HR tech company Paradox raised $200 million in a Series C funding round. With the close of the round, it says it is now valued at $1.5 billion, reaching unicorn status.
The company is headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, but has a Baltimore presence after acquiring well-known local tech company Traitify in August. Now, Paradox is aiming to double its team to about 800 in 2022.
Based in East Baltimore in the same building as the incubator ETC (Emerging Technology Centers), Traitify by Paradox makes a personality assessment platform used by companies during the hiring process. Designed to be completed on a mobile device, the short, image-based assessment is based on the “Big 5” personality traits.
The local company, founded by Dan Sines and Joshua Spears, was acquired by Paradox after building for a decade, and the companies were integrated to serve clients jointly.
“We knew two things about ourselves: We had the best product in the world for assessing and we were willing to persevere and have grit to get it there,” Sines told Technical.ly at the time of the acquisition, reflecting on Traitify’s growth journey. “And if you can do those two things — have a good product and the grit — I think it can really take you to the final place you’re looking to be.”
For its part, Paradox was founded in 2016 and maintains offices in Chicago, Tel Aviv, Singapore, Vietnam — and with the addition of Traitify, Baltimore. It grew with recruiting software that is designed to bring automation to hiring through a conversational AI assistant, named Olivia. The company works with prominent corporate clients including Unilever, Nestle, McDonald’s and CVS Health.
The funding round shows one path to growth in Baltimore's tech community: A company that started here was acquired, and now a unicorn has a presence in the city.
Traitify’s integration into Paradox has been “seamless,” Paradox Chief Marketing Officer Josh Zywien told Technical.ly, thanks to a “shared perspective on experience and simplicity, with many overlaps in clients.”
“Notably, Paradox and Traitify were integrated even before the acquisition — with Olivia able to automatically send candidates a link to complete their assessment and take action based on assessment results,” he said. “Both companies built their technology with an integration mindset, which made it that much easier to collaborate with other best-in-class solutions.”
This latest round was co-led by Stripes, Sapphire and Thoma Bravo, with participation from Workday Ventures, Indeed, Willoughby Capital, Twilio Ventures, Blue Cloud Ventures, Geodesic, Principia, DLA Piper Venture Fund and current investor Brighton Park Capital.
“This fundraise was entirely about team building,” Paradox founder and CEO Aaron Matos said in a statement. “It’s a new starting line in a bigger race that resets expectations of the future we can create with our clients. We’ll continue to build the most innovative software in the industry, all while we grow and develop Team Paradox.”
The company is looking to continue growing in areas including product management, integrations, implementation, client success, sales and marketing in 2022. Zywien said all Traitify employees were retained in the August acquisition, including product development, marketing, customer success, and sales and engineering roles, though he declined to share how many people it currently employs in Baltimore. (In May 2020, Traitify counted 30 employees.)
Will Paradox make an effort to hire from Baltimore amid its growth plans?
“For us, it comes down to talent, and so we want to do everything we can to tap into the immense pool of creative and tech-minded people Baltimore has to offer,” Zywien said.
The funding round shows one path to growth in Baltimore’s tech community: A company that started here was acquired, and now a unicorn has a presence in the city. It shows how attracting big companies to town can start with the entrepreneurs building in the city now.
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