Karat announced a $110M Series C Round of venture capital with a $1.1 billion valuation for its on demand technical recruiting marketplace. This brings its total raised to $169.1 million. The round was led by Tiger Global.
Investors love digital marketplaces. You can see it as job board marketplaces have long been the leading category of work tech investment and as companies like BetterUp have introduced the markeplace model to employee coaching and wellness. Enter Karat, with its “interview cloud.” Basically a digital marketplace of technical interviewers for employers to outsource tech assessment and screening. There’s a big difference between job board marketplaces and the likes of Karat. Job board marketplaces almost self regulate based on supply and demand and reflect the job market when it comes to availbility and access to jobs or talent. Companies like BetterUp or Karat are offering a service with a promise of expertise and scale, not access to talent. The issue with these models is both their ability to scale quality as their services and pools of interviewers or coaches grow and scale.
The issue of quality as scale is the same challenge that exists for every professional services organization or consulting firm. In terms of Karat, the RPO would be a relevant analogy. The issue many analysts struggle with when looking at these models, isn’t the business itself but valuation. The valuations are at multiples we associate with tech, not professional services. Can Karat’s network of interviewers scale at the rate and to the size to satisfy investors? We’ll be watching to find out.
$13.7 billion was invested globally in work tech through Q3 2021 across 299 deals. WorkTech Market Insiders can access insights and analysis of all of the deals in our Q3 report with a free membership.