Paradox, the conversational AI platform helping HR and talent teams automate administrative tasks and deliver real-time candidate and employee communications, announced today $40M in Series B funding, led by Brighton Park Capital. The Arizona-based startup, whose 200+ global enterprise clients include McDonald’s, CVS Health, and Unilever, will leverage the funding to expedite its vision of a future where AI is a liberating force to help people do their best work.
“No one goes into recruiting or HR because they like screening resumes, scheduling interviews, or managing paperwork,” said Paradox founder and CEO Aaron Matos, who started his career as an HR practitioner. “Our clients love our AI assistant Olivia because she helps them get back to doing the strategic people work that got them into recruiting and HR in the first place.”
Mike Gregoire, the Partner who led the deal for Brighton Park Capital, said the decision to invest in Paradox was rooted in a clear view toward the future.
“Paradox is fundamentally aligned with where the world is going,” said Gregoire, who served as CEO of cloud-based talent management pioneer Taleo from 2005 through 2012, when the company was acquired by Oracle for $1.9 billion. “The company is seeing increased adoption as digital transformation becomes more critical to organizational resiliency and long-term success. Paradox is the clear leader in its category and we’re thrilled to partner with their team to execute a vision for the future of work.”
Shaping the Future of Work with Assistive Intelligence
In 2019, Paradox was welcomed into the elite SAP.iO Foundries, SAP’s global network of top-tier no-equity startup accelerators, and is an SAP AppCenter Partner. Paradox is also collaboratively integrated with many of the world’s leading recruiting and talent management systems, including Workday, ADP, Cornerstone, iCims, SmartRecruiters, HiredScore, Beamery, TMP, Avature, SmashFly/Symphony Talent, and TalentReef.
Paradox’s AI assistant Olivia augments those solutions by automating common recruiting, HR, and talent management tasks — like answering candidate and employee questions, screening leads and applicants, automatically scheduling interviews, collecting feedback, streamlining onboarding, and hosting virtual events — all through simple conversational experiences. Olivia speaks more than 100 languages and engages anywhere conversations happen — via the web, text message, major messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and WeChat, and through voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant.
Among Paradox’s accomplishments in the past year:
Recognized as one of the best HR products of 2019 by Human Resource Executive
Selected as the 2019 Talent Solutions Impact Award winner by Recruiting Trends & Talent Tech
Named HCM Solution of the Year at the 17th Annual American Business Awards
Identified by Forbes as one of America’s Best Startup Employers
Building the Next Great Tech Company in Arizona
Since its founding in 2016, Paradox has grown to more than 140 global employees and not only helped shape the landscape of its industry, but also Arizona’s economy. Paradox was named a winner of the 2017 Arizona Innovation Challenge, and more recently won the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce’s IMPACT Award for Exceptional Innovator.
“We’re committed to building the next great Arizona software company,” said Matos, an Arizona native. “We’re blessed with incredible talent in this state and we’ve built a team that’s passionate about helping our industry solve some of the biggest talent challenges on the planet. We’ll continue to expand across the US and internationally, but Arizona is home and we’re proud to keep growing our team here.”
A Culture Inspired by Client Obsession
Matos points to a deep commitment to client-centric guiding values as a key driver of the company’s success. Those values influence every decision the company makes — from which products to build to how employees prioritize their time. And that commitment has been particularly acute during the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s inspiring to see how quickly our team and our technology has helped many of our clients adapt to hiring and talent management challenges they’ve never seen,” Matos said. “I’ve never been more confident about the impact assistive technology and conversational AI can deliver for talent teams, candidates, and employees, because we’ve seen the results. I’m excited to partner with Brighton Park Capital and lean into Mike’s incredible industry experience to help our clients continue to innovate.”
Gregoire will serve as Chairman for Paradox, bringing more than 20 years of executive leadership experience to Paradox’s board of directors. At Taleo, he led the company during its transformation from an early SaaS innovator — and creator of the applicant tracking system — into an HCM powerhouse with 20 million users. After leaving Taleo, Gregoire joined CA Technologies as Chairman and CEO, leading the company to a $10.5 billion increase in market capitalization in less than six years.
Gregoire says he sees enormous potential to double down on Paradox’s roadmap and continue partnering with leading HCM providers to enhance experiences for everyone in the hiring process — from candidates and employees, to recruiters, HR leaders, and hiring managers. “Aaron has assembled a world-class team with a clear understanding of what this market needs,” Gregoire said. “We’re excited to be along for the ride and to support a vision that I fundamentally believe will change the way the world works for the better.”
Launched in late 2016, Paradox was founded with the belief that recruiters, hiring managers, and talent leaders should spend their time with people, not software. Olivia, the company’s conversational AI assistant, automates administrative work — like screening, scheduling, onboarding, employee communications, and more — to drive efficiency that gives teams hours back in their week, and enables everyone to do better work, faster. Since its founding, Paradox has earned the trust of more than 200 clients globally, including some of the biggest brands in the world — CVS Health, McDonald’s, Unilever, Intel, Aramark, and many more in the Fortune 500. The company has won numerous awards, including being named one of Human Resource Executive’s Best HR Products of 2019, and was recently named one of Forbes’ Top 500 Startup Employers. To learn more, visit www.paradox.ai.