This SA startup is helping companies acquire talent, customers using AI

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South African startup BotsZA is helping companies and organisations improve their talent acquisition processes and better liaise with customers using artificial intelligence (AI).

Launched in November 2016, BotsZA is helping businesses both locally and internationally to integrate its two main products – Hazie and MASON – into their business processes to help them improve productivity and efficiency, and provide an exceptional experience to their employees and customers.

Hazie is a talent acquisition platform that provides a seamless application process for first-time candidates applying for employment. It also automates and synchronises an end-to-end hiring process, namely bursaries, internships, learnerships, apprenticeship, and graduate applications for organisations. 

MASON, meanwhile, is a conversational AI platform that helps companies build their conversational AI chatbots that generate a response immediately to a variety of questions from customers and or internal staff members.

“Our products are being utilised daily by some of the big financial services, colleges and insurance companies locally. We pride ourselves on the fact that all products are developed in-house leveraging, off a team with a deep understanding of technology and exceptional technical ability,” said Harmony Mothibe, the startup’s founder and director.

Formed over pizza and drinks in Rosebank on a Friday afternoon, registered the following Monday, and branded red within a week, BotsZA has since grown from being a hustling startup to a well-established startup company with processes and systems in place and a “clear purpose of delivering value to clients and their customers”.

“A lot of processes in organisations are very repetitive, manual and time-consuming which results in the use of expensive resources to handle these procedures which takes longer on average. This results in inefficiencies within the business and operating environment,” said Mothibe. 

“Talent acquisition teams within organisations experience a high volume of applications which results in the use of expensive resources to screen candidates, which takes longer on average. We noticed that businesses are also experiencing a high volume of repetitive queries which results in the use of expensive resources to respond to queries which take longer on average – resulting in inefficiencies within the business and operating environment; and reputational damage due to unactioned items.”

Hazie and MASON tackle these challenges, and are utilised by a host of different organisations, the latter by South Africa’s four biggest banks. Self-funded for the first three years, in 2019 BotsZA took part in the IBM Techscale programme, which led to it securing some grant capital to accelerate the growth of the company. It is currently in the process of raising some seed funding for further expansion. Mothibe has his sights set on further sectors within the human capital market.

“Our current clients are in the financial services, educational institutions and retailers space; however, we are ultimately looking to service any organisation that operates in human capital and high volume client services,” he said. 

With revenues from licensing and the utilisation of its products, BotsZA saw revenue grow by more than 50 per cent between 2019 and 2020, meaning it broke even, and in spite of challenges occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic is now focused on funding in order to scale.

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Passionate about the vibrant tech startups scene in Africa, Tom can usually be found sniffing out the continent's most exciting new companies and entrepreneurs, funding rounds and any other developments within the growing ecosystem.

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