Listen Here

| |

Conversation
Highlights

 

Welcome to another episode of Category Visionaries — the show that explores GTM stories from tech’s most innovative B2B founders. In today’s episode, we’re speaking with Achuthanand Ravi, CEO and Co-Founder of Kula, a recruitment automation platform that has raised over $14 million in funding.

Most Interesting Points from Our Conversation:

  • Professional Journey into Tech and Recruiting: Achuthanand’s transition from an engineering role at Microsoft to a career in recruiting illustrates a unique path that combines technical skills with people-focused operations. His experiences at Stripe and Uber, where he was involved in leadership and engineering recruitment, provided a solid foundation for Kula.
  • Inspiration from Other Entrepreneurs: Citing Girish Mathrubootham, founder of Freshworks, as a mentor and inspiration, Achuthanand highlights the influence of successful entrepreneurs who have built global products from India, demonstrating the importance of mentorship and role models in entrepreneurship.
  • Design Thinking in Product Development: The impact of the book “Creative Selection” on Achuthanand’s approach to building Kula underscores the value of design thinking and user-centric approaches in developing tech products, especially for founders without a traditional background in product development.
  • Kula’s Unique Value Proposition: Achuthanand describes Kula as a system of action that specifically addresses recruiter workflow challenges, differentiating it from other HR tech tools that focus on organizational workflows. This recruiter-centric approach positions Kula as a unique solution in the recruitment automation space.
  • Mission to Make Everyone a Recruiter: By aiming to make every individual within an organization a recruiter, Kula is working towards democratizing the recruiting process and making it a team sport. This vision challenges traditional recruitment paradigms and highlights the importance of collaborative hiring practices.
  • Global Approach from Day One: Kula’s design as a global platform from its inception reflects a forward-thinking strategy in today’s distributed work environment, catering to a diverse customer base across North America, EMEA, APAC, and India.
  • Navigating Go-to-Market Challenges: Achuthanand shares insights into the challenges of identifying scalable go-to-market strategies and the importance of experimentation in finding effective distribution channels for SaaS products, a critical step for startups looking to scale.
  • Future Vision for Kula: Looking ahead, Kula aims to expand its capabilities beyond top-funnel recruitment activities to include mid-funnel processes, with the overarching goal of empowering every individual within an organization to contribute to recruiting efforts, thereby transforming the recruitment landscape.

Actionable
Takeaways

Adopt a Design Thinking Approach:

The impact of design thinking on product development, as influenced by the book "Creative Selection," illustrates the importance of user-centric approaches in building SaaS products. Even for founders without a background in product design, adopting a design thinking mindset can lead to more innovative and user-friendly solutions.

Focus on Specific Workflow Solutions:

Kula's success in addressing recruiter workflow challenges demonstrates the effectiveness of developing solutions tailored to the specific needs of a target user base, rather than broad organizational needs. This strategy can be a differentiator in crowded markets, providing clear value to users.

Embrace a Global Mindset from the Start:

Kula's approach of being a global company from day one is a testament to the advantages of thinking beyond local markets and considering a diverse customer base early in the product development process. Tech founders should consider a global perspective to maximize their potential market and address universal pain points.

Identifying and Experimenting with Distribution Channels:

One of the primary GTM challenges Achuthanand mentioned was identifying scalable distribution channels for Kula. The process involves continuous experimentation to determine whether inbound or outbound strategies are more effective. For B2B tech founders, this emphasizes the importance of agility and willingness to test different approaches to find what works best for reaching their target customers.

Making Every Employee a Recruiter:

Kula's mission to make every individual within an organization a recruiter speaks to a broader GTM philosophy of embedding their tool into the fabric of the company's operations. For tech founders, considering how your product can become indispensable to an organization's workflow and culture could be a pivotal aspect of your GTM strategy.

Recommended Founder
Interviews

Andres Blank

Co-founder & CEO of Fetcher

Andres Blank, CEO of Fetcher: $40 Million+ Raised to Build the Future of Recruiting Automation

Josh Merrill

CEO of Confirm

Josh Merrill, CEO of Confirm: Over $11 Million Raised to End the Performance Review Nightmare

Laura McGee

Founder and CEO of Diversio

Laura McGee, CEO of Diversio: $6 Million Raised to Help Organizations Measure and Improve DEI

Kian Katanforoosh

CEO & Founder of Workera

Kian Katanforoosh, CEO of Workera: $21 Million Raised to Build the Skills Intelligence Category

Will Sealy

CEO and Co-Founder of Summer

Will Sealy, CEO and Co-Founder of Summer: Over $18 Million Raised to Help Organizations Provide Student Loan Benefits

Barbra Gago

CEO and Founder of Pando

Barbra Gago, CEO and Founder of Pando: $7 Million Raised to Build the Future of Career Advancement

Rob Whalen

CEO of PTO Exchange

Rob Whalen, CEO of PTO Exchange: $5M Raised to Empower Companies to Rethink Paid Time Off

Marcelo Lebre

President of Remote

Marcelo Lebre, Co-founder & COO of Remote: Nearly $500 Million Raised to Power the Distributed Workforce of the Future

Jared Pope

CEO and Co-Founder of Work Shield

Jared Pope, CEO and Co-Founder of Work Shield: $12 Million Raised to Eliminate Workplace Misconduct

Hanna Asmussen

CEO and Co-Founder of Localyze

Hanna Asmussen, CEO and Co-Founder of Localyze: Over $48 Million Raised to Build the Leading Global Mobility Platform for Companies and Employees

Jason Radisson

CEO and Founder of Movo

Jason Radisson, CEO and Founder of Movo: Over $9 Million Raised to Build the Future of HR Automation

Stephen Johnston

CEO and Founder of GoodJob

Stephen Johnston, CEO and Founder of GoodJob: $9 Million Raised to Power the Future of Human Capital Management

Kelsey Bishop

Founder and CEO of Candor

Kelsey Bishop, Founder and CEO of Candor: $5 Million Raised to Build the Future of Professional Relationship-Building

Raghu Gollamudi

CEO and Co-Founder of Included

Raghu Gollamudi, CEO and Co-Founder of Included: $5.4 Million Raised to Build the Future of HR Analytics

Amit Bhatia

CEO & Co-Founder of Data People

Amit Bhatia, Co-Founder and CEO of Data People: $21 Million Raised to Build the Future of Recruiting Intelligence

Peter Briffett

CEO and Co-Founder of Wagestream

Peter Briffett, CEO and Co-Founder of Wagestream: $370 Million Raised to Provide Financial Wellbeing for Every Frontline Employee

Jaclyn Chen

CEO of Benepass

Jaclyn Chen, CEO of Benepass: $14 Million Raised to Build the Future of Employee Benefits Management

Sammy Singh

CEO and Co-Founder of WurkNow

Sammy Singh, CEO and Co-Founder of WurkNow: $15 Million Raised to Power the Future of Staffing

Daniel Liebeskind

CEO and Co-Founder of Topia

Daniel Liebeskind, CEO and Co-Founder of Topia: $6 Million Raised to Help Organizations Build Their Own Metaverse

Ville Herva

CEO of BOLT.works

Ville Herva, CEO of BOLT.works: $7 Million Raised to Build the Future of Staffing

Agapitos Diakogiannis

Co-founder & CEO of Seafair

Agapitos Diakogiannis, CEO of Seafair: $6.5 Million Raised to Build the Future of Maritime Recruitment

Sid Upadhyay

Co-founder & CEO of WizeHire

Sid Upadhyay, Co-founder & CEO at WizeHire: Over $30 Million Raised to Help SMBs Hire Great Talent

Prem Kumar

CEO | Co-founder of Humanly

Prem Kumar, CEO of Humanly.io: $5.5 Million Raised to Build the Conversational Hiring Category

Tom Griffiths

CEO and Co-founder of Hone

Tom Griffiths, CEO of Hone: $50 Million Raised to Build the Future of Corporate Training

Anthony Mironov

CEO and Co-Founder of Wingspan

Anthony Mironov, CEO and Co-Founder of Wingspan: $30 Million Raised to Power the Contractor Experience of the Future

Wes Winham Winler

Founder/CEO of Woven

Wes Winham Winler, CEO of Woven: $11 Million Raised to Transform How Companies Recruit and Hire Developers

Ian White

Founder of ChartHop

Ian White, Founder, CEO and CTO of ChartHop: $74 Million Raised to Build the Future of PeopleOps

Mike Adams

Co-Founder & CEO of Grain

Mike Adams, Co-Founder & CEO of Grain: $22 Million Raised to Power the Future of Meetings

Warren Lebovics

Co-Founder of Pequity

Warren Lebovics, Co-Founder of Pequity: $19 Million Raised to Build the Future of Employee Compensation

Virgile Raingeard

CEO of Figures

Virgile Raingeard, CEO of Figures: €8.5 Million Raised to Build the Future of Compensation Intelligence

Sebastian Schüller

Co-founder of HiPeople

Sebastian Schüller, Co-founder of HiPeople: $7 Million Raised to Develop Data-Driven Augmentation for Hiring Teams

Daniel Birkholm

Founder & CEO of TalentHub

Daniel Birkholm, TalentHub: $6 Million Raised to Transform How Organizations Measure and Improve Their Hiring Experience

Ben Zweig

CEO of Revelio Labs

Ben Zweig, CEO of Revelio Labs: $19 Million Raised to Build the Future of Workforce Intelligence

Joseph Fung

CEO of Uvaro

Joseph Fung, CEO of Uvaro: $15 Million Raised to Build the Career Success Platform Category

Sam Naficy

CEO of Prodoscore

Sam Naficy, CEO of Prodoscore: $4 Million Raised to Build the Future of Employee Productivity Measurement

Ben Sesser

CEO & Founder of BrightHire

Ben Sesser, CEO & Founder of BrightHire: $36 Million Raised to Build the Interview Intelligence Category

Hanns Aderhold

Founder and CEO of Cobrainer

Hanns Aderhold, Founder and CEO of Cobrainer: $21 Million Raised to Build the Future of Skills Data Platforms

Chandler Malone

Founder of Bootup

Chandler Malone, Founder of Bootup: $2 Million Raised to Solve the Tech Talent Crisis

Brett Martin

President and Co-Founder of Kumospace

Brett Martin, President and Co-Founder of Kumospace: $25 Million Raised to Power the Future of Virtual Offices

Matt Pierce

CEO of Immediate

Matt Pierce, CEO of Immediate: $15 Million Raised to Eliminate the Costly Price of Financial Stress in the Workforce

Nicholas Rudder

Co-Founder & CEO of Sphere

Nicholas Rudder, Co-Founder & CEO of Sphere: $5 Million Raised to Build the Future of Corporate Learning

Fraser Patterson

CEO and Founder of Skillit

Fraser Patterson, CEO and Founder of Skillit: $13 Million Raised to Tackle the Skilled Labor Crisis in Construction

Andy Berman

CEO and Founder of Vowel

Andy Berman, CEO and Founder of Vowel: $13 Million Raised to Power the Future of Meetings

Jason Lavender

CEO of Electives

Jason Lavender, CEO of Electives: $10M Raised to Redefine Corporate Training

Tony Jamous

CEO of Oyster

Tony Jamous, CEO of Oyster: $220+ Million Raised to Build the Global Employment Platform (GEP) Category

Matt Watson

CEO and Founder of Origin

Matt Watson, CEO and Founder of Origin: Over $70 Million Raised to Make Financial Wellness the Next Big Employee Perk

Nishika de Rosairo

CEO and Founder of HumanQ

Nishika de Rosairo, CEO and Founder of HumanQ: $3.5 Million Raised to Build the Future of Human Development

Kevin Busque

CEO and Founder of Guideline

Kevin Busque, CEO and Founder of Guideline: $339 Million Raised to Help More Small Businesses Offer Retirement Plans