Market Watch for Talent & HR May 2022

Hello, and welcome back to my Blog!

Executive Summary

The stock market’s crisis is affecting every sector of the economy. The broader S&P 500  fell 4.9% in the first quarter, and the S&P 500 Energy index has increased nearly 40% (oil prices keep going up). Technology organizations valuations dropped drastically and there are concerns about the survival of fast-growing startups/organizations (leading to massive layoffs) .

Furthermore, with the current stock market situation, we might not see HR Technology startups going public anytime soon. There is a lot of uncertainty  in the market and investors are very concerned that rising inflation will trigger a recession. This market situation also creates an impact in jobs and talent and companies will need to adjust hiring plans, be diligent to hire the best talent,  explore internal mobility, raise salaries, and adjust benefits (due to inflation).

We saw some acquisitions in the HR technology market: Beamery acquired Flux and Visier acquired Yva. In terms of funding rounds: Hour One (series A; $20M), Curious Thing (pre-series A; $4.8M), Wisq (series A; $40M), Rippling (series D; $250M), Valence (series A; $25M), Gusto (extension series E; around $55M), JobandTalent ($250M as debt), Oyster (series C; $150M), and Deel (raised $50M at $12M valuation).

In terms of partnership and new offerings: EDX, Credly, Built In, Greenhouse and Appcast made announcements as well. See details below.


  • Beamery acquired Flux, an internal mobility platform to match internal talent with career development opportunities. Flux relevant clients: Uber and Peloton
    • Impact: With this acquisition, Beamery is expanding its TA capabilities and going for talent marketplace market share and will compete directly with the leading vendors in this space such as Gloat and Fuel50.
    • This is a very dynamic- fast paced space, and many vendors are jumping in to show new offerings (skill taxonomy, skill graphs, analytics,) to match people to experiences and merge employee and candidate data. See news HERE.
  • Visier acquired Yva ,a collaboration analytics/ employee listening platform. This acquisition is positioning Visier as a solution that not only provides people analytics services but now, with the acquisition of Yva, collaboration analytics services as well.
    • This acquisition represents a  massive shift in strategy for Visier (from consumer of data to creator of data) and use employee sentiment and enterprise collaboration data to predict and recommend actions.
    • There is a lot of movement in this market segment. Recently, Perceptyx acquired Cultivate and Waggl, BetterUp acquired Motive and Impraise and Qualtrics acquired Clarabridge. See news HERE.

Venture Capital Funding

  • Hour One, a communication platform that uses AI to create synthetic videos, raised $20M in series A funding. The investment will be used to expands its reals platform to help companies to re-invent the way how to communicate by allowing employees to create human-led avatar videos in a matter of minutes. 
    • How it works: the employee is first captured on video, then Hour One’s AI generates a virtual twin (avatar). For example, the avatar could be an employee from sales, HR or even your CEO communicating to its employees in multiple languages. 
    • Other organizations competing in this space include SoulMachines (raised $70M in Feb 2022) and Synthesia (raised $50M in Dec 2021).
    • This market segment is up and coming, and will face some ethical challenges, however, some early adopters such as NBCUniversal, DreamWorks, Berlitz and Cameo are using this technology to communicate and train employees. See news HERE.
  • ICIMS, announced that TA associates, a global private equity firm, will invest alongside with its current investor Vista Equity Partners to increase market share, shape its go-to-market strategy, and increase customer base. 
    • According to the press release, the two private equity investors now have equal holdings with ICIMS. The company made multiple acquisitions to  build a “one-stop shop” AI-enabled TA suite with ATS, CRM, chatbot, career mobility, and digital onboarding capabilities.
    • ICIMS recently acquired Candidate ID to enhance its marketing automation capabilities and launched its talent mobility solution. In 2020 they acquired Altru (employee video content), Easyrecrue (video interviewing/assessment), Opening io (talent engine). See news HERE.
  • Rippling, a HR  & IT Software platform, raised $250M in series D funding reaching an estimated valuation of $11.25B. According to the news, this organization says that its ARR (annual recurring revenue) has more than doubled since its last funding round in Oct 2021 (when they reached an estimated valuation of $6.5B). Rippling is a company to watch out since  it has an expansion plan in place and started serving large enterprises. See news HERE.
  • Gusto, a global payroll, and employee benefits provider raised an extension to its series E round (according to Tech crunch,  around the $55M). Valuation of $10B has not changed since the last round in Aug 2021. See news HERE.
  • Jobandtalent, a temporary staffing marketplace for blue collar employees, secured $250M debt financing from Citi, Goldman Sachs, and AnaCap Financial Partners to enable daily payments and free early access to wages. The investment also will be used to support market expansion. See news HERE.
  • Oyster, an employment platform, raised $150M in series C funding at a $1B valuation (This milestone was accomplished in less than 2 years since its inception). The company is in fast-grow mode and currently has 500 employees in 60 different countries. See news HERE.
  • Deel, a payroll and compliance provider, raised $50M at $12M valuation. The company had doubled its valuation since October 2021. According to TechCrunch, Deel is planning to use the investment to recruit talent, product, and M&A. See news HERE.
  • Curious Thing, a communications platform powered by conversational AI, raised $4.8M in pre-series A funding. This organization claims that its conversational AI platform can call people (check-ins on patients/candidates) and have follow up conversations. 
  • Curious thing started as HR tech company and pivot to customer care and currently serving health and financial companies. Investment will be used to enter to the Asia-Pacific and US markets. See news HERE.
  • Wisq, a well-being and social connection platform, raised $40M in series A funding following a seed round completed in May 2021. Wisq was founded by former executives from Glint (acquired by LinkedIn in 2018) Jim Barrett, Chih-Po Wen and Goutham Kirra. I look forward to seeing how they growth and help clients in building employee connections. See news HERE.
  • Valence, a team management platform, raised $25M in series A funding. Investment will be used to hire new talent, expand sales footprint, and build a product team. This company is linking team performance and collaboration to help managers and employees to work better in a hybrid environment. Excited to see how they get traction and adoption in the market. See news HERE.

New Offerings & Partnerships

  • EdX, a learning provider, announced partnership with, a provider of data science and statistic education to bring more data analytics and data science to its clients. See news HERE.
  • Greenhouse, an ATS platform, announced an integration with Honeit, a screening recruiting software. See news HERE.
  • Appcast, a programmatic advertising technology for recruiting, launched Recruitonomics to provide macro- and micro-economic trends on recruitment. See news HERE.
  • Built In, a learning provider, in partnership with Udemy and Udacity announced the launch of Learning Lab which will make available courses and certifications in the technology space. See news HERE.
  • Credly, a learning credential provider, announced the expansion of its professional services to develop digital credential programs. See news HERE.

Relevant Articles

  • Harvard Business Review published: 
    • “How the Metaverse could change work”. See article HERE.
  • Josh Bersin published: 
    • “The market slows: What should employers do?.” See article HERE.

Art of the Possible

  • “Yamaha unveils ‘Motobot’ motorcycle riding robot a Motorcycle”; reported by Yamaha . 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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