Market Watch for Talent & HR – June

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Executive Summary

Venture Capital firms are investing heavily in the HR Technology space. This month we have seen a wide range of acquisitions, integrations, and new product launching, for market leadership and expansion. Companies are focusing on re-inventing their talent strategy, supporting a new hybrid workforce and enhancing their HR technology systems that allow organizations to accelerate new skilling, internal mobility and deploy an employee listening strategy to provide analytics and guidance to employees/managers to be better leaders and/or address employee engagement.

Having this background, the HR innovation market is creating a series of acquisitions in new skill space: Pluralsight acquired A Cloud Guru, LinkedIn Learning integrates with Glint, and Guild Education closed a $150 million series E at a $3.75 billion valuation to improve experiences and bring solutions to address different pain points across the talent lifecycle.

Furthermore, recruiting is exploding with acquisition and integrations: Pandologic acquired Wade and Wendy, StepStone acquired Mya, ZipRecruiter went public, Pymetrics announced the availability of API features, X.AI was acquired by Bizzabo and People Strong expanded to Australia and NZ.

Do not miss out to see the organization of the month (Spatial), Art of the Possible articles and the list of HR Tech events for the month of June below.

Market Insights

  • LinkedIn Learning integration with Glint is available now, and this integration brings together one of the leading employee engagement platforms with LinkedIn Learning’s world-class content. This integration helps managers learn and take action on feedback more effectively—and monitor team’s needs, burnout and behaviors.

    Impact: As organizations and employees adapt to the new hybrid work, employee listening becomes a key talent pillar for organizations to understand how people feel, when and how they work, and relate to others. Furthermore, the role of the team managers is changing with focus now on leading remotely while, learning new skills and maintaining productivity and team morale. Employee listening can provide insights, behavioral nudges and/or recommendations to make better leaders while promoting behavioral change. The integration between Glint and LinkedIn Learning is just the first step. The ecosystem of Microsoft technologies brings a series of capabilities that combines Microsoft Viva, Workplace Analytics, LinkedIn and Glint in powerful analytics, productivity, learning and wellbeing platform. See news here.
  • Pandologic, one of the leading providers of programmatic recruitment advertising, acquired conversational AI recruiting startup Wade and Wendy. This positions Pandologic as one of few programmatic advertising players that can deliver large volumes of candidates but also engage and screen qualified applicants. Furthermore, this acquisition combines PandoLogic’s world-class programmatic advertising with Wade & Wendy’s conversational AI to deliver a more personalized application and candidate experience. Relevant competitors in this segment include: Smashfly, Vonq, Appcast, Adway, and Wonderkind.

    Impact: We will see more acquisitions in the short-term that combines niche AI- capabilities within the talent acquisition funnel. Recruiting is the most saturated market with thousands of solutions competing fiercely for market share and to be considered as the most advance talent experience solution in the industry. See news here.
  • Stepstone has acquired San Francisco based startup Mya; a multiple award-winning conversational AI startup. With the help of Mya’s conversational AI, Stepstone will fundamentally change the way it engages with job seekers, nurtures those relationships, and matches job seekers to the right job opportunities. Mya brings state of the art conversational AI to attract, engage, screen, and recruit candidates. More than 460 brands are using Mya including Hays, Adecco, L’Oreal, Deloitte, and Anheuser-Busch. Furthermore, Mya has partnerships with Workday, Bullhorn, Beamery and Avature and CRM/ATS player such as iCIMS.

    Impact: The conversational AI market is one of the most mature, using AI/NLP to automate the recruiting process. Thousands of solutions compete in this space, from the most basic ones all the way to the most advance NLP models that allow the chatbot to learn overtime. Relevant competitors in this market segment: Amelia, Paradox, XOR, AllyO, Arya. See news here.
  • ZipRecruiter went public and began trading on the New York Stock Exchange with an initial public offering that valued the company at about $2.4 billion.  Zip Recruiter is an online job marketplace founded in 2010. Since its inception, more than 1 million employers have used it to hire talent and 10,000 new companies subscribe to it every month.  They are using AI/ML for talent matching and candidate sourcing/outreach with ATS integration capabilities. Their main clients are: FedEx, Home Depot, Well Fargo, and CVS Pharmacy; their main competitors are: LinkedIn Job Search, Indeed, Monster, and Glassdoor.

    Impact:  Due to advance AI technologies and/or solutions to solve talent acquisition challenges, Job Boards are playing catch and incorporating AI capabilities by assembling a team of data scientists (to overhaul its current services) or via acquisitions (smaller AI-driven orgs with stronger AI solutions) to better position in the Talent Acquisition (TA) market. Almost every vendor in this space is using AI/ML in recruiting to attract, source, assess and/or recommend the right jobs to candidates. E.g. Indeed acquired ClickIQ (programmatic recruiting advertising) to deliver qualified candidates. See news here. 
  • Pluralsight, a leading partner in corporate training, announced the acquisition of A Cloud Guru, a leading cloud skills development platform, to support Cloud Transformation and accelerate the cloud skills development journey for large enterprises and employees. With this acquisition, Pluralsight is enhancing its cloud-based technology platform to support client new skilling efforts and expand its market presence.

    Impact: Consolidation and moving toward a more integrated learning experience is a trend to watch in the currently fragmented learning market. LMS, LXP, skill assessment, micro-learning, content providers, and adaptive learning tools offer multiple learning experiences and AI-enabled content recommendations, compliance, and personalized learning experiences. Some examples of this trend are LinkedIn Learning announcing LXP services in 2021, Axonify’s acquisition of MLevel in 2021, and Degreed jumping into the talent marketplace with the acquisition of Adepto in 2019.

    Clients need our guidance to choose the right solution (a more integrated solution) to continue their re-skilling efforts and use AI to personalize learning experiences. Other vendors competing in this market include: Valamis, EdCast, Nomadic, Udemy, Coursera, Fuse Universal, Udacity, 360Learning. See news here.
  • Betterworks has received an additional $61 million from current investors. Betterworks will use the funds to further product development in areas such as AI and analytics, additional key integrations, and invest in strategic partnerships as well as expand the go to market capabilities. Furthermore, this year the company announced a progressive new approach to employee development by integrating its OKR platform with Udemy, a world-class enterprise learning platform. This announced is blending Learning and Performance capabilities for the new era of Hybrid Work. See news here.
  • Guild Education, an educational and reskill platform for frontline workers, closed a $150 million Series E at a $3.75 billion valuation. According to news, Guild will use this latest round of funding to continue its focus of reaching the millions of Americans who need access to higher education, market expansion and grow its coaching team. Main clients include: Taco Bell, Chipotle, Walmart, Disney, Lowe’s and Discover. See news here.
  • Workrise announced this month that it has raised $300 million in a Series E round that values the company at $2.9 billion. Launched in 2014 as a workforce management platform for the oil and gas industry, it evolved to serve other industries and provide skilled laborers, training and professional services with infrastructure and energy companies looking to staff and manage projects efficiently. See news here.
  • Pymetrics announced the availability of API features to bring predictive hiring data, backed by the power of ethical AI and behavioral science, to more organizations. See news here.
  • PeopleStrong, an HR Technology platform, expands to Australia and New Zealand with SaaS based, AI enabled HR solutions that range from cloud based recruitment software (candidate sourcing to  offer generation), learning, performance, people analytics, collaboration tools, chatbot to HCM services. See news here.
  • Nextech AR a key player in the augmented reality/digital experience space, acquired Silicon Valley AI-powered 3D model creation company Threedy for $9.5M. According to the company’s press release, with this transaction, Nextech and Threedy are here to bring AI technology to the forefront of the digital transformation economy and build the bridge between the 2D and 3D world of content creation.  See news here.
  • Artificial Solutions expands its conversational AI Platform reach to 86 Languages. The company announced support for two additional languages, Korean and Albanian, to the already supported 84 languages, further expanding the company’s global footprint. See news here.
  • EdCast released Learning Health Index Report 2021 in conjunction with Mercer, NSE Academy and People Matters. See news here.
  • introduced a new feature, Otter Assistant, which can automatically join the Zoom meetings on your calendar, transcribe the conversations and share the notes with other participants. See news here.
  • Bizzabo acquired X.AI to Launch AI-powered Scheduling & Accelerate Personalized Event Experiences. See news here.

Relevant Articles

AI Organization Spotlight

  • Spatial is transforming the way we interact in digital spaces. It brings people together for collaboration, team brainstorming, immersive presentations, and project planning. The solution allows customers/employees to create 3D-realistic avatars from a single selfie in seconds. Furthermore, your avatar comes to life as you interact, chat and engage with coworkers. This solution represents the art of the possible and the future of augmented reality.  In addition, as a result of the pandemic, companies like spatial are making technology more accessible through AR and VR by creating digital experiences to make employees “feel” like they are physically being in an office or client site.


  • The Women in Tech World Series Online Festival; June 7-11, 2011. Register here.
  • EdCast: “Correlating high performance & continuous learning”; June 15. Register here.
  • Eightfold: “Using AI to identify & grow talent for tomorrow’s business needs”; June 14. Register here.
  • Workplace by Facebook: “Creating a Future that Works for Everyone”; June 23. Register here.
  • Viva Technology:VIVA Tech 2021”; Europe’s biggest startup and tech event; June 16-19. Register here.
  • Voice Tech- Summit Asia: “The Asian stage for intelligent voice assistants & speech recognition”; June 24-25. Register here.
  • NexTech AR: Announces a LiveX Showcase Event “LiveNow”; June 29. Register here.
  • Reworked: “Digital Workplace Experience” virtual conference; Jul 15. Register here.

Art of the possible

  • Bjørn Nyland presents fast charging station of the future; electric vehicle charging infrastructure expands and evolves. See video here
  • DHL scaling deployments of Locus Robotics’ AMRs; reported by Mobile Robot Guide. See news here.
  • United Airlines agrees to purchase 15 Boom supersonic airliners; reported by Tech Crunch. See news here.
  • Realtime Robotics raises a $31M Series A; reported by Tech Crunch. See news here.
  • Is Facial Analysis the next phase of event data?; reported by XLive. See news here.
  • Microsoft is working on a consumer version of HoloLens; reported by Techspot. See news 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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