Article: Funding in the global HR tech and work space: July-Sept 2021

HR Technology

Funding in the global HR tech and work space: July-Sept 2021

How did the global HR tech and work tech space fare in terms of fund raisings and investments in the second quarter of the second year of the pandemic? Take a look.
Funding in the global HR tech and work space: July-Sept 2021

The first quarter of the second year of the pandemic saw funding in HR tech and Worktech continue an upward trend globally. This continued in the second quarter as well. Notable among these were San Francisco-based Checkr, which runs background checks raising $250 Mn, Employment Hero, an automated human resources, payroll and benefits startup raising $140Mn AUD and Remote, a company focused on providing talent globally and helping remote businesses to onboard raising USD 150 Mn.

Here’s a quick look at the significant fundraisings in the HR tech space and workspace globally in the second quarter of this year.

Global Fundraisings/ Investments from July-Sept 2021

Moveworks: The AI platform that automates support at work closed a $200 Mn Series C financing round — just five years after its inception in 2016. It represents the largest investment ever made in an AI platform for employee service, reaffirming the company's leadership in the fast-growing industry. Leading the round were Tiger Global and Alkeon Capital, with participation from existing investors Lightspeed Venture Partners, Sapphire Ventures, Bain Capital, ICONIQ Growth, and Kleiner Perkins. 

Visier: Vancouver-based workforce analytics company Visier had secured US$125 Mn in a recent Series E funding round led by Goldman Sachs Asset Management. This is the biggest investment Visier has raised to date, making it the first unicorn company in the people analytics space. Visier will use the fresh capital on product management and company's expansion worldwide likely through offices in Germany and the UK. 

OnBoard: OnBoard, a cloud-based board management solution for high-performing boards, landed a strategic growth investment of US$100 Mn from growth equity company JMI Equity. The funding will be used to speed-up OnBoard's product innovation and leadership, increase market expansion and premeditated acquisitions, support brand growth and cater to the requirements of boards and leadership teams across North America, EMEA and APAC.

Censia: Talent intelligence technology provider Censia raised US$21 Mn in a Series A round chaired by Sydney-based Marbruck investments. Marbruck joins existing investors Streamlined Ventures, CXO Fund, Merus Capital, and CerraCap. Censia will use this funding for expansion of go-to-market efforts, promulgating innovations in products for talent acquisition, broadening the scale of their first offering of API and planning the layout of the workforce, and powering the technologies of the future of AI. It also launched a developer resources site for its API offering.

Vara: Vara, founded in 2020 focuses primarily on staff management making it easier for small businesses by replacing the notebooks or spreadsheets with an app called Bukugaji. Vara raised $4.8 Mn through seed funding from investors including Go Ventures, RTP Global, AlphaJWC, Sequoia Capital India’s Surge, FEBE Ventures and Taurus Ventures. The funding will help Vara make their application "Bukugaji" far more efficient and user-friendly by adding time-efficient features such as customizable reports, reminders, dashboard shortcuts, automated allowances and overtime, disbursement of salaries to employees and workers, data analytics to analyse salary and attendance trends.

Remote: Remote is a company focused on providing talent globally and helping remote businesses to onboard. It raised a Series B funding of USD 150 Mn enabling clients and businesses to onboard, pay and manage both contractors and full-time employees on distributed teams. The funding is expected to raise Remote's global presence, and thereby its expansion. Accel, a venture capital firm, led Remote's funding round. Other participating investors include Sequoia, Index Ventures, Two Sigma, General Catalyst, and Day One Ventures.

Zetl: Zetl, a Hong Kong and Singapore-based fintech startup providing working capital, payroll and growth financing, has announced today it has raised a US$700K amount in seed funding to help with its APAC expansion. This round has attracted capital from HRTech-focused The Workplace Accelerator, angel investors and family offices. The funds will be used for product development and expansion into other regions in APAC with a goal to grow its customer base by 500% in 2021.

SmartRecruiters: US-based enterprise recruitment software provider SmartRecruiters closed a Series E funding round worth US$110 Mn. The round was led by Silver Lake Waterman with the participation of existing investors, including Insight Partners and Mayfield Fund. The company plans to use the capital to accelerate its product development, and expand its business across the US, EMEA, and APAC regions, including increasing customer and partner support.

Employment Hero: Employment Hero, an automated human resources, payroll and benefits startup, has raised $140Mn AUD in Series E financing led by Insight Partners. The deal will allow them to scale into Southeast Asian and Western European markets without worrying about raising capital. Insight Partners is known for investing in tech companies.  

Go1: Education content hub for on-demand training and resources, Go1 raises USD $200 Mn in Series D funding and is now valued at more than USD $1 Bn. With the latest round of funding the L&D focused company plans to continue and create new partnerships, expand product offerings, and grow its physical presence globally to support the more than 3.5 million learners at more than 1,600 customer organizations worldwide. While the funding round was led by new investor SoftBank Vision Fund 2*, it also saw the participation of AirTree Ventures and Salesforce Ventures, with additional investors Blue Cloud Ventures, Larsen Ventures, Scott Shleifer and John Curtius from Tiger Global, and TEN13. Previous investors also contributed to the round, including M12 – Microsoft’s venture fund – Madrona Venture Group, SEEK, and Y Combinator.

Bleexo: Bleexo, an HR tech platform based out of Toulouse, France recently raised €1.5 Mn in fresh capital, with participation of investors including, M Capital, Techmind, Didier Boullery and Thibault Poutrel-Alderville and a few Paris Business Angels. The HR tech platform plans to use the amount raised for technological development, to expand its reach in the French market, and to pursue a global growth trajectory.

Panalyt: Global People Analytics software vendor Panalyt successfully closed a $3 Mn seed round, led by D4v and including the Chiba Dojo Fund and Headline Asia. With the recent round of funding Panalyt is also relocating its Headquarters to Tokyo. 

Joonko: Israel based HR tech startup which connects candidates from underrepresented segments to job recruiters, raised $10 Mn in series A funding. Vertex Ventures, with its first ever start-up investment, led the funding round with special emphasis on social justice. With the recent capital raise, the company focuses on implementing its long term goals, using the AI-powered algorithm to help recruiters find qualified candidates for the required job and save their time.

Culture Amp: Employee engagement platform Culture Amp announced last Friday that it has raised US$100 million in Series F funding, bringing its total valuation to $1.5 Bn. The funding round was headed by TDM Growth Partners and Sequoia Capital China along with participation of other investors including Salesforce Ventures, Felicis Ventures, Blackbird Ventures, Index Ventures, Sapphire Ventures, Skip Capital, Grok Ventures and Global Founders Capital. According to the announcement, Culture Amp will use the capital raised for global expansion and to develop its product offering.

Gusto: Gusto, a San Francisco, CA-based provider of a platform for small businesses to manage payroll, benefits, and more, raised $175 Mn in Series E funding. The round was led by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., from new and existing investors Sands Capital, Fidelity Management and Research Company LLC, Durable Capital Partners LP, Generation Investment Management, Emerson Collective, Glynn Capital, Friends & Family Capital, Cross Creek, 137 Ventures, General Catalyst, Emergence Capital, Dragoneer Investment Group, Franklin Templeton, Acrew Diversify Capital Fund, and more. The company intends to use the funds to continue to expand operations and business reach.

Pangea: Student labour marketplace Pangea announced last Friday that it has raised US$2 Mn in a seed round. The Providence, Rhode Island based startup connects and helps students to engage in freelancing projects. The recent funding was led by IDEA Fund Partners and other investors included, Unpopular Ventures, Brown Angel Group, PJC and a number of individuals. 

Pave: San Francisco-based compensation planning start-up, Pave has raised US$46 Mn in a Series B funding round led by YC Continuity which saw contributions from Andreessen Horowitz and Bessemer Venture Partners. The staggering amount raised in the Series B funding has put Pave’s valuation at US$400 million, up from US$75 million a year ago. 

Graphite : Outsourcing firm Graphite Solutions, which specialises in helping enterprise companies to find, hire and manage highly skilled remote consultants on demand, has raised funding of US$15 Mn. The oversubscribed round was led by Valor Siren Ventures with the participation of existing investors Communitas Capital Partners, Accomplice, Alumni Ventures Group, and Cianna Capital. The new funding will go to strengthening Graphite's sales, marketing, recruitment, customer success, and product development efforts. 

Intellect: Intellect, a Singapore based mental health start-up has raised US$2.2 Mn in Pre-Series A funding. Participants in the funding round included family office funds, existing investors, and angel investors including, Insignia Ventures Partners, Y Combinator, XA Network, other executives from Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google. 

Knoetic: Knoetic, an NY based people analytics startup announced the successful completion of a US$18Mn Series A funding round. This round of funding was led by Accel which saw participation from over 100 angel investors including New York Times bestselling author Adam Grant, and executives from Box, Figma, Johnson & Johnson, LinkedIn, Scale, Pinterest, Calm, and Front.

Compa: Compa, a US based deal desk software company for talent acquisition teams, made its first US$3.9 Mn capital raise in a seed funding round. The funding was led by Base10 Partners along with other participating angel investors and companies including Crosscut Ventures, Acadian Ventures, Acadian Ventures, 2.12 Angels, OysterHR CEO Tony Jamous, Scout RFP co-founders Alex Yakubovich and Stan Garber, and a few Silicon Valley executives.

Veremark: Veremark, a pre-employment screening services software company raised $2.8 Mn in a seed funding round. Participants in the funding round included existing investors, operators as well as new institutional investors including ACF Investors, Triple Point Ventures, SOV Ventures, and Vulpes Investment Management; Prasanna Sankar, Tech Unicorn Rippling; Drew Austin, Wade & Wendy; Rika Christanto, an angel investor; Charlie Delingpole, ComplyAdvantage. The two year old start-up, founded by Daniel Callaghan, will use the capital raise to ramp up its pre-employment screening market and enhance API offerings.

Factorial: Barcelona-based Factorial raised $80 Mn in Series B funding. The funding was led by Tiger Global and saw participation from past investors like CRV, Creandum, Point Nine and K Fund. The startup had been created to manage hiring, onboarding, payroll management, time off, performance management, internal communications. It also establishes partnerships with third parties to augment processes of payrolls and sourcing candidates. With this funding, it looks forward to acclerate the expansion of operations on a global level and especially more deeply towards the Latin American markets. Refinishing and improving its product with more features will also be executed.

Fin: Work insights platform Fin announced that it raised US$20 Mn in a Series A round led by Coatue and with participation from First Round Capital, Accel, and Kleiner Perkins. The funding will be used to expedite growth into new markets through investments in engineering, sales, marketing and R&D.

Canvas: US-based recruitment platform Canvas raised US$50 Mn in Series C funding. The funding round was headed by Owl Ventures and other investors included Sequoia, Lachy Groom, Zoom Apps Fund, HighSage Ventures, BAM Elevate, and Fifth Down Capital. This brings Canvas's total valuation to US$400 Million. It will use the capital raised to "expand its product into other industries and verticals outside of technology, and address later stages of people's careers".

 Oyster®: The company that makes hiring talented people around the world compliant, human, and delightful, announced investments from PayPal Ventures and HR Tech Investments, an affiliate of Indeed. It has also launched 'Oyster for Impact' — a program designed to help mission-driven companies build thriving distributed teams and have a positive impact on the world.

Diversely: Female-founded platform Diversely launched its D&I platform earlier this year, raising US$ 550k in its Pre-Seed round. They want to focus on expansion in the US and the UK. With this round of funding, they have successfully onboard investors from both these nations.  Helen McGuire and Hayley Bakker launched the HR Tech solution to provide HR professionals and recruiters with tools for understanding, tracking, measuring and improving the diversity in their firms. They both have combined 25 years of experience in the field.

Checkr: San Francisco-based Checkr, which runs background checks for customers, raised $250 Mn in capital in a late-stage funding round led by private equity investment firm Durable Capital, valuing the human resource technology company at $4.6 Bn. New investors Fidelity Management & Research Co and Franklin Templeton participated in the series E round, which also saw investments from existing backers including BOND Capital, Khosla Ventures, IVP, T. Rowe Price, Coatue, Accel and Y Combinator.

Multiverse: Apprenticeship provider Multiverse closed a $130 Mn funding round to allow it to meet the demand for professional apprenticeships in America and the UK. The Series C round was led by D1 Capital Partners and BOND, and brings total funding for the tech startup to $194 Mn. The additional funding will be used to drive growth in both North America and the UK, including by launching additional programs and qualifications.

Gem: Recruiting software maker Gem raised $100 Mn in a funding round led by investment firm ICONIQ Capital. Existing investors Accel and Greylock Partners, also participated in the Series C round, along with new investors Sapphire Ventures and Meritech Capital. The funds will be used for product improvement and to expand internationally, such as in high-growth regions of Western Europe and parts of APAC.

Joyous: New Zealand based startup Joyous raised Nz$15 million (A$14.2m) from Square Peg. Existing investors AirTree Ventures and Icehouse Ventures also participated in the funding round. Two brothers, Mike and Phillip Carden, founded Joyous in 2017 to helps managers collect and act on open feedback across all areas of the organisation. It replaces the traditional anonymous surveys. They plan to use the money raised from the recent funding to support global recruiting across New Zealand, Australia and US this year. 

Benepass: Benepass, a modern benefits platform for People-forward companies, announced it has raised $12M in Series A funding led by Threshold Ventures. Other participating investors in this round include Modern Venture Partners, Operator Partners, and Alumni Ventures Group, as well as existing investors Gradient Ventures and Global Founders Capital. The capital will help accelerate product growth, including additional admin capabilities, integrations, and internationalization, and grow the team.

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Topics: HR Technology, Funding & Investment, #MergersAndAcquisitions, #HRTech

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