Moonhub founder and CEO Nancy Xu was studying for her computer science PhD at Stanford when she had an epiphany about hiring. She believes that 90% of the candidates that are a great fit for any job opportunity are not being identified by recruiters because the tools they are using are too fixated on a set of keywords to find the best people.
She set out to change this using an AI-driven approach that looks beyond the typical kinds of attributes to find candidates that might otherwise be missed, and do that in a cheaper, faster way than current methods.
Today her company, Moonhub, announced a $4.4 million seed round.
“We’re building Moonhub and at the core we want to be recruiting AI for fast-growing companies. And what we do is we have a core platform that allows companies to find the best talent for any given opportunity, and work with in-house experts to actually hire people and engage them for those opportunities,” Xu said.
She says that the traditional way of recruiting is to look for a set of five or 10 keywords in someone’s LinkedIn profile, and if these words aren’t there, a person who could be a perfectly viable candidate would be overlooked. “You aren’t finding people, for example, who are passionate about working in the company in the healthcare space because you can’t identify so many of what we call ‘unstructured signals’ in a person’s profile.”
She says that the AI platform that her company has built finds billions of data points of individuals from the public web, and then builds an AI layer on top to analyze all that information. “So we know we see you for who you are versus the five keywords that actually show up in your profile.”
For now, that involves using a handful of in-house recruiters operating the platform, but later this year, they will be building an external-facing search tool to enable anyone to use the platform to find employees, using natural language queries not unlike ChatGPT.
“Later this year, we’re launching the core search platform which you can think of as an interface that will allow you to as a hiring manager, as a recruiter, even as a lay person who wants to look for candidates for an opportunity to be able to in natural language express what you’re looking for, and then see thousands of people who are well qualified for that role,” Xu said.
Today the early-stage company has dozens of customers already using the platform to find candidates. She currently has 15 employees and is growing. Xu believes that her platform can help her and other companies find more diverse candidates.
“The fundamental thesis we have as a company in the way we work with our clients, and also internally in our own hiring, is that we truly believe that talent is universal and opportunity is not. And that plays out in our own hiring process. While we have people who have worked at great companies and great universities, we also have people who don’t have that pedigree, but are incredibly talented themselves. And we’re very proud that we have a very diverse team,” she said.
The $4.4 million seed round was led by Khosla Ventures and GV with participation from AIX Ventures, Day One Ventures and a host of prominent angels.