citybiz+ Oceans-backed Arya Raises $7.2M to Develop Workforce Management Technology

Arya, which is developing next-generation technology for workforce management, has raised $7.2 million from unnamed investors, according to a listing on Crunchbase. In 2022, the Princeton, N.J.-based startup closed a pre-seed round worth $3.2 million from investors led by New York-based Oceans Ventures.

Founded in 2020 by Wharton School alum Kunal Sarda, Arya’s technology, including mobile apps, help organizations automate a number of HR functions, starting with onboarding of employees. It also manages payment, messaging etc., and provides strategic insights into hiring strategies.

‘Reimagining Workforce Management’

Arya is “re-imagining workforce management from the ground up,” Sarda said on his LinkedIn profile, adding that “HR and People Ops are about to undergo massive changes in the emerging world of GenAI.”

Sarda claims Arya has seen “entire swaths of long-standing workforce management solutions being thrown out,” because most rival technology treats intelligence and automation as afterthoughts, failing the critical test of flexibility. Such technology affects the “moving bits” economy, which is much larger than the “moving bytes” economy, he said.  Health, construction and trucking sectors were especially impacted by old-generation technology, according to Sarda.

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Successful Founder
Prior to starting Arya, Sarda, who earned an engineering degree from Virginia Tech, was a management consultant. He also co-founded, with Ryan Frankel, a content translation service called VerbalizeIt.

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VerbalizeIt, which built a community of 24,000 translators, graduated from Techstars and featured on the ABC reality show Shark Tank, where it won $250,000 in funding in exchange for a 20% stake from Kevin O’Leary. But eventually Sarda and Frankel rejected the deal, instead choosing to raise funds elsewhere. In 2016, Sarda and Frankel sold VerbalizeIt to Smartling, a translation software and services company.

Seed-stage VC Firm
Oceans is a seed-stage venture firm that “bets on teams, not just founders,” because “teams, not individuals, generate outsized returns.” It was co-founded in 2018 by the trio of Steven Rosenblatt, a former Foursquare executive, Joshua Rahn, who most recently worked for Facebook, and former Google and Facebook HR executive Glenn Handler. Oceans’ portfolio companies include, Kanga, Moonshot AI, Tembo Health and Zitti.