Market Watch for Talent & HR December 2021

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Executive Summary

As we prepare for 2022, technology for talent and HR will be more important than ever to source, attract, select, allocate and mobilize talent across organizations. Internal Mobility and Upskilling will continue to grow, while AI is in almost every step in the employee lifecycle predicting, analyzing, making recommendations, and listening to employees.

Venture Capital investments in HR technology will continue with new acquisitions and consolidating the tendency of moving from silo-focused solutions to end-to-end systems of intelligence. Data and Analytics will play a critical role to analyze talent data from different sources to seamlessly activate use cases and connect recruiting with internal mobility, upskilling, performance, and career management.

Advancements in robotics will continue in light speed to help transform industries and shape the future of work. Engineered Arts, a manufacturer of humanoid robots, surprised the world with a state-of-the-art Humanoid named Ameca that makes realistic facial expressions and body movements. Avatars for communication and Augmented and Virtual Reality for training are getting more common in organizations and this is just the beginning.

As HR professionals its critical to get upskilling on emerging technologies and how they work. Most likely you will have an active role to assess, select and implement HR technology. Not all the tools have the same level of maturity, scalability, and meet AI-bias market standards (countries are starting to regulate AI due to discrimination cases). It’s better to be prepared to advise your organization. 

Market Insights

Venture Capital Funding

  • Synthesia, an HR Tech organization that uses AI to create synthetic videos, announced that it raised $50M in series B funding to leverage synthetic avatars for corporate learning and communications. The investment will be used for enhancing its platform to create more use cases and scale services.
    • This startup makes it easy to enable change, communicate and learn in a more engaging way by making it possible for anyone to create videos in minutes.
    • Organizations can even create their own avatars that look and feel like a real person, and/or turning text or a slide presentation into an avatar-led video.
    • Impact: organizational communication and video production is now powered by AI to make media more personal via Avatars that can deliver messaging in more than 40+ languages. See news HERE.
  • Quinyx, a workforce management platform, announced it raised $50M in funding collecting a total of $ 103.3M in venture capital to date. 
    • Companies such as McDonald’s, Sysco, Domino’s, Maersk, IHG, and DHL are using Quinyx to manage its hourly employees.
    • Key players competing in this market: Rippling, Infor, Oracle, SAP, UKG, Ceridian, ADP, Paylocity, and others.
    • Impact: The workforce management software market is projected to grow by $2.13B during 2021-2025. Workforce technology is automating different steps in the blue-collar workforce management to provide a better experience, manage labor cost and enable mobility functionality. See news HERE.
  • Sounding Board, a coaching platform, announced it raised $30M in series B funding led by Jazz Venture Partners. The investment will be used to support growth and focus on coaching for leadership instead of a broad-based coaching population.
    • Key players competing in this market:, BetterUp, CouchHub, Torch, MoovOne, Blossom, and others.
    • Coaching services have exploded due to the pandemic and platforms started to focus on helping employees to manage their mental health and well-being but also created the opportunity to democratize coaching and make it available to every single person (not only executives).
    • Impact: Coaching vendors have shifted their approach; moving from a platform that matches people to coaches, to a more data-driven focus by understanding employee emotions behind data collected (via surveys and/or active listening) and tied it to performance management and track goal progress. See news HERE.
  • Spatial, a metaverse platform, announced it raised $25M in series B funding bringing the total raised to $50M. The company shifted its strategy by moving away from augmented reality and virtual reality collaboration to nonfungible token (NFT) art exhibitions and metaverse events. See news HERE.
  • 365 Talents, a talent marketplace and upskilling platform, announced it raised $12M in series A funding. The platform uses AI to detect all the skills of employees in real time and facilitate their career development and internal mobility. See news HERE.
  • Clovers, a video interviewing platform, announced it raised $100M in funding led by Zoom Video Communications. The platform will be available in the Zoom app marketplace. See news HERE.
  • Roleshare, a role matching platform, launched a job-sharing marketplace to match professionals to opportunities. The company announced it raised $550K in pre-seed round. See news HERE.
  • Hundo, a career platform that connect Gen Z talent and employers to build the future of work, announced it raised $2M in seed round. See news HERE.
  • Intrro, an employee referrals platform, announced it raised $2.2M in seed round. The investment will be used in product development, data science and building an engineering team. See news HERE.
  • Lepaya, an upskilling platform, announced it raised $40M in series B funding bringing the total capital raised to $47M. The investment will be used to significantly expand its offline and online training offering. See news HERE.
  • ThoughtSpot, an analytic cloud platform, announced it raised $100M in series F funding at a new $4.2B valuation. The new funding will be used to accelerate innovation, open opportunities for M&A, and bring key technical talent onboard. See news HERE.
  • Gtmhub, a provider of OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) software, closed a $120M in series C funding led by Index Ventures. See news HERE.

New Offerings & Partnerships

  • EdCast, announced a partnership with Docebo to combine Learning Experience with Learning Management capabilities.  
    • EdCast continues to innovate and focus heavily on AI to enable its products. This year EdCast released Skills DNA” to manage the complexity of skill taxonomies to build a skill system of record that injects skills data from different data sources and recommend learning pathways and content.
    • Impact: Companies have multiple skill taxonomies with limited capability edit, curate, manage and import skill data to upskilling talent quickly. See news HERE.
  • Visier, a leading people analytics platform, announced strategic partnerships with ICIMS and with UKG (Ultimate Kronos Group), a key provider in the HCM, service delivery and workforce management. According to the press release, “this partnership can deliver an enhanced level of analytical capability, providing UKG customers with an exceptional candidate and employee experience”. See news HERE.
  • Udemy, a leading learning content provider, announced a partnership with Multichoice to give access to high-quality courses to support MultiChoice customers to invest in their personal and professional development. 
    • Udemy went public in October 2021, launched Udemy Business Pro in September, and recently acquired CorpU, a cohort-based learning provider for leaders and executives.
    • More than 8,600 organizations are Udemy Business customers, almost 50% of them are Fortune 100 companies, according to company filings. Udemy offers 183,000 courses in 75 languages globally.
    • Impact: Udemy is adding new capabilities allowing customers to create and customize content easily as well as making learning more “hands-on” via sandbox environments, labs, projects, forums to provide people a better learning experience to develop new skills. See news HERE.
  • Loom, a video communication platform, announced partnerships with InVision, Netlify, and Upwork to streamline communications across their platforms. See news HERE.

  • Korn Ferry, an executive search firm, launches AI-Powered Intelligence Cloud, according to the press release, a new AI- enabled analytics platform. See news HERE.


  • EY, announced the acquisition of Tao Leadership, an executive coaching and training programs provider to accelerate change behavioral change and leadership capabilities. See news HERE.
  • 2U, an online-learning platform, completed the acquisition of nonprofit education platform edX for an estimated amount of $800M all-cash deal. According to the news, edX, hosts over 3,000 courses led by 15,000 instructors and used by 35 million users. Both organizations are starting a new journey in building the future of education and expanding global footprint. See news HERE.

Relevant Articles

  • Josh Bersin published: 
    • “Predictions for 2022: Everything is about to change”. See article HERE.
  • Chief Executive Magazine published: 
    • “10 Key Talent and Leadership Trends for 2022”. See article HERE.
  • McKinsey published: 
    • “The state of AI in 2021”. See article HERE. 
  • World Economic Forum published: 
    • “AI for Human Resources Toolkit helps organizations overcome implementation challenges”. See article HERE.
  • Deloitte published: 
    • “Blockchain: ready for business”. See article HERE.  


  • Recruiting & Retention 2022: event organized by Recruiting daily; Dec 16. Register HERE.

Art of the Possible

  • Astounding human-like robot Ameca ‘wakes up’; reports by Reuters. See video HERE.
  • “Robots with Artificial Intelligence to Reconstruct Pompeii Frescoes”; reported by Greek Reporter. See news HERE.
  • “Dell’s vision for the future of work is a wireless wonderland”; reported by Digital Trends. See news HERE.
  • “15 emerging technologies that will change our world” reported by Future Business Tech. See video HERE.

More to come! Stay tuned.

Note: All views expressed on 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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