HackerEarth, an Indian startup with roots in hackathons which has expanded to include corporate innovation services, has closed a $4.5 million Series A funding round.
According to TechCrunch, the funding was led by DHI Group, which operates U.S. IT recruitment portal Dice.com. There was also participation from Japanese companies Beenext, Beenos, Digital Garage and BizReach, as well as existing investor Prime Venture Partners.
Founded in 2013, the Bangalore-based HackerEarth was in the inaugural group at the GSF India accelerator program. Its initial service was Recruit, a service for vetting technical talent as part of the hiring process or internal company benchmarking.
But the company returned to its original focus on hosting hackathons and introduced a second service — Sprint — which can be used to set up public or private hackathons.
Hackathons have become popular among traditional companies and industries beyond tech, with some of HackerEarth’s clients including Honeywell, Pitney Bowes, Wipro, Walmart Labs and Intuit.
“The underlying reason [corporates are interested in hackathons] is to foster innovation, crowdsource interesting ideas or because they have problems and want solutions,” Sachin Gupta, HackerEarth CEO and co-founder, told TechCrunch in an interview.
HackerEarth plans to use this latest round of funding to organize small-scale experiments in the U.S., parts of Europe and Southeast Asia.
“We’ve had a good run in India so far, and even though we are just touching on the potential of the service, we feel this is a global problem,” said Gupta.