With more than half of Canadians looking to travel at some point in 2023, the hospitality industry is rapidly staffing up to meet demand.
Vancouver-based Withe aims to support hospitality brands in meeting their hiring needs through its digital recruitment platform.
Withe has raised $1.1 million USD in all-equity, pre-seed funding, led by San Francisco venture capital firm Focal. Withe told BetaKit there were also angel investors who participated in the round, though it didn’t name them. The funding closed by the end of 2022 and represents Withe’s first funding round.
Withe will use this capital to hire senior developers and build its product development roadmap.
Founded in 2021 by Liam Ross and Daniel Shalinsky, Withe provides an on-demand video interview platform designed to improve the experience for both the candidate and the recruiter in the hiring process.
Withe noted several obstacles that enterprises might face in their hiring campaigns, such as scheduling challenges, underusing recruiters, and low candidate attendance at interviews.
Withe claims its platform can allow for more interviews completed and less time wasted in empty video conference rooms. This lets companies increase show-rate and reduce downtime for hiring managers, according to Withe.
Using Withe, companies can schedule calls with individual candidates in advance or create a hiring event where candidates can join without having to register. Withe claims it can reduce the time spent meeting with candidates by 82 percent.
Withe joins other companies that provide solutions for hiring challenges in the tourism and hospitality sectors. In Canada, there is Saskatoon-based 7Shifts, which has built a team management platform for restaurants as people return to in-person dining.
Though Toronto-based skills marketplace Staffy has shifted its focus to healthcare workers since the COVID-19 pandemic began, it initially specialized in hiring for the hospitality industry.
As it looks to capitalize on the 2023 summer travel surge, Withe said it will use this new pre-seed capital to expand its technical team and build its product development roadmap.
Currently, Withe said it has three people in its technical team, two of whom were hired after Withe closed the funding round towards the end of last year. The startup said it plans to hire one or two additional members to its technical team this year, focusing on senior developers.
Shalinsky said Withe’s roadmap includes deeper integrations with application tracking systems, smarter qualification and routing functions, as well as external job posting capabilities.
In addition to Withe’s enterprise and large-scale hiring events, Shalinsky added that Withe plans to launch a solution for individual recruiters.
Withe also previously received $125,000 USD in 2022 when it participated in an accelerator with On Deck.
TrueBlue, a workforce management company based in Washington state, is Withe’s first enterprise customer and will act as its design partner. On its website, Withe also lists hospitality giant Marriott International as one of its users.
Featured image courtesy Withe.