Seattle Technical Interview meetup USA – Karat, a Seattle-based startup that assists businesses with technical interviews, has laid off 47 employees, citing the need to sharpen its business focus as it expands.
“We are very intentionally focused on expanding our enterprise customer base, expanding our footprint in India, scaling Brilliant Black Minds, and developing new products,” a Karat spokesperson said in an email on Friday. “We are self-funding these areas of investment, which necessitated the restructuring of several teams.”
When Karat raised a $110 million Series C round and reached “unicorn” status with a $1.1 billion valuation in October 2021, it employed nearly 200 people.
On Friday, a LinkedIn search revealed 423 employees, but Karat refused to say how many people remained at the company.
“These teammates were critical in helping Karat grow into the successful company that it is today, and we are incredibly grateful to them,” the spokesperson added. “We’ve given them comprehensive exit packages, and we’ll do everything we can to help them transition.” [Seattle Technical Interview meetup USA]
Karat was founded in 2014 by Mo Bhende, a former Xbox director at Microsoft, and co-founder Jeff Spector, who previously worked as Melinda French Gates’ chief of staff at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The startup employs a network of vetted interviewers who conduct the interviews via video conference, using a question format and scoring rubric developed by Karat based on research and analysis. Companies receive feedback on the most qualified applicants, as well as insights into their hiring process, based on Karat’s diligence. The idea is to assist companies in screening more candidates while relieving their own employees of interviewing duties.
Its software is used by technology companies such as Compass, Intuit, and Indeed, as well as others such as Ford, American Express, and Bank of America that require assistance in interviewing engineers.
Karat’s Brilliant Black Minds makes use of Karat’s Interviewing Cloud to provide free interview practise, feedback, and coaching to assist aspiring Black software engineers in preparing to enter the tech industry successfully. Serena Williams, the tennis star, invested in the startup last April.