Chatbot-powered recruitment heats up as Emergence backs Mya Systems with $11.4 mln

San Francisco-based Mya Systems, formerly known as FirstJob, announced Wednesday that it has raised $11.4 million in Series A funding to develop its AI-powered recruiter chatbot Mya.

Enterprise-focused Emergence Capital was the sole investor in the round.

Mya, an intelligent assistant, uses natural language processing and machine learning to streamline the application and hiring experience for job candidates and recruiters. Launched a year ago, the chatbot automates up to 75 percent of the recruiting process by performing phone screenings, creating candidate profiles and scheduling interviews, the company says. The system uses large data sets to scale its technology for high-volume businesses like retail, light industrial and call center employers.

Eyal Grayevsky and James Maddox co-founded the company in 2012. Mya Systems says it will use the new funds raised to meet growing demand and hire employees with expertise in machine learning, natural language processing and data science.

The company previously raised a $3 million seed round in 2012, which has been converted into this round. The company was incubated at RocketSpace, according to its profile on AngelList.

Chatbots are not just novelties for consumers, but have risen in popularity among such business sectors as fintech and insurtech to help provide better customer service. VC-backed chatbots are also emerging in the HR sector as a recruiting tool, as AI technologies have made them better at interacting and interpreting human language.

Since 2012, more than 200 private companies using AI algorithms have been acquired, according to data from CB Insights. More than 30 of those occurred in the first quarter of 2017, and about 46 percent of AI companies acquired since 2012 have been VC-backed.

Action Item: More info about the Mya chatbot on the website at

Photo of robot and human touching forefingers courtesy of CharlieAJA/iStock/Getty Images