For the first time this year, Romanian unicorn UiPath launched a competition for startups and scaleups in the automation domain from Central and Eastern Europe. The goal of the competition: “to support the best teams in the region dedicated to building the best B2B non-manufacturing automation software.” Out of 100 applicants from 12 countries in the two categories – startup and scaleup, six made it to the final pitch during How To Web 2019. And two of them were granted the UiPath Automation Award CEE.
In the startup category, the jury of the awards chose the Polish AI-powered sales assistant company Edward, which allows salespeople to spend more time with prospects and customers, instead of admin tasks.
Smartdreamers, a company developing recruiting automation software, received the scaleup award. Interestingly enough, the award was granted around a week after Uipath confirmed it lays off 11% of its 3200 employees globally to boost efficiency.
The talent shortage is a global trend that will only accelerate in the next years. As a recent study of the Korn Ferry Institute suggests, by 2030 there will be global labor shortages of 85.2 million skilled workers, resulting in lost revenue opportunities of close to $8.52 trillion – the combined GDP of Germany and Japan. So it’s not a surprise that both HR technology and efforts to automate as many human tasks as possible are on the rise.
Yet, speaking of the competitive space of HR, and more specifically recruitment tech, there aren’t many revolutionary solutions. As a Romanian VC with an entrepreneurial background from the US recently told us in an interview, most of the HR startups are doing the same, and not being too successful in it. So how is Smartdreamers different and why unicorn UiPath chose not only to connect the company to its customers (part of the prize), but also utilize the technology itself. Being awarded in the scaleup category Smartdreamers will now receive an introduction to at least four international customers of UiPath, tech and marketing support, and also the opportunity to have its solution featured in the UiPath Immersion Labs, where clients and partners of the unicorn can test different robotic process automation products, part of the ecosystem.
Founded in 2014, SmartDreamers is a recruitment marketing automation platform that empowers recruitment teams to smartly advertise jobs across the web. Integrated with Facebook, Google Ads, YouTube, Snap, Instagram, publishers and niche websites, SmartDreamers streamlines the recruitment marketing processes. Thus, according to the company, recruiters can reach the 80% of possible candidates that don’t spend time on classical job platforms. In the case of UiPath, which is also a client of Smartdreamers, the number of applications has increased by 83%, and the cost per hire was optimized with 342%.
Besides UiPath, SmartDreamers already works with clients like Uber, Vodafone, Siemens, Orange, IBM, L’Oreal, etc., and has offices in the UK, the US, Singapore, and Romania. To date, the company has managed to raise €2.6M of investments, Crunchbase shows.
But what about UiPath’s current employees
Interestingly enough, around a week before announcing the winners of the CEE Automation Awards, UiPath confirmed the information reported by several global publications, that it’s laying off between 300 and 400 employees. This makes around 13% of the 3200 people working for the company (1000 of the employees are in Bucharest). The cited reason is efficiency.
The news came several months after UiPath raised a round of $568m that skyrocketed its valuation to $7b, and two weeks after acquiring two new companies. In October, UiPath announced the acquisition of two automation startup – StepShot and ProcessGold. Upon the deal announcement, the company said the tech and teams from the two companies are being brought on board in order to give enterprise customers more tools to track and identify workflows, VentureBeat reported.