Tech | Visa | Scholarship/School | Info Place

Apprentice unicorn Multiverse acquires Searchlight to focus on artificial intelligence

Multiverse, a UK unicorn that provides apprenticeship programs for people to learn technical skills on the job, has made an acquisition to upskill itself. The company acquired Searchlight, a startup and recruiting platform that uses artificial intelligence technology to find talent. The plan will leverage Searchlight’s technology to build new artificial intelligence products for Multiverse to expand its professional training services.

“Searchlight’s AI, platform and exceptional talent will allow us to better diagnose the skills needed within companies and deliver impactful solutions,” Multiverse founder and CEO Euan Blair said in a statement. “Combining our scale and world-class learning with Searchlight’s technology and team will ensure even more companies and individuals benefit.”

Searchlight was co-founded by twin sisters Kerry and Anna Wang (CEO and CTO, respectively). Its existing customers, including Udemy, Zapier, Talkdesk and other tech companies, will continue to receive services until the end of the contract. Searchlight plans to no longer provide recruitment services as they focus on Multiverse’s business.

The deal highlights the growing role artificial intelligence is playing in work and education. Some will use AI to speed up their work; others will claim that AI is taking over certain jobs entirely. The acquisition addresses the third area where AI is emerging: helping to build more efficient professional training services to fill hiring gaps.

Artificial intelligence and recruitment are sometimes strange bedfellows. Amazon famously had to scrap an AI recruiting tool after it was found to be inherently biased against women in tech roles because it was trained on typical recruiting data, which typically comes from men. Searchlight’s CEO told TechCrunch that technology and a clearer understanding of how to build and train models have come a long way since then.

“Our AI model is four times more powerful than traditional interviews at identifying candidates who match the job,” Wang said. “We’re solving the exact same problem, which is increasing everyone’s equitable access to economic opportunity. Multiverse’s business is great, but they want to expand into an all-in-one workforce development platform.” Kerry will become Multiverse’s director of product, and Anna will become head of artificial intelligence.

Founded and led by Blair, the son of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and renowned lawyer Cherie Booth Blair, Multiverse currently has approximately 1,000 clients, with past and present clients including Cisco, government organizations, financial services and industrial companies.

While Multiverse was initially known for its focus on apprenticeships, providing viable options for those looking to build careers in fast-growing fields such as technology, it has since expanded to include professional training for those already employed. Ujjwal Singh, the company’s chief technology officer and chief product officer, said Multiverse has already launched some artificial intelligence-based services: it already provides users with personalized artificial intelligence assistant coaches. Now, it’s clearly looking to continue incorporating more technology to improve the overall platform, as well as its credibility among a group of customers interested in buying and using what appears to be the most modern service possible.

Financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed, but for some context, the Wang sisters—both impressive and accomplished Stanford graduates—launched their own startup through Y Combinator in 2018. Searchlight has raised nearly $20 million in total, but that’s mostly through fundraising dating back to a few years ago, when the company secured $17 million in Series A funding in 2021. Its long list of investors includes big names like Accel, Founders Fund, Emerson Collective and Shasta Ventures. Pitchbook estimates its 2021 valuation at $64 million.

Meanwhile, Multiverse, last valued at $1.7 billion in 2022, has been raising capital for years, raising hundreds of millions of dollars from investors including General Catalyst and Lightspeed. This is the company’s second acquisition, following last year’s acquisition of Eduflow, another YC company.

We understand investors are “pleased” with the results. “From the beginning, Anna and Kerry have been thoughtfully building Searchlight’s AI models to complement their vision,” Keith Rabois, who led the Series A round, said in a statement provided to TechCrunch. “Searchlight’s differentiated technology is attractive to innovative companies like multiverse.I’m excited about the benefits of this acquisition for Searchlight multiverse“.

#Apprentice #unicorn #Multiverse #acquires #Searchlight #focus #artificial #intelligence

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *