Five months into 2018 and a few billion dollars later, the action in HR Tech space globally is firmly moving in the direction of growth, consolidation, and partnerships. In the month of May, we continue to see these trends and we see a particular concentration of investor action in Talent Acquisition, Wellness and Talent Management solutions. We reckon the wellness category is likely to see a wide variety of solution set and is likely to morph into a very important category in its own right. However, currently it’s very early days in this space and we reckon increasingly HR Tech companies may compete with FinTech companies for a share of this pie.
Before we jump into the money pool and see who is investing where and how much, this month we wish to start with a few product feature announcements which we believe are indicative of the direction new age technology applications are taking.
First up is HR Analytics company Visier which announced the launch of Career Journeys. This new people analytics capability analyzes historical data to provide answers to questions that managers are likely to face while holding career path discussions. It’s an interesting use of AI and internal organizational data to aid career conversations based on data and we are excited at possibilities that would emerge from here.
The second one comes from Ivy League university labs and Fortune 500 companies, Expercoin. It’s a blockchain cryptocurrency based platform that aims to create distributed marketplaces, called Republics. These marketplaces can then advertise and sell services, courses, and even jobs. The platform claims to be powered by AI to enable these transactions and ensure trust in the digital marketplaces is built like it’s built in the real world. An interesting use case coming out of the labs of Harvard and MIT, we would let you know in later months how well this platform is performing.
Taking the power of robotic process automation and machine learning, we see a very futuristic application coming from Nice named as Nice Employee Virtual Attendant (NEVA). The impressive demo indicates that the RPA and AI enabled personal assistant can help employees complete tasks and also be super productive. This is definitely how future work environments for most back office processing centers are likely to look like. This can also be effectively used for helping employees navigate multiple enterprise applications.
With these three exciting announcements of applications, let’s now look at some of the big-ticket investments and deals in HR Tech space announced in May 2018:
- Japanese HR giant recruit holdings buying of Glassdoor for $1.2 Bn is the biggest news this month. The company primarily makes it money in staffing and only a 10% of its revenue coming from HR Technology, the company is clearly looking to strengthen its offerings via this acquisition. With Indeed and Glassdoor together the company can create interesting mix of products and services for its existing customers. This news is also particularly important to see an Asian giant expanding its footprints in the HR tech space as we believe Asian players and markets will increasingly play a critical role in HR Tech space in near future. In the same month, Indeed a portfolio company of Recruit announced that it has acquired resume.com, a resume creation website. Recruit holdings is building its technology stack via acquisition and the current stack makes an interesting proposition. It would be exciting to see how they integrate these with their existing services to create a unique value proposition in the market.
- Concentra, a London based company, focused on data analytics-driven solutions for HR and business leaders, announced it has received GBP 41 Mn ($60.2 Mn) in growth equity investment. Its flagship product OrgVue enables companies to look at organizations in a different light using organizational network analysis aspects.
- Klaxxon a French start-up focused on making meetings more productive raised $50 Mn, taking the total funding to about $56 Mn.
- The most anticipated HR Tech start-up, Humu, founded by the ex-Google head of people operations, Lazlo Block, announced that it has raised $40 Mn in venture funding. It’s definitely going to use people analytics but there are a lot of speculations on how exactly it is going to do what it says it will. We will let you know as soon it’s out in the open.
- Wellness as a category received further boost when Lyra Health, a digital health company announced it has raised $45 Mn in series B. The company focuses on mental health challenges at the workplace and uses data-driven approaches for the same.
- The talent acquisition space continues to get its share of the pie with Phenom People announcing $22 Mn in Series B funding.
The month of May, further consolidated the trends we talked about earlier this year and we are very optimistic about the HR tech space and its growth over this year. We are very excited with the launch of specific applications using blockchain, AI and data analytics and we expect to see these solutions mature over a period and more innovative solutions to come to the market. The HR Tech industry is truly experiencing an exciting period this year.