A hacker’s trail

A hacker’s trail

At HackerRank, skill is supreme. The technical recruitment platform currently sees participation from close to a million programmers and has on board 12,000 customers across industries. It has been doubling its revenue since the fourth quarter of 2013 and expects to record a growth of almost 7 times from the last fiscal…


Vivek Ravisankar, co-founder, HackerRank (previously InterviewStreet) believes that it does not matter where you were born, where you studied or where you worked. The only thing that matters is the skills you posses. With this belief, the company’s technical recruitment platform is bringing on board the best programming talent (hackers). The company has created a challenging environment for ‘hackers’ to do what they like doing best, solving problems. Currently, the company’s social platform is a thriving code-challenge community, which presents programmers with challenges across algorithms, artificial intelligence and functional programming while it simultaneously allows corporations to post their own code-challenges to screen for suitable programmers on its enterprise version. Today, the website sees participation from close to a million programmers as it allows them to showcase what is most vital, their skill. This is also what makes the platform especially attractive to its 12,000 paying customers as it enables the best company-programmer fit, irrespective of a person’s educational history.

Our head of sales used to manage all of enterprise sales on the West Coast (U.S.) at Linkedin while our head of marketing used to manage all of enterprise marketing at Google before joining us. We are hiring phenomenally great people across the board

When The Smart CEO last spoke to Ravisankar (September 2012), the company was called InterviewStreet. “We wanted to solve a much broader challenge for the entire technical recruiting funnel; from building a platform to helping hackers hone their skills to perform at a company. And our name had to reflect this intent,” explains Ravisankar on the change in the company’s name.

The money trail

In June 2014, HackerRank raised Series-B funding of US$ 9.2 million from existing investor, Khosla Ventures, along with participation from U.S.-based Battery Ventures and other individuals. Previously, Khosla Ventures had invested an undisclosed amount in the company. “The latest round of funding is mostly going to be utilised towards scaling up our team. Our workforce has grown from 40 to 80 in less than four months and we are continuing to grow,” says Ravisankar. The company chose to work with this set of investors given their relevant experience in hiring.

Currently, HackerRank is based out of Bengaluru in India and California in the U.S. and has a team of close to 80 people spread across the divisions of sales, marketing, products, engineering and finance. Ravisankar is keen on hiring the best and some of the recent additions to HackerRank’s team fall in line with this thought. “Our head of sales used to manage all of enterprise sales on the West Coast (U.S.) at Linkedin, while our head of marketing used to manage all of enterprise marketing at Google before joining us. We are hiring phenomenally great people across the board,” he says.

The product trail

HackerRank has continued to build on its product portfolio and recently launched Codepair, a collaborative tool that increases the efficiency of phone-screening prior to on-site interviews. “This is a real-time pair programming session to help recruiters with phone interviews. Our customers have started using this as a default way for phone interviews,” shares Ravisankar. The company is constantly looking to make life more engaging for programmers while optimising the recruitment process for companies and in the near future, its focus will be on building products that have a real-world application. “For instance, to hire great iOS developers, we will build a platform where you can build an app on HackerRank itself,” shares Ravisankar.

Looking at HackerRank’s growth story, the company has consistently doubled its revenues every quarter, since the fourth quarter of 2013. Ravisankar primarily attributes this success to the team’s ability to understand hackers’ expectations while pairing them with prospective employers. As for the future, Ravisankar shares his expectations, “ For the current fiscal (FY 2014-’15) we expect to grow by almost 7 times in revenue when compared to the early millions of dollars registered in the previous fiscal.” In the next fiscal year, he sees a further growth of 200 per cent to 300 per cent; primarily because of the growing market and modifications being made to HackerRank’s product.

Then (September 2012)

Now (November 2014)

Workforce: 20 Workforce: 80
No. of customers: < 100 No. of customers: 10,000 +
Investment: US$3million Investment: US$12million
Revenue: < US$1million Revenue: > US$1million
Battery Ventures HackerRank Hackers Hacking Khosla Ventures Programming

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