Curated Intel from the Talent Tech Industry
January 17-23, 2022:
• Where there’s smoke, there’s fire: Cannabis site Vangst lands $19M in Series B funding;
• Pulling the cap off bottlenecks: supply chain job site WorkStep raises $25M in funding;
• Taking big tech to the woodshed: Senate panel advances legislation to limit sites’ power;
• Why hiring has boomed at startups: Y Combinator connects talent to early stage companies;
• Yet another group to study the obvious: U.S. Chamber launches AI commission.
• Episode 1 of the Start Smart podcast drops soon. Get the latest research on “The Modern Recruiter: A New Look at the TA Tech Stack” from Aptitude Research.
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire: Cannabis site Vangst lands $19M in Series B funding
Vangst, considered to be one of the cannabis industry’s leading hiring platforms, today announced the completion of its $19 million Series B financing. The round was led by Level One Fund, with participation from previous investors including Lerer Hippeau, Colle Capital, Casa Verde Capital, Phyto Partners, and new investors including L2 Ventures, Althea, Delta Emerald Ventures, Achari VC and others. Vangst’s latest round of financing highlights the company’s growth over the last three years alongside the maturing cannabis industry. In the past 12 months, the sector reported a 25% increase in full-time employees and currently employs over 400,000 individuals.
Pulling the cap off bottlenecks: supply chain job site WorkStep raises $25M in Series B funding
WorkStep is a tech startup that has developed a hiring platform designed to alleviate the current labor shortage across the supply chain industry. The company recently announced the close of its Series B funding round to scale up its business and further develop the company’s software. The company is a part of the growing global online recruitment market estimated to be worth over $29 billion in 2021. The market is projected to reach a total value of over $47 billion by 2028 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.1%. In its Series B funding round, WorkStep raised $25 million in capital. The funding round was led by NewRoad Capital Partners with participation from Prologis Ventures, Engage VC, FirstMark Capital, Social Capital, Latitude Ventures, and Quiet Capital. The tech startup has now raised a total of $42 million.
Taking big tech to the woodshed: Senate panel advances legislation to limit sites’ power
Congress has taken a new step toward reining in the market dominance of Big Tech. Bipartisan legislation advanced by a Senate panel would bar the dominant online platforms from favoring their own goods and services over those of rivals. It could, for example, prevent Amazon from steering consumers to its own brands and away from competitors’ products on its giant e-commerce platform. The bill also could bring restrictions for Google’s search engine, which accounts for about 90% of web searches worldwide and routinely places its services at the top of search results.
Why hiring has boomed at startups: Y Combinator program connects talent to early stage companies
Startup hiring during the pandemic boomed, as did the expansion of remote roles. That’s according to Y Combinator, the influential startup accelerator, which quietly launched its Work at a Startup (WaaS) platform back in 2018 to help companies hire the right people. Beginning the hiring process is a challenge that program director Ryan Choi said founders often describe as among “the hardest things about building their startups.” Now, more than three years into the program and almost two years into a pandemic, those challenges of startup-building have in many ways increased, with a competitive job market and more funding into seed-stage startups. When a job seeker joins the WaaS platform, they have access to Y Combinator companies that are actively recruiting, currently numbering around 1,200. Once a company exits, they graduate out of the WaaS platform.
Yet another group to study the obvious: U.S. Chamber launches AI commission
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has officially launched its Artificial Intelligence (AI) Commission on Competition, Inclusion, and Innovation to advance U.S. leadership in the use and regulation of AI technologies. Suzanne P. Clark is president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “Artificial intelligence is rapidly changing how businesses operate, and this emerging technology can be a tremendous force for good in developing new medical treatments, identifying cyberthreats, expanding opportunities for the underserved, and making communities safer and more prosperous,” said Clark. “Technological innovation is foundational to a thriving 21st century economy. We must leverage AI to compete globally, and we need reasonable and responsible rules governing the use of AI that harness its potential while effectively mitigating its risks.” The AI Commission is co-chaired by former Rep. John Delaney (D-MD) and Rep. Mike Ferguson (R-NJ). It will bring together thought leaders with experience in government, industry, and civil society. The aim of the Commission is to address the advancement and challenges of AI adoption in communities throughout the U.S.
Episode 1 of the Start Smart Podcast: The Modern Recruiter: A New Look at the TA Tech Stack
Aptitude Research Founder Madeline Laurano and TAtech CEO Peter Weddle will explore the latest research and data on “The Modern Recruiter: A New Look at the TA Tech Stack” in the first episode of the Start Smart podcast. Get the facts and an expert analysis of their implications for enterprise employers and SMBs in this 30-minute show that will now be available every two weeks. It’s the smart way to shape high performing recruitment teams. Download the podcast at Apple podcasts, Google podcasts, and Spotify or at TAtech.org and AptitudeResearch.com. And also, stop by our Sponsors: Talent.com and Gr8People.