Bangalore- and California-based Interview Street, Inc, which offers a technical recruiting platform Interviewstreet.com for enterprises, is looking to triple its customer base to more than 20,000 by the end of the current financial year, its co-founder Harishankaran K told Techcircle.in. The company, which received its first investment from Khosla Ventures around one-and-half years ago, is also looking to raise over $20 million in funding in 2014. The startup was also a member of the summer batch of US-based Y Combinator incubation programme in 2011.
Interviewstreet was founded in 2010 by Harishankaran and Vivek Ravisankar. Both hold B Tech degrees in Computer Science and Engineering from National Institute of Technology (Tamil Nadu). Prior to setting up the firm, Harishankaran was a software engineer at IBM, while Ravisankar worked as a software development engineer at Amazon.com. The startup provides a platform for screening technical candidates by testing them with programming challenges. It currently offers two products: Interviewstreet Recruit and HackerRank.
Interviewstreet Recruit is a SaaS-based B2B recruiting platform which can be used by companies to conduct programming tests. For example, if a company has a set of candidates ready for testing, it (the company) can select a test from a library of tests (challenges) available in the Recruit platform, paste the recipients' email addresses on it, and send the tests to them. The candidates can then take the test on the platform in a limited time frame. Once the test is done, the company can evaluate and compare the performance before considering the candidates for job interviews. Simply put, the platform helps customers administer coding challenges to applicants during the hiring process and gain an objective metric that saves hiring managers and recruiters' time and money.
"Almost 95 per cent of our clients are from the software product industry. We have more than 5,000 clients across the US, Russia, Australia, Germany and China. These include companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Flipkart," said Harishankaran.
HackerRank, on the other hand, is an exclusive online community of programmers where companies can also submit their tests. A programmer can select a company of his/her choice and take the test submitted by it. Once done, candidates receive their scores, which can be shared with that particular firm. Companies can then evaluate the tests and accordingly call candidates for an interview.
Interviewstreet charges companies, based on the number of recruiters using the platform. For example, if Amazon has a 50-member hiring team, each one will be given separate logins. "Companies pay us $3,000-5,000 per month depending on the number of recruiters. Most of our clients are recurring ones and they come back to us for new tests. We currently have a 70 per cent retention rate," Harishankaran claimed.
HackerRank is a free-to-use platform for programmers. However, it charges companies for hiring a programmer through this platform. According to Harishankaran, HackerRank gets 500-1,000 signups every day and is now looking to increase this number to a lakh signups per day in the next few years.
Interviewstreet mainly competes with UK-based Codelity and US-based HireVue. Codelity offers automated assessment tests and professional assessment services to help recruiters save hours of time in recruiting software developers, while HireVue is an on-demand video interview platform. "Even though these firms are doing stuff similar to us, they are focused on multiple choice questions whereas we test the coding skills of candidates. Besides, they don't have platform like HackerRank for individual programmers. This is how we differ from other players," Harishankaran said.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)