SoftBank, Riverwood lead $93 million investment in Brazilian HR startup Gupy

FILE PHOTO: Softbank Corp
FILE PHOTO: Softbank Corp's logo is pictured at its branch in Tokyo April 17, 2013. Masayoshi Son, billionaire founder of Japanese mobile carrier SoftBank Corp, is expected to stay in the battle for U.S. wireless service provider Sprint Nextel Corp, even though he could profit handsomely by walking away. REUTERS/Yuya Shino

By Aluisio Alves

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazilian digital human resources startup Gupy said on Monday it has raised 500 million reais ($93.15 million) in a funding round led by Japan's SoftBank and U.S. venture capital firm Riverwood.

Founded in 2015, Gupy uses artificial intelligence to select, hire and train employees. According to the startup, it has around 1,500 client companies in Latin America, including Ambev, GPA, Vivo, Cielo and Lojas Renner.

The funding round comes after an expansion of automated human resources services in Brazil, especially during pandemic-related lockdowns. Mariana Dias, Gupy's CEO and cofounder, said automated services are able to reduce the time spent on hiring employees by about 70%.

Gupy's latest funding round was 12 times larger than its previous one in June 2021, when the firm raised 40 million reais. Four months later, it acquired Niduu, a startup focused on employee training.

"Now, with the new round, we can increase investments in technology and offering solutions for workers looking for jobs through the recruitment platform," Dias told Reuters, mentioning the launch of a free marketplace for job offers.

She declined to disclose Gupy's valuation in the latest funding round. The company currently has 470 employees.

Dias said that acquisitions would be one of company's growth drivers, with an initial public offering (IPO) not on its radar right now.

($1 = 5.3674 reais)

(Reporting by Aluisio Alves; Writing by Gabriel Araujo; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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