that resets expectations of the future we can create with our clients. We’ll continue to build the most innovative software in the industry, all while we grow and develop Team Paradox — the collection of people working tirelessly every day to create magical moments for our clients and their candidates. We’re humbled and honored to partner with investors who share our vision.”
Helping global clients solve real, painful hiring problems
Unilever Global Head of Employee Experience Tom Dewaele said his organization was attracted to Paradox in the first place because they saw a partner that thought differently about building recruiting software.
“For more than 120 years, Unilever has been a pioneer, innovator, and future maker — and when we look at technology partners, we seek out the same characteristics,” said Tom Dewaele, Global Head of Employee Experience at Unilever. “We’re proud to partner with Paradox to drive innovation around the experiences we create for candidates and our team.”
Michael Ferranti, the SVP of People and Culture at Regis Corporation — one of Paradox’s earliest clients — shared that sentiment. “We operate in an incredibly competitive industry where speed and experience are critical for candidates and our franchisees,” Ferranti said. “Paradox checks both boxes — providing a fast, frictionless hiring experience that actually works. You don’t hear people rave about hiring software very often, but we’ve had fantastic feedback from the field. We can’t wait to continue building with their team.”
For Gui Neves, Global Talent Acquisition Sourcing and Solutions Lead at Nestle, Paradox’s impact has been twofold — helping recruiters get work done faster with automated interview scheduling and giving candidates an always-on concierge throughout the hiring process. “Olivia has been an incredible enhancement to our recruiting team’s day-to-day,” said Neves. “Our ability to engage with candidates across 47 countries in 18 different languages 24/7 has been critical to achieving our hiring goals, especially when candidates prefer to schedule their interviews on weekends or after working hours, as shown in Paradox reporting. We look forward to our continued partnership and success with Paradox.”
Paradox’s focus on stakeholder outcomes has paid dividends. The company was recently ranked as the fastest-growing company in HR Tech in the Deloitte Fast 500. And in September, it was awarded HR Executive’s prestigious Top Product award for the second time in three years. The company’s three-year revenue growth rate is nearly 2,000% and it currently serves more than 500 clients globally.
Partnering with world-class investors on a big, bold vision
With companies of every shape and size facing hiring headwinds heading into 2022 — from restaurant franchisees hiring dozens of hourly workers to large organizations hiring thousands every year — there’s never been a greater need for recruiting technology that simplifies the hiring process, for both candidates and talent professionals. Earlier this month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ revealed that unemployment was at a 21-month low (4.2%) and there were 11 million job openings at the end of October.
Paul Melchiorre, an Operating Partner at Stripes, who will be joining the Paradox Board of Directors, said Paradox is addressing critical needs that can help employers overcome those hurdles, both today and well into the future. More importantly, the company is doing it in a way — both technologically and philosophically — that’s fundamentally different from software of the past.
“There’s been a fundamental shift in how workers in every corner of the labor market find, assess, and decide on jobs. These structural changes have introduced a much heavier burden on recruiters and hiring teams than ever before,” said Melchiorre, who previously served as the CRO of Anaplan and Global VP of Ariba. “Paradox’s best-in-class product and demonstrable ROI for recruiters and candidates alike uniquely positions them, and their clients, to lead the way in improving recruiter productivity and worker outcomes.”
For Sapphire Partner Rajeev Dham, the decision to co-lead the round was all about partnering with a team that has the potential to grow into the next great technology company in the industry. “At Sapphire, we seek to partner with companies of consequence — organizations that we believe will make a meaningful, lasting impact. Paradox is exactly this kind of company,” said Dham. “We’ve seen the war for talent unfold over the last several years leading to one of the most hypercompetitive, fast-paced talent markets anyone has ever experienced. The need for easy, automated HR and recruiting technology has never been greater. I’m thrilled to be co-leading this financing, and joining the Paradox journey as they completely transform the recruiting process with conversational AI, simplifying and improving the candidate and recruiting experience.”
Similarly, Robert (Tre) Sayle, a partner at Thoma Bravo, said his firm — which invests in software companies seeking significant growth — was drawn to Paradox for the critical role it plays in making recruiting and HR organizations more productive and efficient. “The technology and vision behind Paradox is revolutionary — allowing companies across industries to use the power of conversational software to streamline the hiring process while providing a far superior candidate experience,” Sayle said. “We’re excited to leverage our software and operational expertise to help accelerate Paradox’s growth and product innovation.”
Building a winning team for the long game
Despite its success, Mike Gregoire, co-founder and Partner at Brighton Park Capital and Paradox’s Chairman, said he’s confident the company’s best days are yet to come. “Paradox has assembled a world-class team, united by a conviction that the hiring process can and should be easier for recruiting and HR professionals,” said Gregoire, who previously served as the CEO of Taleo and CA Technologies. “This is a vote of confidence in the company and the people, but the amazing thing is that Paradox is just scratching the surface of its potential.”
Paradox plans to significantly grow its team in 2022 — and the company is actively hiring people ready to commit, disrupt, and build in a big way. Headquartered in Scottsdale with offices in Chicago, Baltimore, Tel Aviv, Singapore, and Vietnam, Paradox is hiring numerous roles across all parts of the organization, with heavy focus on client success, sales, implementations, product management and technical product roles, talent, marketing, engineering, and more.
The $200M investment now values the company at $1.5 billion.
Launched in 2016, Paradox is building the world’s leading conversational recruiting software to drive automation with a human touch. Serving global clients with hiring needs across high-volume hourly and high-skilled professional roles, Paradox’s conversational assistant Olivia does the work talent teams don’t have time for — streamlining tasks like screening, interview scheduling, and more through fast, easy, mobile-first interactions.
In just five years, the Scottsdale-based startup has earned the trust of the world’s largest employers — including Unilever, McDonald’s, CVS Health, Lowe’s, General Motors, and Shaker Recruitment Marketing — and won numerous awards, including Human Resource Executive’s Best HR Product of 2019 and 2021, and consecutive honors in 2020 and 2021 as one of Forbes Top Startup Employers. The company acquired Traitify, the world’s fastest personality assessment, in August 2021 and was recently ranked the fastest growing company in HR Tech by the Deloitte Fast 500. To learn more about Paradox’s product, visit www.paradox.ai. To explore open opportunities on its team, visit careers.paradox.ai.
For more information about Paradox’s investors, please visit their websites: Stripes, Sapphire, Thoma Bravo, Workday Ventures, Indeed, Willoughby Capital, Twilio Ventures, Blue Cloud Ventures, Geodesic Capital, Principia Capital Partners, and Brighton Park Capital.
Leading global business law firm DLA Piper LLP (US) represented Paradox on the fundraising. Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP served as legal counsel for Stripes and Sapphire Ventures, Kirkland & Ellis LLP served as legal counsel for Thoma Bravo and Willoughby Capital, and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP served as legal counsel for Brighton Park Capital.
Stripes is a leading growth equity firm that partners with founders who are building the best in the software and consumer markets. Stripes’ software practice invests in leading horizontal and vertical software platforms servicing customers from SMB to Enterprise around the world, including Monday.com, Upwork, and On. Stripes strives to serve its partners by delivering valuable resources to create transformative companies.
Sapphire is a leading global technology-focused venture capital firm with more than $8.8 billion in AUM and team members across Austin, London, New York, Palo Alto and San Francisco. For more than two decades, Sapphire has partnered with visionary management teams and venture funds to help scale companies of consequence. Since its founding, Sapphire has invested in more than 170 companies globally resulting in more than 30 IPOs and 45 acquisitions, including Box, DocuSign, Fitbit, LinkedIn, and Square. The firm’s investment strategies — Sapphire Ventures, Sapphire Partners and Sapphire Sport — are focused on scaling companies and venture funds, elevating them to become category leaders. Sapphire’s Portfolio Growth team of experienced operators delivers a strategic blend of value-add services, tools and resources designed to support portfolio company leaders as they scale. T
About Thoma Bravo
Thoma Bravo is one of the largest private equity firms in the world, with more than $83 billion in assets under management. The firm invests in growth-oriented, innovative companies operating in the software and technology sectors. Leveraging the firm’s deep sector expertise and proven strategic and operational capabilities, Thoma Bravo collaborates with its portfolio companies to implement operating best practices, drive growth initiatives and make accretive acquisitions intended to accelerate revenue and earnings. The firm has offices in Chicago, Miami and San Francisco.