Market Watch for Talent & HR January 2022

Hello, and welcome back to my Blog!

Executive Summary

VC investments in HR technology exploded in 2021 due to the need for organizations to adapt to the post-covid era,  manage hybrid work, and new ways to retain employees. VC investments reached an estimated amount of $12 billion to enable startups to expand footprint, hire data science roles and develop new product and services to address employee pain points in the talent & HR space and workplace challenges.

Here’s a quick look at the most significant valuations, acquisitions and fundraising in the HR tech space in 2021: Qualtrics, Freshworks and Coursera went public with an estimated valuation of $21 billion, $12.2 billion, and $7 billion respectively. Celonis,$1 billion in series D, and Articulate ,$1.5 billion in series A, are the biggest round of funding in 2021. The acquisition of Medallia by Thoma Bravo for $6.4 billion and Cornerstone OnDemand by Clearlake for a $5.2 billion transaction represent the most relevant acquisitions in the market (based on public available data).

To start 2022, we began with metaverse and more metaverse technologies as a buzz word to enable talent, work, and workplace. CES 2022 brought the latest technologies, the art of the possible, and Touchcast launched MCity.

Miro , Paradox , Envoy and Seekout raised capital and reached estimated valuations of $17.5 billion, $1.5 billion, $1.4 billion, and $1.2 billion respectively. Deel acquired Roots, LinkedIn is extending its platform to host virtual live events. Phenom launched four product innovation in its Phenom AI Day and Skillsoft announced the acquisition of Codecademy for $525 million.

Market Insights

Venture Capital Funding

  • Miro, a visual collaboration and whiteboarding platform, raised $400M series C funding that gives it a valuation of $17.5B. The pandemic and the new hybrid work approach had accelerated Miro’s user based reaching 30 million users. See news HERE.
  • Paradox, a conversational recruiting chatbot, raised $200M in series C funding to accelerate high-volume recruiting by simplifying candidate screening and scheduling and onboarding. The $200M investment brings Paradox at $1.5B valuation. See news HERE. 
  • Envoy, a  returning to work platform, raised $111M in series C funding and valuating the company at $1.4B. The investment will be used to accelerate growth, innovation, hire engineering, product, and design teams. See news HERE.
  • Seekout, a recruiting platform, raised $115M in series C funding, bringing valuation to $1.2B in four years. The company has experienced an exponential growth and doubled its customer base to more than 1,000 enterprises. The investment will be used to improve Seekout platform and develop new solutions for internal mobility, employee retention, career pathing and learning and development. See news HERE.
  • Quantum Workplace, an employee engagement and performance platform, announced today its investment from private equity firm LLR Partners. According to the press release, the investment will enable sales and marketing efforts and accelerating data science capabilities and discover new strategic partnerships and acquisitions. The amount of the investment was not disclosed. See news HERE.

New Offerings & Partnerships

  • Touchcast, a metaverse provider, launched MCity. According to the press release, the new solution provides a digital twin of virtual spaces (a metaverse as-a-service) where any company can seamlessly deliver engaging communications, enhance collaboration, and earning experiences.  Upon registration for MCity, organizations received a .metaverse domain for free to create digital twins of their own corporate offices. See news HERE.
    • Impact: metaverse technology is revolutionizing the market and they way how we collaboration while impacting the employee experience. Companies as well as technology startups are starting to adapt and learn more on metaverse capabilities to assess how to position themselves as strategic players in this new ecosystem market to enable enterprise adoption. I am excited to see how these progresses in 2022.
  • Phenom, a talent experience platform, announced in its Phenom AI Day event the launch of four product innovations: enterprise career framework, intelligent automation for frontline works, adverse impact dashboard and advanced personalization for candidates, recruiters, and talent marketers. A recording of this event can be found HERE. 
  • PredictiveHire, a candidate assessment platform, announced it has hit half a billion words in its proprietary database. According to PredictiveHire CEO, Barb Hyman “”PredictiveHire is the first and only company in the world to combine the simplicity of a chat conversation, the theory of structured interviews, ethical use of machine learning and the immense power of natural language processing to create a fair and accurate assessment of a candidate with far greater candidate satisfaction than traditional assessment approaches,”. See news HERE.
  • Mojohire, a talent matching platform, announced the availability of intelligent talent discovery system. See news HERE.
  • LinkedIn is exploring more new ways to make people spend more time on its platform. The company is launching this month a new event platform. The organizer will be able to record and run the audio-event directly from LinkedIn. See news HERE.

Acquisitions

  • Skillsoft, announced the acquisition of Codecademy, a leading provider focused on coding, for $525M in cash and stock, expanding its learning platform capabilities in the technology growing market. 
    • In June 2021 Skillsoft went public with an estimated valuation of $1.5B. The acquisition of Codeacademy is a biggest acquisition made by Skillsoft. Last year the company also acquired Pluma, a leadership development platform, for $22M.
    • Impact: the enterprise learning market keeps attracting learning players of all size to develop new services and enable end-to-end learning experience for fast upskilling. Skillsoft’s growth strategy is following the trends led by other learning platforms by expanding learning offerings and capabilities to attract enterprise accounts for upskilling services. See news HERE.
  • Deel, an HR payroll and compliance platform, announced the acquisition of Roots, an HR app software for small organizations, for an undisclosed amount. This acquisition occurs almost three months after raising $425M in series D funding reaching a valuation of $5.5 B. According to the news Deel gives over 6,000 companies the ability to hire, pay, and comply with local laws abroad.  The company claims that its clients can hire in less than 5 minutes employees and contractors without a local entity. See news HERE.
  • TrinNet, a service HR provider for small and mid-size organizations, announced the acquisition of Zenefits, a people operations platform, to diversifies its product offering to include Administrate Services Organization (ASO). The amount of the investment was not disclosed. See news HERE.

Relevant Articles

  • Harvard Business Review published: 
    • “50 Global Hubs for top AI talent”. See article HERE.
    • “The 10 most popular articles of 2021”. See article HERE.
  • HRD published: 
    • “HR technology budget triples in 2021”. See article HERE.
  • IT News Asia published: 
    • “Hybrid work’s becoming the new norm but are companies ready?”. See article HERE.
  • INC published: 
    • “Bosses are trying to gaslight employees into believing they miss the office. It’s not working”. See article HERE.
  • BBC published: 
    • “How the great resignation is turning into the great Reshuffle”. See article HERE.
  • The Wall Street Journal published: 
    • “Employers, investors take notice of AI tools to speed job recruitment”. See article HERE.

Events

  • “3 Job Skills that will be in demand in 2022”: event organized by Udemy; Jan 26. Register HERE.
  • “Skill development & Adaptive Learning”: event organized by Edcast; Jan 27. Register HERE.
  • “The future of IT recruitment at your hands”: event organized by CodeAlly; Jan 25. Register HERE.
  • “Prepare for the future of management”: event organized by Visier; Jan 26. Register HERE.

Art of the Possible

  • “Meet the Thundertruck, an electric off-road truck”; reported by Robb Report. See video HERE.
  • “Cuttlefish- like robot to explore the deep sea “; reported by Pliant Energy Systems. See video HERE.
  • “BMW unveiled its first color-changing car at CES”; reported by The Verge. See video HERE.
  • “SkyDrive air taxi lands at CES 2022”; reported by Techradar. See video HERE.
  • “CES 2022 robot show”; reported Pro Robots. 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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