Quah Zheng Wei is the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Accredify. Zheng Wei leads the team in establishing the company’s strategic vision and direction, focusing on business development, partnerships, and sales. He started his career in BNP Paribas Investment Banking where he worked on corporate finance deals in the Energy and Natural Resources team. He later joined FOMO Pay, a payments fintech startup as the Chief Partnership Officer, and helped them grow from 120 to 2000 clients within 12 months. In this interview, he talks about what Accredify has to offer, how its solution works, and what’s next for the startup.
SAP prides itself on making its customers and the world run at its best. In no other area is this more apparent than within its New Ventures and Technologies (NVT) organization, where teams across the company work together to bring new, innovative technologies into the company’s core portfolio. NVT has committed itself to developing teams and solutions that align with SAP’s overall goals – whether they are tied to the company’s business goals, sustainability goals, or more notably, its diversity and inclusion (D&I) goals.
One example of that commitment to diversity and equity is the SAP.iO No Boundaries initiative to accelerate more than 200 startups founded or led by women, people of color, LGBTQIA+ and others from underrepresented groups in tech by 2023. The program is the first comprehensive inclusive entrepreneurship initiative for underrepresented entrepreneurs in the business software industry. Each SAP.iO Foundry location follows a different theme within respective No Boundaries cohorts, with themes ranging from Professional Services to the Future of Work, and more.
The SAP.iO Foundry San Francisco’s Spring 2021 cohort was built around the topic of the Future of Work. Here are four startups from the most recent program that aren’t just founded by underrepresented entrepreneurs but have also dedicated themselves to increasing diversity and equity in the workplace.
Gapsquare (Acquired by XpertHR)
Founded in 2015 by Dr. Zara Nanu and Ion Suruceanu, Gapsquare is building a world where work is inclusive, pay meets value, and diverse talent thrives. Through its SaaS platform, Gapsquare offers insights into salary equity for gender, race and/or disability, inbuilt consultancy, and data-driven recommendations for change. By focusing on these key areas, companies will be able to compete in today’s job market and adequately address the concerns of employees and prospective hires.
With Gapsquare’s fair pay analysis, companies can approach pay equity with a clear understanding of root causes of issues and help focus their resources to implement sustainable change. Not only that, but the startup also utilizes the data on its platform to support organizations with pay gap reporting legislation and equal pay audit work.
Gapsquare integrates with SAP SuccessFactors so customers can analyze their people and pay data to better understand inequity in their organizations. According to Nanu, understanding pain points and actioning sustainable change helps users build more flexible, engaged, and happy workforces.
Based in Seattle, Humanly was founded in 2019 by Prem Kumar and Andrew Gardner and aims to create more equitable and efficient job interviews through conversational analytics. The startup automates job candidate interactions and provides hiring teams with voice analytics to not only make interviews more efficient but also less biased.
Today’s hiring teams handle a high volume of applicants per role, where they have to sift through hundreds of applications and resumes. Such an influx means a lot of qualified candidates may not be engaged with at all – falling into what the Humanly team calls the “black hole” at the top of the hiring funnel. Humanly works to solve the issue by using data to ask the right candidate the right question, thus replacing the need for large teams of recruiting coordinators. Not only that, but Humanly automates top-of-funnel hiring tasks and provides interview analytics to hiring teams so that they can focus on improving areas of the hiring process that should remain human-driven and empathetic.
In addition to interview analytics and insights, Humanly also automates note-taking for interviews, screening and scheduling for high applicant volume roles, re-engagement of silver medalist candidates, reference checks, and two-way applicant tracking system integrations.
Humanly integrates with the SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting Module so that all candidate conversations and associated efficiency and equity analytics are synced into candidate records in SuccessFactors, including adding interviews analytics, adding new candidate records, updating, and moving screened candidates to the right place in the SF Recruiting Module and attaching interview notes.
For many employees of color, corporate allyship and career mentorship may be a feat easier said than done. Mentor Spaces is working to solve this challenge through its community-driven membership for Black and Latinx professionals.
Founded in 2017 by Chris Motley the startup works to help companies scale D&I efforts while advancing the careers of underrepresented talent by encouraging mentorship among community members. In doing so, diverse talent acquisition and retention are streamlined within companies.
One charge that Mentor Spaces wants to take on is bridging the gap between siloed HR teams and employee networks, or Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). The startup posits that ERG members want to support HR teams but are unable to due to lack of bandwidth and visibility into the hiring process. Partnering with Mentor Spaces enables both HR and ERGs to connect, and in doing so they can build diverse talent pipeline, improve retention, and enhance corporate culture.
Mentor Spaces’ platform has a plethora of features, including native mobile apps that facilitate mentorship conversations. Not only that, but they have launched community partnerships with national nonprofit organizations and Historically Black Colleges and Universities to provide direct access to the largest pool of underrepresented professionals that Mentor Spaces helps cultivate on behalf of its clients.
The Mom Project
Called the “career destination for moms,” The Mom Project provides companies with consistent, scalable access to the most comprehensive community of highly skilled gender and ethnically diverse moms (but they also include dads and allies) in the United States.
According to founder Allison Robinson, The Mom Project was built with moms in mind, and has become a two-sided marketplace and community that connects companies with highly skilled and professionally relevant talent. This marketplace facilitates all work types, ranging from short-term staffing needs to customized talent programs and is now comprised of more than 500,000 professionals with strong backgrounds in the core suite of business functions including: marketing, sales, finance, technology, legal, and HR.
Every aspect of The Mom Project has been designed on the core insight that juggling work and family is hard. With that in mind, the team wanted to make them feel supported throughout every step in the journey. Thus, The Mom Project’s platform isn’t a job posting platform, but one that actively supports moms throughout the entire application process. Profile and resume crafting, job search programs, covering childcare so candidates can prepare for interviews, and community generated support are only a handful of the platform’s features.
The Mom Project’s API complements SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting by shortening the hiring process and allowing organizations to have one system of record for talent process that consider high-skilled moms with the willingness to return to work.
To learn more about how SAP.iO is helping innovators start up and scale with SAP, please visit https://sap.io/.
Radancy, the global talent technology leader, is pleased to announce its plans to acquire Firstbird, a global leader in SaaS based employee referral programs. Based in Vienna, Austria, Firstbird offers a comprehensive software solution to digitize and streamline the employee referral process. The acquisition of Firstbird is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022, subject to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including certain regulatory approvals.
This strategic acquisition combines Firstbird’s innovative referral technology with Radancy’s unified talent acquisition platform. Together, they will provide global clients with enhanced touchpoints along the entire candidate journey, connecting people to careers and companies with qualified candidates to solve their most critical talent acquisition challenges.
“From the first meeting I knew Firstbird checked every box for us. The people, the technology and the opportunity to expand Radancy’s reach within the DACH market made this a perfect match,” said Michelle Abbey, President and CEO of Radancy. “I’m excited to integrate their technology into our global unified platform and continue to transform talent acquisition for our customers.”
Crosschq, pioneers of the Talent Intelligence Cloud powering a revolution in data-driven hiring and people analytics, announced the launch of Crosschq Recruit, the world’s first recruiting platform built specifically to help companies source qualified talent directly from the professional networks of job applicants.
Crosschq’s Recruit allows talent leaders to effortlessly build talent pools of highly qualified candidates who are open to new career opportunities. This pool is built from individuals who served as a Crosschq 360 reference. When acting as Crosschq 360 reference, that person is invited to “opt-in” and be considered for new job opportunities across the entire Crosschq@ customer base. Profiles of candidates who “Opt-in” are enriched and matched through the Crosschq Talent Intelligence Cloud™ and are directly delivered to the inboxes of recruiters.
meQuilibrium, the leading digital resilience platform, brings biometrics into its mobile platform through its innovative new Breathe Coach technology, which enables members to obtain heart rate variability (HRV) feedback anytime, anywhere on a smartphone. meQuilibrium is the first digital employee resilience solution to incorporate biometrics into a mobile platform, providing users with a non-invasive intervention for creating balance between breathing and heart rate in order to build the foundation for resilience from a physiological point of view.
meQuilibrium’s new Breathe Coach tool transforms the smartphone camera lens into a biometric sensor which analyzes members’ breath and heart rate with the touch of a finger. Breathing patterns are instantaneously displayed directly on the smartphone screen, providing immediate, visual heart rate and breath mapping feedback, plus aggregate improvements over time.
Breathe Coach guides users through the practice of resonance breathing, balancing the nervous system by aligning breathing with heart rate, which in turn, can reduce stress. Resonance breathing can be especially beneficial to the mind as it triggers a relaxation response in the body.
“Our new biometric technology integrates the physical with emotional and mental wellbeing, teaching users how to relax on command, reduce stress, calm anxiety, and manage other symptoms using the camera and screen of a smartphone,” explains Adam Perlman, MD, Chief Medical Officer and co-founder, meQuilibrium, who also serves as Director of Integrative Health and Wellbeing for Mayo Clinic Florida. “Breathe Coach unlocks the power of HRV and resonance breathing to ultimately train the mind and body to keep stress at bay.”
Crosschq, pioneers of the Talent Intelligence Cloud powering a revolution in data-driven hiring and people analytics, announced it has been named a Leader in the G2 Reference Check Software Winter 2022 Report. Crosschq beat out all of its competitors in the Momentum category for Reference Check Software, the Relationship Reference Check Index and the Implementation Index. Additionally, Crosschq’s customers have ranked the company best for ease of use and quality of support.
“Crosschq provides bias-free, data-driven insights and predictive analytics to quantifiably improve Quality of Hire,” said Mike Fitzsimmons, CEO and Crosschq. “This is the second year in a row where we’ve led in the reference check category. These latest G2 scores validate our mission to help the world build diverse, winning teams, as well as our commitment to empowering strategic talent leaders to make objective, data-driven hiring decisions that support and optimize business outcomes.”
arisian collaborative learning platform 360Learning has acquired Looop for $20 million in a mix of cash and shares. 360Learning received a strong vote of confidence last October when it announced a $200 million investment round co-led by Sumeru, SoftBank, and Silver Lake Waterman, and M&A activities were specifically mentioned. The Looop acquisition marks a first for the company, with presumably more announcements in the future.
Having had a front-row seat to the damage that substandard learning and development programmes can have on business, staff morale, and productivity, in 2014 Ben Muzzell and Dan Gray set out to build a better mousetrap. Employing a series of automations, Looop is a learning management system that eschews the repetitive manual work from the process, resulting in an embedded process that allows teams to create resources with as much, or as little, content as desired, sourced from any input, and delivered when needed.
In doing so, that mousetrap has struck a chord, as Looop reports consistently achieving outstanding satisfaction ratings on eLearning platforms including Capterra (4.9/5), G2 (4.9/5), and eLearning Industry (97%), and has become the defacto L&D provider to companies including Klarna, Monzo, Cazoo, and ASOS. If the credentials don’t already speak for themselves, Looop reports an annual growth rate of 100%, all while being cash flow positive.
From 360Learning’s perspective, the acquisition couldn’t happen at a better time. As the effects of the pandemic continue to play out, companies around the globe are beginning to see the Great Resignation kicking into gear and are pumping huge amounts of capital into talent retention, least of which, learning and development programmes. How much capital? According to Market and Markets, over the next four years, corporate spending on L&D will surge from the $15.8 billion seen in 2021 to a robust $37.9 billion by 2026.
What keeps CEOs up at night is worrying about how to attract, recruit and retain workers. The job market is so challenging that Apple is awarding bonuses up to $180,000 to keep software engineers from being poached by rivals like Meta, Amazon and Google. Deskless people who work in warehouses, fulfillment centers, restaurants, bars and department stores are being offered sign-on bonuses, wage increases, flexible schedules and free college tuition.
Innovative startups are seeking out new creative ways to help businesses mentor, upskill, cross-train and help employees succeed, so that the odds will increase that people will stick around. GrowthSpace, an Israeli-based tech company, offers a clever way to help CEOs fight attrition by offering personalized learning and development programs (L&D), driven by an artificial intelligence data-driven platform.
The startup connects workers with an appropriate mentor. The employee will have one-on-one, personalized programs that match each employee’s challenge with the right expert, coach or mentor. In addition to specifically tailored advice and guidance, based on the employee’s needs, managers receive feedback simultaneously that measures progress to ensure the plan is efficient and effective.
As employers revamp their recruiting processes and continue to rebuild an ever-changing workforce, how can they be sure they’re allowing all candidates to be their genuine selves?
This is a common roadblock for people with speech impediments, says Jahanzaib Ansari, CEO of Knockri, a video recruiting platform. An estimated 3 million Americans struggle with stuttering, according to the National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders. These speech impairments may impact a person’s ability to navigate high-pressure situations like a job interview, a challenge Ansari has faced throughout his career.
But the perceptions — and misconceptions — around this disability are often more damaging than the speech impediment itself, Ansari says.
Paradox announced that its Olivia solution is now an SAP endorsed app, available for online purchase on SAP Store. SAP Endorsed Apps are a category of solutions from SAP’s partner ecosystem that help customers become best-run, intelligent enterprises and are meant to deliver value with desired outcomes.
“Our partnership with SAP has always been about working together to help clients solve their biggest recruiting challenges,” said Aaron Matos, Founder and CEO, Paradox. “Through our SAP partnership, we’ve been able to amplify our reach across a global client base. Achieving SAP endorsed app status is a testament to our longstanding partnership with SAP to provide clients with a fast, streamlined, mobile-first experience for candidates, hiring managers, and talent acquisition teams.”
Founded in 2015, Teamscope has just raised €1.3 million from Estonian and foreign investors as a convertible loan to expand its executive hiring SaaS platform. The Estonian-born company has headquarters in London.
On a mission to help leaders develop teams and make better hiring decisions, the Teamscope platform organises the recruitment process so that decisions can be made based on data – reducing the issues of bias and reducing the risk of hiring errors.
Tech in the recruitment sector has been booming in the past months and Teamscope is one of the latest to enter the arena bringing data-based capabilities to recruitment decisions. The Teamscope platform takes into account the suitability of the candidates for the team in terms of their values, competencies and personality traits.
Co-founder and chairman of the board Tõnis Arro said: “I have been a headhunter for decades and have increasingly found that hiring decisions are the worst kind of management decisions. Hiring is based on gut feeling, and if the candidate is also individually strong, his / her suitability for the team is not assessed. And that’s the main reason for failed hiring decisions…Teamscope transforms a standard, intuitive hiring decision into a data-driven process, helping to reduce hiring risks. With Teamscope, every executive can become a professional recruiter.”
GrowthSpace, a global leader in personalized learning and development (L&D) programs, announced its ongoing market momentum, driven by strong demand for its data-driven platform.
During 2021, GrowthSpace has substantially increased its customer count and doubled revenue since its Series A funding round closed in May. GrowthSpace also added new customers, including Siemens, to its existing customer base, which includes GoFundMe, Monday.com, Check Point, Ernst & Young, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, and Nespresso.
GrowthSpace solves the toughest employee development and mentoring challenges through the world’s first AI-powered L&D platform for one-on-one, personalized programs that match each employee’s challenge with the right expert, coach or mentor. The comprehensive GrowthSpace solution integrates coaching, mentoring and training that is specifically tailored to employee needs, while incorporating manager feedback and simultaneously measuring progress toward business KPIs for more efficient and predictable results.
The rapid momentum of GrowthSpace’s platform aligns with today’s evolving workplace, which was dramatically reshaped by both the pandemic-driven migration to remote work and the “Great Resignation.”
Sounding Board, which started as a platform to connect leaders to coaches through a marketplace, realized early in the pandemic that mentorship needs a refresh.
“We’ve always delivered coaching in this traditional services format,” said Christine Tao, Sounding Board CEO and co-founder. “Well, we’re not in the office anymore so we actually have to speak differently about how we’re developing our talent and our leaders.” The insight led to the launch of a software platform that let users not only connect with coaches, but also track goals on an ongoing basis.
Now, nearly a year after landing a Series A with this vision, Sounding Board has closed a $30 million Series B led by Jazz Venture Partners and joined by Gaingels as well as angel investors such as theBoardlist’s Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, Ancestry.com’s Deb Liu, Udemy’s Yvonne Chen and DocuSign’s Tammy Aguillon. Previous investors in the company include Canaan Partner and Precursor Ventures.
The round also saw JAZZ Venture Partners’ John Spinale join the board, an addition to Sounding Boards’ all-female team (and all-female board). “The joke is that we actually had to add diversity to our board … a man,” Tao laughed.
The fundraise comes off of solid growth for Sounding Board, which touts that it has had sequential growth for the past seven quarters. While Tao wouldn’t share specifics on revenues, the company said revenue was in the “multimillions” in the past and annual bookings have increased more than 350% year over year. Looking at stickiness, Sounding Board claims that net revenue retention is over 200%, meaning that existing customers continue to pay for the platform as time goes on.
Humanly.io is the winner in the Software and Hardware category of the Sacramento Region Innovation Awards. CREtelligent Inc. is the runner-up.
Humanly.io has developed artificial intelligence software that helps companies get beyond bias in screening job candidates.
The company’s software also helps automate screening and scheduling of hiring for companies and recruiters, but the special sauce is a suite of software that helps recruiters and hiring managers be more efficient during job candidate interviews and virtual interviews over teleconferencing. In essence, the software helps the interviewer get out of the way of the interviewee.
Humanly.io is headquartered in Seattle and Sacramento, and it raised a $4.2 million seed funding round in September from investors including Moneta Ventures of Folsom and Growth Factory Capital in Rocklin.
Humanly.io was the first funding announced from Rocklin entrepreneur and investor Mark Haney’s Growth Factory Capital fund. Humanly.io is also in the first cohort of companies in the 16-week Growth Factory accelerator program that started in September.
The September funding was led by Zeal Capital Partners in Washington, D.C., and also included Spark Growth Ventures, Basecamp Fund and Y Combinator. According to venture capital tracking website Crunchbase, Humanly.io has raised a total of $5.3 million since its launch in 2019.