Diversity recruitment platform Jumpstart announced on 25 May that it is rebranding as Canvas and has raised US$20 million in a funding round led by Lachy Groom and Sequoia Capital with participation from Four Rivers Capital. According to the company, the new funding will go towards to expanding the platform into other industries and verticals beyond technology, and addressing the recruiting process for later stages of people's careers. Canvas also plans to hire for around 30 more positions by the end of 2021.
Jumpstart, as it was previously known, was founded in 2017 by Ben Herman and Adam Gefkovicz with the objective of enabling a more fair and balanced hiring process. Its diversity recruitment platform was initially intended to give fresh graduates and those early in their careers a “jumpstart” in finding jobs, but quickly expanded to all employees, and then towards a focus specifically on under-represented groups.
Herman, the CEO of Canvas, said that today, companies are being held accountable for their promises of equity and hiring diverse talent. “Hiring diverse teams is not only a matter of corporate social responsibility, diversity and inclusion are a competitive advantage and strategic priority for every company in today’s landscape. Companies that don’t have diverse talent pipelines will be discredited in the marketplace, overlooked by top talent, and be left behind by their competitors,” he pointed out.
The Canvas platform is unusual in today's market for not using AI or what Herman describes as “inferred data”, instead relying on data sets created through candidate disclosure.