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Canvas — Making Recruiting Fair for All

Today, I’m thrilled to announce Canvas's Series A financing of $8.5M, led by Sequoia Capital.

Our early results are exciting, but we still have a lot of work to do to fix what’s broken in how companies hire. While recruiters drown in applications, it’s estimated that only 2% of people actually get offers. Canvas is committed to transforming the industry by leveling the hiring playing field.

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More than a resume

After dropping out of high school, I hustled hard to get my first job and it wouldn’t have happened if a company didn’t bet on my grit and passion over a list of resume bullets. That experience led to me start my own recruiting firm, placing software engineers and data scientists at trading companies like Twosigma, DE Shaw and PDT Partners. I would convince job-seekers to consider companies they hadn’t heard of, and companies to not overlook non-traditional candidates, but I needed to do more.

I believe the road to success is different for everyone and I started Canvas to create the world’s first shared talent network. Whether you recruit for a public company or a small startup, Canvas gives you access to the same pool of amazing talent so millions can find fulfilling jobs.

To surface undiscovered talent, we use an AI-based recommendation system that replicates the techniques my recruiting firm built over 10+ years. These recommendations are informed by thousands of inputs, including the Canvas application where people describe their personal values, passion projects, interests and more.

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Talent is evenly distributed, opportunity isn’t

Most companies have good intentions to move the needle on D&I initiatives, but progress can be slow. Recruiting is usually a major stakeholder and Canvas partners with them to deliver results. Take Lyft for example. They hired over a third of their 2020 intern class with Canvas, of which 82% identify as members of underrepresented groups.

“Fostering a diverse and inclusive workforce is one of our top priorities at Lyft and Canvas plays a crucial role in supporting these efforts. Canvas has changed the way that we recruit by giving us a way to take a step back and evaluate candidates on a wide range of criteria, not just the short summary found on a resume. The platform they’ve built is more sophisticated than anything else available, which has allowed us to cancel contracts with four other vendors we previously worked with.” - Thomas Hughes, University Programs Manager, Lyft

With over 100,000 candidates on Canvas and 60% identifying as members of underrepresented groups, I’m proud to say our community reflects tomorrow’s leaders.

What’s next for Canvas

With Adobe, Airbnb, DoorDash, JP Morgan and over 100 other businesses relying on Canvas, we’re committed to making our product even better. Simply put, we’ve raised money to take Canvas's ability to match people with jobs to the next level — improving our AI, hiring world-class talent and developing new ways to make recruiting fairer.

Right now, we’re focused on people early in their careers so Canvas can help them avoid the roadblocks of traditional hiring. In the past month, we’ve seen about 5,000 new signups per week and we’ll continue to work to create a professional path for people ignored by the industry.

“Building a strong, diverse workforce requires challenging the status quo and finding creative ways to uncover high-potential talent from everywhere. Canvas provides a faster, better system for evaluating early-career talent. It promises to completely reinvent how businesses approach recruiting and hiring by unlocking a new pipeline of tomorrow’s best talent.” - Mike Vernal, Partner, Sequoia

I’m excited about what Canvas will accomplish in 2020 and grateful to everyone who has joined us so far. This is only the beginning, and we hope you’ll stay tuned as we continue to shake up the way companies hire.

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