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Russian HR robot wins global startup competition

The startup was awarded with ˆ10,000

Nov 08, 2017
Russian startup Stafory announced Wednesday that it has won the Unleash (HR Tech World) startup competition held in Amsterdam for its recruiting robot called ‘Vera‘ (‘faith’ in Russian).

Vera goes along the recruitment chain, from search and selection of potential employees across the largest recruitment sites, to calls and invitation of suitable applicants, to a video or face-to-face interview.

"Hello! My name is Vera and I’m a robot". Nearly one thousand applicants from all across Russia hear this sentence from Vera every five minutes; and hundreds of them are invited to an interview every day.

Thus, Vera has learned to recognize emotions during video interviews. "This capacity will help HR managers analyze applicants’ emotional state, for example when they react to the mention of the company’s brand," said Kostarev in a recent interview with East-West Digital News.

For the moment, the startup operates essentially in Russia, where it claims to serve some 220 customers. Among them is Pepsico, on behalf of which Vera made over 40,000 calls, sent 37,000 emails, and conducted more than 100 video interviews.

This past spring Vera debuted in the US market under the Wendy brand. "We have conducted two pilot projects: one with a big taxi service-aggregators, Fasten, and another with the American subsidiary of the Japanese corporation NTT," said Kosterev.

All user scenarios were translated into English. Vera’s performance is similar in the US and Russia.

Vera plans to land in China in 2018.

This past summer the Internet Initiatives Development Fund (IIDF, or FRII in Russian, the country’s biggest startup fund) invested 50 million rubles (some $800,000) in the startup, following a 17.1 million rubles (roughly $296,000 at the current exchange rate) round in 2016.