Seattle-based augmented writing startup Textio has closed a $12 million funding round as the company looks to expand beyond the enterprise market.
The news comes on the heels of cutbacks at the 6-year-old startup, which saw the reduction of 20 percent of its staff last week.
Co-founder and CEO Kieran Snyder addressed what she called a “painful” process of laying off 30 employees in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic at the same time that she’s trying to protect the future of her company.
“Factoring in a bunch of the uncertainty that’s ahead, we do have to be nimble,” Snyder said. “We have to be able to pivot to what’s there. We have to be able to know we have the right resourcing for what we’re going to need to do.”
Textio attracted new investors, including Industry Ventures and Operator Collective, who join Emergence Capital, Scale Venture Partners, Cowboy Ventures, Bloomberg Beta and Upside Partnership in the round, which was initially reported as a $7 million raise earlier this month.
The startup has raised $41.5 million since being founded by Snyder and Jensen Harris in 2014, after the two previously worked on productivity tools at Microsoft.
Textio customers such as Johnson & Johnson, Slack, NASA and more use its technology to improve job listings and emails to candidates.
Snyder sees an opportunity now to seize on the traction Textio has built helping companies more clearly express their values. Textio wants to flip that scenario and help candidates express their skills, values, and openness to a range of work and help them find companies that are going to be a fit for what they’re looking for.
She said with more people working remotely and doing more communication via writing, Textio’s connected language platform is perhaps even more interesting to investors.
“We are in the right space. The need in the market is shifting,” Snyder said. “And so a lot of the capital is about addressing that need as companies are doing more and more of this work in writing and the market is shifted to a job seeker market in a bunch of ways.”
Helping job seekers with Textio’s existing technology is Snyder’s way of dealing with the current joblessness crisis brought on by coronavirus. With factors that are very hard to predict and control, the startup is facing the same uncertainty that all companies will deal with over the coming months.
“I’m not an epidemiologist, I’m not an economist. I think even those who are experts are guessing to a very high degree,” she said. “We all do our best to make projections and to make guesses. I have a responsibility to take care of my team and my business and my customers. …. I feel fortunate that the technology and the reputation and traction are investible.”