Khosla Ventures leads seed round for Pymetrics

Pymetrics has closed $2.5 million in seed funding. Khosla Ventures led the round with participation from angel investors Bob Pittman, Jeff Hammerbacher and Andy Palmer, as well as Terry McGuire of Polaris Ventures. In conjunction with the funding, Benjamin Ling, an investment partner at Khosla Ventures, has been named to Pymetrics’ board of directors. Based in New York City, Pymetrics is a career assessment and recruiting platform provider.

PRESS RELEASE

New York, NY – December 18, 2013 – Pymetrics, a pioneer in the use of neuroscience and machine learning for career assessment and recruiting, is launching a first-of-its-kind career assessment and recruiting platform, available today at MBA and undergraduate programs across the United States. Pymetrics powers students’ career and company discovery by determining their career fit using neuroscience games-based assessment, and then offering them the option to be matched with companies on the platform. Participating schools include Carnegie Mellon, University of Chicago, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, Emory, Harvard, New York University, Northwestern, University of Pennsylvania, and Yale.
“While earning my MBA at Harvard Business School, I learned first-hand how frustrating the career assessment process can be from a student’s perspective,” said Frida Polli, PhD, co-founder and CEO of pymetrics. “At pymetrics, our goal is to solve these problems by revolutionizing career assessment and recruiting. We’re bringing neuroscience and machine learning techniques from academia over to the business world to help students find their ideal career fit, and match them with organizations that are using our platform – think of us as OKCupid meets LinkedIn.”
Currently, students and recruiters alike determine a candidate’s aptitude for a career based on questionnaires, majors, coursework, grades and test scores. However, this information is limited to experience and their self-reported interests. In contrast, pymetrics’ games accurately measure critical cognitive and emotional abilities that are highly relevant for determining a person’s career fit, but not captured in academic history, resumes or standard assessments. These include characteristics like organization, planning, work ethic, or risk-taking judgment, which pymetrics uncovers by objectively evaluating people via manipulation-proof games. For example, in a series of fast-paced games, a student might be asked to find the missing piece in a pattern, identify the emotional expression on someone’s face, or respond to different colored arrows.
Pymetrics then uses machine learning to match each student with specific careers, as well as with top financial, consulting or technology firms. To date, it has developed more than thirty different career and company profiles by assessing currently successful employees using games, and finding their distinguishing characteristics. Through this process, students can discover careers and companies they might never have considered otherwise, and get noticed by companies that may not have selected them based on their resume alone. Pymetrics is a completely opt-in system for students, who when identified as a top fit for certain companies can choose whether to have their information sent to the relevant recruiters.
In pymetrics’ pilots with companies, students who scored highly for an industry or company increased their chances for an interview by five to seven-fold, just by playing twenty minutes of games. And top candidates identified by pymetrics were over three times more likely to receive an offer than the average student.
The platform launch was made possible by a raise of $2.5 million in seed funding led by Khosla Ventures. Also joining the round are angel investors Bob Pittman, Jeff Hammerbacher and Andy Palmer, as well as Terry McGuire of Polaris Ventures. Benjamin Ling, an investment partner at Khosla Ventures, who will now serve on pymetrics’ board of directors, said, “Pymetrics uses amazing data science to help students and companies make matches that will last longer. It’s also uncovering job skills that were previously near-impossible to pinpoint.”
Pymetrics’ co-founders, CEO Frida Polli and CTO Julie Yoo, bring significant expertise in neuroscience game-based assessment and machine learning. For a decade, Polli led projects at Harvard and MIT that used assessment and analytics to predict health outcomes. Yoo developed cutting-edge expertise in machine learning at MIT and the Department of Defense.
About pymetrics:
Pymetrics was founded in 2012 to leverage neuroscience and machine learning for matching quality job candidates with the right companies and careers. The company’s revolutionary career assessment and recruiting platform is used by MBA and undergraduate programs across the United States, as well as top financial and consulting companies. Funded by Khosla Ventures, pymetrics cuts cost- and time-to-hire, reduces turnover rates, and addresses perceived talent shortages by understanding the most important cognitive and emotional traits for employees to have in specific companies and industries. To learn more about pymetrics and opportunities to join its fast-growing team, visit http://www.pymetrics.com or contact pymetrics at info@pymetrics.com.
About Khosla Ventures:
Khosla Ventures offers venture assistance, strategic advice and capital to entrepreneurs. The firm helps entrepreneurs extend the potential of their ideas in breakthrough technologies in clean energy, mobile, IT, cloud, big data, storage, health, food, agriculture and semiconductors. Vinod Khosla founded the firm in 2004 and was formerly a General Partner at Kleiner Perkins and founder of Sun Microsystems. Khosla Ventures is based in Menlo Park, California. More information is available at http://www.khoslaventures.com.

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