Gem’s original name restricted its services.
With advances in technology, the process of hiring the right person for a role should be simpler than ever before. However, CNBC recently reported that job openings have soared to 10.9 million in the US as companies struggle to fill vacancies.
Many entrepreneurs have focused on the recruitment process to try to bring new software, tools, or innovation to tackle a plethora of problems that have led to this abundance of vacancies. The likes of Phenom, Lattice, and ZipRecruiter are all Unicorn companies, valued at $1 billion or more, helping to create a new experience for recruiters.
Another company that has recently joined the billion-dollar club is Gem. This software developer has produced a powerful recruiting platform that is aimed at modernizing the entire hiring process.
Gem originally launched as ZenSourcer in 2017, using the ZenSourcer.com domain name. The company was co-founded by Steven Bartel, an early Dropbox employee who was influential in growing the Dropbox team drastically, and Nick Bushak, a former Facebook engineer.
Together, the pair guided ZenSourcer to early success, with the company raising $2 million in seed funding just months after launching. Early investors included Y Combinator and Dropbox’s co-founders.
Dropbox, Slack, and Robinhood were among early ZenSourcer customers, but the ZenSourcer brand name was restrictive. Potential customers thought the company simply focused on candidate sourcing, limiting the ambitious founders, so ZenSourcer transitioned to Gem. CEO Steve Bartel told Business Insider:
“We hope with our name brand, we hope to start getting people to think of us as more than a sourcing product. The idea that we can expand our product to help companies build relationships with people over time is something we want to move towards.”
The rebrand, which was announced along with a $9 million Series A funding round in 2019, was preceded by the acquisition of the Gem.com domain name. Gem.com was originally registered in 1992 and previously used by the Gemini Facilities Core Group.
Gem acquired Gem.com in February 2019. A source told me at the time that the domain was sold for a seven-figure fee paid in installments via Escrow.com.
Since switching to Gem and Gem.com, the company has developed its product offering further and now boasts over 800 customers that have made over 5,000 hires via Gem.
In the last year, Gem has reportedly tripled its annual recurring revenue (ARR). Growth leads to growth, and the company recently announced it raised $100 million in Series C funding at a valuation of $1.2 billion.