A new funding round for Engage Talent brings the total investment in the four-year-old Daniel Island-based company to the $10 million mark.
The technology firm, which specializes in artificial intelligence tools that can help employers hire and retain workers, courted investments from firms it has worked with before and a couple of newcomers. The latest fund-raising effort totaled $3.5 million to be used for growth purposes.
Previous Engage Talent investors kicked in, with High Alpha Capital, Grand Ventures and AOL billionaire co-founder Steve Case's Rise of the Rest Seed Fund leading the charge.
New backers include Atlanta-based Engage Ventures, which counts AT&T, Chick-fil-A, Goldman Sachs, Home Depot and others among its financiers.
The latest fund-raising round follows others in 2017 and 2018 for the human resources startup.
Being headquartered in a smaller market like Charleston made raising money more challenging than it might have been elsewhere, CEO Joe Hanna said. So the firm targeted backers that specifically invest in second- and third-tier cities.
Charleston's disadvantage in attracting investors is improving slowly, Hanna added.
In the meantime, Engage has set up offices in Atlanta and India but plans to keep its headquarters in Charleston.
Released in 2016, the Engage Talent platform was designed to pull together data to helps corporate headhunters identify potential employees to hire. Now. it can also help bosses identify which workers are most likely to leave.
The AI technology can predict retention problems by analyzing past events and determining how likely they are to happen again.
Hanna said Engage mines and scrapes about 30,000 sources of information — "anywhere there is data you can think of" — for insights about retention. They include online reviews and forums where workers sound off about their employers.
According to the company's website, none of its analytics is informed by individuals' activities on "professional or social networks." People can request that Engage change its profile of them or their company.
Hanna figures that besides pay, employees have several boxes they like to have checked when approaching a new job. They want to work for strong leaders at a stable, positive company that offers them personal growth and challenges. he said.
Employers that can get that formula right will be able to keep their talent.
Dell, Box, Aetna and Allstate are among Engage Talent's customers.