AN asynchronous video interview platform described as having the potential to ‘transform the way US companies hire staff’ has raised more than $2.5 million to drive further expansion in the States.
UK-based Willo – one of the world’s fastest growing async video interview platforms – has announced plans to significantly scale up its US presence after raising the funds from 1818 Venture Capital. The lucrative US market already accounts for more than 65% of Willo’s revenues, with the firm working with major stateside clients including Coinbase, Chick-fil-A, and Sureify. Willo currently operates in more than 180 countries worldwide.
Willo’s turnover is set to pass £1m for the first time in January 2023, and the firm remains on target to grow that figure to more than £40m by the end of 2025, an ambition that will include reaching more than one million video interview completions per month – a key metric for the burgeoning firm – and in excess of 80,000 paying users. Willo currently has just under 10,000 paying users.
Willo’s success in the US has been attributed to the rapid growth of asynchronous working – when teams work without communicating simultaneously allowing companies to effectively operate across multiple time zones – which experts estimate can save firms thousands of pounds per employee each year. The growth of asynchronous working has been labelled ‘the async movement’.
The ramping up of Willo’s US operation includes a new headquarters in New York City – set to open in February 2023 – that will initially provide a base for a seven-strong US sales and customer support team. The new US hires are part of a global recruitment drive that will more than double Willo’s total headcount. The firm plans to bring on board 25 new team members to drive further growth in the US, UK, and Asian markets.
Key investors in the latest round – which takes the total investment in UK-based Willo since it was founded in 2018 to more than £2.5m – include former Mimecast GM Alan Kenny; finance expert Julien Nurse; and Freeserve pioneer Mark Danby.
Euan Cameron, Willo’s CEO who co-founded the business with Andrew Wood in Glasgow in 2018 before it launched in January 2020, said:
“The way the US market has embraced Willo’s technology has been astounding, and this latest investment will enable us to meet the booming demand for async hiring tools among businesses and organisations of all sizes. We built Willo so it can operate from anywhere in the world, and we have enjoyed tremendous success to date, but establishing a base in New York City will enable us to be even more agile in supporting existing clients and bringing new ones on board. Whilst the US is our biggest market at present, the rest of the world is catching up, there is rising demand around the world as the async message spreads, and by more than doubling our headcount we will be able to service it too. We secured our first round of investment during the Covid-19 pandemic as remote working took off, and the support and commitment shown from our latest round of investors – especially Mark, Alan, and Julien – shows the world of work has changed for good and for the better. What’s more, it also demonstrates the potential for Willo to become the market leader in asynchronous video interview software.”
Richard Avery-Wright, Founding Partner of 1818 Venture Capital, said:
“For obvious reasons, the adoption of both asynchronous and distributed working and hiring practices has accelerated over the last few years. That said, we are still early in the adoption curve for many novel solutions and most businesses are yet to adapt and reap the benefits of these new approaches. Willo is a best-in-class platform purpose built to support these new modes of hiring. In addition to huge efficiency gains and demonstrable return on investment – saving more than 4,000 hours per year for 100+ clients – Willo delivers an outstanding experience for both employers and applicants alike. We believe Willo is perfectly positioned to become an integral feature of the future hiring landscape. We have known the team at Willo for many years, both as an investor and as a client, and are delighted to be strengthening our partnership with them as they accelerate the pace of their global expansion.”
Earlier this year, US tech pioneer and co-founder of async meeting platform Yac.com, Jordan Walker, described Willo as the best tool available in the US for async hiring.
Walker estimates asynchronous working – the practice of working in teams that does not require all members to communicate simultaneously – saves organisations around $7,000 of per employee per year in time (based on an average salary of $75,000) by creating flexibility that allows employees to replace meetings and work effectively across multiple time zones.
Walker expects Willo to be the go-to tool for async hiring in the US. He said: “Major organisations are already graduating to becoming more async internally, and once they’ve done that they’ll look externally and that’s when companies like Willo will come into play. That’s when Willo is going to blow up with these companies. It gets me really excited. There isn’t a tool in the US that does async hiring effectively at present. Some try to ‘hack’ it – using Loom or even Yac – but it’s not native technology that’s made for that purpose. Willo is the best product that does this and it’s going to be huge.”
Willo – which also counts Very.co.uk, Boohoo, University of Pennsylvania, and airport facilities management firm ABM amongst its global client list – was created on the principle that talent can come from anywhere, with best people for businesses not bound by geographical location.
Learn more about Willo's latest round of investment in this Sunday Times article.