Robin Tests is an Argentinean startup that promises to predict talent and cognitive skills via neuroscience games and automated supervision. For a hiring-intensive company like Globant, the capabilities of Robin Tests were too attractive to ignore, so a move was made recently to invest in the startup, through Globant’s venture capital arm, Globant Ventures.
Alejandro Scannapieco, Business Hacking Studio Partner at Globant and Managing Director at Globant Ventures, told Nearshore Americas that currently, Globant spends huge amounts of time every week interviewing candidates to assess their skills. The possibility of automating parts of this work, by filtering candidates with appropriate cognitive capabilities, would not just save time and money, but quite possible produce better results.
The fact that Robin Tests provides practical value to Globant is one thing, but it’s not the only feature that weighed in the investment decision, amounting to $250,000 USD. Scannapieco also likes that Robin Tests offers a SaaS model for B2B. Robin Tests also appears to have little competition in Latin America, giving it a potentially powerful first-mover advantage.
How Globant Ventures Chooses Where to Invest
Globant Ventures typically invests in early-stage companies, particularly startups that have global capabilities, global reach, and possess a profound technology base, says Scannapieco,
“If we find a company that is attractive to us in terms of IoT, in terms of mobile, it could be AI, it could be augmented reality, that’s eligible for a Globant Ventures investment. I would say, that the key drivers are a profound technology base, global reach and potential synergy with some of the stack of technologies and projects that we are running with our clients. All those things together, they make a suitable investment for Globant Ventures,” Globant Ventures CFO said.
To select finalists, they have sourcing funnels oriented in different stages. Their website, for example, takes incoming pitches from startups. They also hold startup forums and leverage their partnership with Endeavor.
“We also assign a significant relevance to our demo day,” Scannapieco said. “We have some requirements for companies to apply for that funnel: they need to present their company. The elevator pitch needs to be performed on a video. Then, we start the filtering process, until we typically get about 10 finalists for every quarterly session where we analyze potential investments in startups.”
Out of the 10 finalists, Globant Ventures gets usually two or three that can go into the next round, and twice a year they make investment decisions.
The fund is designed to invest no less than $50,000 or $100,000 on each startup, and no more than $500,000. They also have an agreement with the government of Argentina to boost investments. When the startups they choose are in early stages and based in the South American country, the government provides $50,000 of additional investment. Globant Ventures is one of the 10 corporate venture capitals that were selected by the government for this initiative.
Future Steps for Robin Tests
Even with the promise of speeding up Globant’s hiring processes, Scannapieco points out that it is not certain whether Globant will actually use the startup’s services.
In previous cycles, Globant has in fact leveraged the capabilities of firms they invest in. For example, CamOnApp, is an augmented reality company that builds products that Globant now deploys.
“It will always depend on the assessment of the capabilities. There are two separate threads here: One of them is the acceleration program, and that’s the one where we try to accelerate these startups, try to help them with mentoring, with investment capabilities, with some guidance on their business. The other thread is that they are fitting into our value proposition, into our solution offering, and potentially engaging with some of our existing clients,” Scannapieco said.
Currently, Robin Tests is also starting an acceleration program. During the next six months, the company will be provided with mentors and a coordinator, who will be a senior executive within Globant Ventures.
“Globant Ventures leverages a lot on the people at Globant, we typically leverage on their studios (they have 21). Then, we have our partners, EY, Marval O’Farrel Mairal, Endeavor, that also helps with the strategic coaching of the next steps for them to get to the next levels,” Scannapieco added about the process. After six months, this could end in a follow-on or in Globant Ventures exiting the investment.