Market Watch for Talent & HR April 2022

Hello, and welcome back to my Blog!

Executive Summary

HR technology activity ramped up this month with strategic acquisitions: Cornerstone acquired EdCast, Papaya acquired Azimo, ICIMS acquired CandidateID, and Celonis acquired Process Analytics Factory among others. Furthermore, we also saw activity in funding rounds to scale operations, market expansion, product development and innovation. Relevant funding rounds: Remote (series C; $300M), Begom ($300M), Staffbase (series E; $115M), Leapsome (series A; $60M), HackerRank (series D; $60M), Forma (series B; $40M), Strivr (series B; $35M) , Compete (series A; $15M), Learnin (series A; $10M) and FutureFit (seed fund; $4.5M)

HR technology keeps attracting investors, and venture capital firms willing to invest in the next “unicorn(s)” that bring the art of the possible for corporate learning, employee/candidate experience, mobility, analytics, and remote work all powered by AI, Data and Extended Reality.

Market continues to converge, and we will see  more acquisitions combining HR tech capabilities to address multiple use cases and pain points in one-single integrated platform for a better experience for candidates and employers.


  • Cornerstone, a leading HR software player, announced the acquisition of EdCast a leading learning experience platform. This acquisition is going to shake the market in multiple ways to benefit customers with experiential learning, content, LMS and skill ontology and HR end-to-end solutions/features.
    • Impact: Cornerstone offers multiple products across HR. The acquisition of EdCast will enhance its LXP capabilities while offering integrated solutions to customers and positioning as “best in class” skills technology player.
    • This acquisition also brings two of the best players in learning experience and HR software together to help customers manage the complex and confusing learning and HR tech stack (that keeps growing and evolving due to workforce needs and market demands) to provide the best talent experience and infrastructure. See news HERE.
  • Celonis, a leading process mapping organization, announced the acquisition of Process Analytics Factory (PAF) for $100 million. This acquisition enhances the Celonis platform with process mining capabilities tailored to the Microsoft ecosystem.
    • Impact: The automation market keeps growing and is expected to reach a revenue of $13.74 B in 2028 while attracting more technology players and investors to compete and offer a variety of automation capabilities.
    • In the last few years, we have seen a lot of activity in the RPA market: UIPath acquired Cloud Elements, ServiceNow acquired Indian startup Intellibot while SAP bought process automation startup Signavio for $1.2 billion. Microsoft acquired Softmotive and Celonis closed 2021 with a series D funding round with an estimated valuation of $11billion.
  • ICIMS, a leading end-to-end talent acquisition platform, announced the acquisition of Candidate ID, a marketing automation solution to build talent pipelines and automate repetitive candidate engagement tasks.
    • Impact: ICIMS has been acquiring niche talent acquisition startups to provide to its customers with a full spectrum of solutions in one centralized end-to-end platform
    • This inorganic growth strategy is letting ICIMS to grow at scale, acquire key talent, access to new technologies, data and solve several uses cases across the talent acquisition life cycle.
    • Recently ICIMS launched its Talent Marketplace (Oct 2021) and acquired mobile video platform Altru (Dec 2021). See news HERE.
  • Papaya Global, a global payroll provider, announced the acquisition of Azimo, a digital cross-border payments service for $150-200 million. This is the first acquisition in 2022 after the last round of investment, series D, with an estimated valuation of $3.7B.  According to the news, Papaya will be using Azimo’s technology for its system of transferring payments between businesses and employees. See news HERE.
  • Quinyx, an AI-driven workforce management platform, UKG partner, announced the acquisition of Concrete an employee communication (intranet), task management and store operation to address workforce needs for frontline workers/managers.
    • Impact: The workforce management software market is projected to grow by $2.13B during 2021-2025. Quinyx and other vendors such as UKG, Paylocity, Ceridian, Rippling, Beekeeper,  Isolved, WorkJam, When I work, and Rotageek are competing for a piece of market share and revenue growth. See news HERE.
  • Kazoo, a performance, and engagement platform announced the acquisition of WorkTango, an employee feedback and analytics company. With this acquisition Kazoo is now offerings a wide range of employee listening, recognition, rewards, and performance management capabilities to understand people’s challenges and improve key moments that matter across the talent lifecycle.
    • Impact: Employee engagement, performance management and employee development market segments are starting to converge. Silo niche solutions are going to face growth challenges since customers are looking for integrated platforms.
    • Several HR technology vendors are combining, acquiring and/or developing these capabilities to provide a clear view on how performance is tied to engagement, relationships, ways of working, feedback and skill development and create dashboards for analytics and decision making. See news HERE.
  • WilsonHCG an RPO solution provider, announced the acquisition of Claro Analytics, a labor market analytics platform that provides hiring trends, salaries, and local market talent availability. The acquisition compliments WilsonHCG’s current capabilities and provide to its clients with real-time talent and market insights. The amount of the acquisition was not disclosed. See news HERE.

Venture Capital Funding

  • Remote, a global payroll  and employee record services platform, raised $300M in series C funding. The investment will be used to continue building out the tools that provides to its customers and to expand its technology and services to more regions. The company provides services to over 60 countries and aiming to expand to 100 in 2022, with the goal to serve 140 countries. See news HERE.
  • Begom, a compensation platform, announced a $300M investment from Sumeru. The investment will support additional growth in product innovation to better support compensation management and HR leaders. See news HERE.
  • Staffbase, an internal communications platform, raised $115M, series E, at $1.1B valuation. The investment will be use to scale internationally, increase market demand and complete its full integration of all solutions with Microsoft 365®. See news HERE.
  • HackerRank, a tech assessment platform, raised $60M in series D funding bringing the company to an estimated valuation of $500M. According to the press release, the company now counts 2,800 customers, including 25% of some of the biggest companies in the world,  and 18 million developers. The company is now based in Mountain View, California. See news HERE.
  • Leapsome, a performance an engagement platform, raised $60M in series A funding. According to the press release, the investment will be used to expand operations in the US market at the same time introducing new products and features. See news HERE.
  • Forma, a benefits management platform, raised $40M in series B to help organizations to select benefits vendors, process reimbursements, design benefits programs and monitor plan usage through a digital wallet. See news HERE.
  • Strivr, a virtual-reality and immerse learning experience platform, raised $35M in an extension to its previously announced $30M series B funding. See news HERE.
  • Compete, a SaaS compensation and benchmarking platform, raised $15M in series A funding. The investment will be used to penetrate expansion into the US and UK markets. See news HERE.
  • Learnin, a learning provider, raised $10M in series A funding to help organizations build talent academies and develop world-class programs. See news HERE.
  • FutureFit, a career navigation platform, raised $4.5M in series seed funding. The investment will be used for product innovation and market expansion. The company help organizations to match candidates to jobs based on their skills interest and personal preferences and offers internal talent marketplaces for employee career development. See news HERE.
  • Agolo, an AI-powered summarization platform, announced completion of its series A funding round to accelerate its growth and cutting-edge technology roadmap. See news HERE.

New Offerings & Partnerships

  • Skillsoft, a global player in corporate learning, launched new skill assessment capability in Percipio to identify learners’ gaps and proficiencies. See news HERE.
  • Leapsome, a performance an engagement platform, announced partnership with GoodHabits, a learning content provider, to bring learning content to its clients via the Leapsome platform. See news HERE.
  • Appcast, a programmatic advertising platform, launched its “Recruitonomics” insights hub to offer to customers a deeper understanding of how the economy is rapidly shaping talent acquisition and the broader business landscape. See news HERE.

Relevant Articles

  • Harvard Business Review published: 
    • “Onboarding can make or break a new hire’s experience”. See article HERE.
  • Josh Bersin published: 
    • “Scaling your company: The global workforce intelligence project.” See article HERE.
  • Mckinsey & Company published: 
    • “Is it time to reexamine your culture?.” See article HERE.
  • SHRM published: 
    • “HR faces tough choices as digital transformation redesigns work.” See article HERE.
    • “What a General Motor’s TA leader built a new tech stack to drive change”. See article HERE.

Art of the Possible

  • “Maker of $777K flying motorbike prepares for Japan IPO”; reported by The Japan Times. See video HERE.

More to come! Stay tuned.

Note: All views expressed in this article do not represent the opinions of any entity whatsoever with which I have been, am now, or will be affiliated. My opinions are my own.

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Albert Loyola

Artificial Intelligence | Employee Experience| HR Transformation| Advisor| Speaker

Albert brings global market research experience  to help executives harness intelligent technologies, reinvent HR, re-skilling and employee experience across NAR, APAC, LATAM and EMEA regions.

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