Aquent Founder Pumps $100M Into Recruiting Marketplace Scout Exchange

In today’s job market, as U.S. hiring rises and the unemployment rate remains low, it’s even more important for employers to quickly find the right candidates to fill positions.

That could spell more demand for recruiting websites like Scout Exchange—and investors are betting big on the Boston startup.

Scout Exchange announced today that it has pulled in $100 million in funding from Boston-based TRI Ventures, the investment vehicle of entrepreneur John Chuang. He previously co-founded creative staffing agency Aquent and computer developer Litl. Chuang’s other startup investments include Angie’s List (NASDAQ: ANGI), the Indianapolis-based home services online marketplace, according to a press release.

John Chuang

Now, Chuang is backing a different kind of marketplace. Scout Exchange said it uses machine learning technology to analyze the text of job postings on its website and match search firm recruiters with open positions that the software determines they’ll be most likely to successfully fill, based on past performance by job type. The idea is that “by curating the best recruiters for each job,” Scout Exchange’s software might be able to help companies find higher quality talent more quickly and at a lower cost, the company said. Scout Exchange said hundreds of employers and thousands of recruiters use its services.

“Talent acquisition is more imperative for today’s businesses than ever before,” Chuang said in a prepared statement. “While technology has streamlined many HR processes, corporate recruiting is still more difficult and time consuming than it should be.”

Scout Exchange is led by Ken Lazarus (pictured in top photo), who previously was CEO of the now-defunct Lilliputian Systems, an MIT spinout that raised about $150 million in venture capital to develop fuel cell technology for charging consumer devices. Lazarus was also a founding board member at DataXu and Ekotrope, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Jeff Engel is a senior editor at Xconomy. Email: Follow @JeffEngelXcon

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