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GrowthSpace Gains Rapid Momentum as Employers Seek to Retain Talent With Personalized Development

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.”

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Sounding Board lands Series B to move coaching beyond services and into SaaS

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.

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Sacramento Region Innovation Awards: Humanly.io develops software to make the hiring process more efficient

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.

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Paradox Ranks Among the Top 100 Fastest-Growing Companies in North America on the 2021 Deloitte Technology Fast 500

Paradox, the conversational recruiting platform helping global brands like Unilever and McDonald’s simplify hiring through automation with a human touch, announced that it debuted at number 86 on the prestigious Deloitte Technology Fast 500 — the annual ranking of the 500 fastest-growing companies in North America, now in its 27th year.

Paradox’s three-year growth rate of 1,955% is the highest of any recruiting technology company — an accomplishment founder and CEO Aaron Matos attributes to the company’s commitment to building world-class products that solve real-world hiring challenges.

“We’ve always pushed ourselves to make the hard stuff simple — and that starts with deeply understanding our clients and the challenges they’re facing,” said Matos, who started his career as a Human Resources practitioner before founding Paradox. “We’re fortunate to work alongside some of the biggest companies and smartest talent leaders in the world — and we don’t take that responsibility lightly. While recognition like this is meaningful, our responsibility is — and always has been — to maintain our insatiable appetite to build the most innovative solutions for our clients. Our goal is to keep doing that and growth will take care of itself.”

First launched in 2016, Paradox’s conversational assistant Olivia brings the experience people have come to expect from assistive technology like Siri and Alexa to recruiting — automating common recruiting tasks to get hiring work done faster and streamline the process for job seekers, recruiters, and hiring managers.

Across its clients, Paradox serves two primary — but distinct — hiring models in unique ways:

  • For high-volume hourly roles, Paradox is increasing candidate conversion by replacing cumbersome steps in the process with simple, mobile-first, conversational experiences — reducing time-to-hire by as much as 90% for some clients by automating tasks like candidate screening, interview scheduling, offers, new hire onboarding, and more.
  • For high-skill professional roles, Paradox’s conversational assistant Olivia does the work recruiting coordinators, recruiters, and hiring managers don’t have time for — like scheduling and rescheduling interviews, collecting candidate feedback, answering common questions, and creating truly personal 1:1 experiences for every candidate.

“To get recruiting right, we need to move from transactional to relational. Understanding that is one thing. Having a partner who can help you drive it is another — and Paradox has built technology to make that shift a reality,” said Jennifer Cotie Kangas, Director of Digital Experience and Talent Acquisition at Regis Corporation, a leader in the haircare industry that franchises more than 6,600 technology-enabled hair salons under brands like Supercuts, Smartstyle, Cost Cutters, First Choice Haircutters, and Roosters. “We didn’t buy Paradox only for the product it is today — we bought it for the company’s ability to listen, learn, iterate, and build the technology of the future. This company’s ability to sharpen its products over time to deliver for its clients is a real differentiator.”

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5 Innovative Companies Transforming Their Employee Experience with Startup Innovation

Since 2017, our team has been scouting and accelerating innovative startups from around the world with the goal of helping the world run at its best. Today, over 30 solutions from startups in our portfolio are integrated with SAP SuccessFactors and are available on SAP Store. These solutions are uniquely positioned to solve some of the most important challenges facing businesses today that will define a new era in the future of work.

Taking charge of change requires a bold vision and we’re deeply inspired by the five stories below that demonstrate the art of the possible when working with startups to put people at the center of how we work.

 


Nestlé & Pulsifi: Finding Top Talent with AI & Predictive Analytics

Nestlé Malaysia & Singapore received a huge number of applicants for their popular Management Trainee Program and faced a lack of data consistency, a long screening process, and unmet requirements. They worked with Pulsifi, a people data platform, to better understand candidates’ behavior with 97% accuracy and improved efficiency in the processing of candidates by over 70%.

Pulsifi works with SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting and is available on SAP Store.


GE Healthcare & Immerse Learning: Transforming Radiography Training Through VR

GE Healthcare was able to increase the quality and number of practical training hours for their radiographer trainees with the help of Immerse Learning. Together, they created a VR environment that helped enable faster training processes and real-time tracking to enable instant review and feedback on performance.

Immerse Learning Limited works with SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central and is available on SAP Store.


ENGIE & Andjaro: Improving operational performance by identifying and redeploying internal talent at scale

ENGIE, the world’s third largest energy company, was struggling with developing a systematic and flexible approach for managing their field technicians and reducing inter-project periods. With the help of Andjaro’s operational performance tool, ENGIE was able to reclassify 94% of its available technicians, reduce their interim costs, and improve inter-agency collaboration.

Andjaro works with SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central and is available on SAP Store.


Stanley Black & Decker & 360 Learning: Improving ROI of Training Programs

Stanley Black & Decker chose 360 Learning to empower and enable trainers to create programs in real time and receive feedback in an easy-to-use platform. By using 360 Learning, their trainers now produce programs in 2 hours compared to a process that would have previously taken several weeks.

360 Learning works with SAP SuccessFactors Learning and is available on SAP Store.


Bentley Systems & Plum: Driving Equitable Talent Decisions Based on Proven Science

Bentley Systems is leveraging Plum’s predictive data-driven platform to capture candidates’ skills to enable better hiring decisions. Plum’s insights are presented in their SAP SuccessFactors Recruitment Dashboard so hiring teams can quickly evaluate external candidates, match them to open roles, and reduce bias in the hiring process.

Plum works with SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting and is available on SAP Store.


Interested in collaborating with a startup in our portfolio? Let us know!

 

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Massive Raise by 360Learning Breaks Open Corporate Training: The Creator Economy Arrives

This week 360Learning, a fast-growing collaborative learning company, received an astounding $200 Million of investment. Only a few years ago this would have been incomprehensible, but now it makes sense. This is a company that has unlocked the Creator Economy in corporate training, and the impact could be massive. Let me try to explain.

The corporate training market is huge: over $260 Billion is spent on employee skills each year. Companies train front-line workers, nurses, drivers, and other essential workers and simultaneously spend millions of dollars on technology skills, professional skills, and more. Compliance and safety training itself is more than a $20 Billion industry and programs for leaders and executives often cost tens of thousands of dollars per person.

Corporate training has been built around the paradigm of teaching. Instructional designers and consultants build courses or programs; they package them into online or workshop formats; then they deliver and sell them to others. It’s very similar to the “publishing model” used in books. It takes months to build a course, then people consume it (or buy it) for many years to come.

The problem, of course, is that this model is slow. The content gets out of date, media standards keep changing (TikTok is the newest paradigm), and employees need up-to-date content. So while billions of dollars are spent on packaged content, much of it never gets used. (We’ve looked at the utility of packaged courseware and it turns out almost 80% of licensed content is never used.  In fact our research with large companies found that internally developed content is up to six times more valuable than off-the-shelf published content.)

There are ways of making published content valuable. In our academy (The Josh Bersin Academy) we “always surprise the learner,” by creating programs that always change from page to page. We use a cohort-based design so people learn from their peers. And we use exciting videos and other entertainment pieces to keep people excited.

But despite all these good ideas, more than 70% of all corporate training is developed internally, and these publishing models don’t keep up. Witness the fall in Coursera’s stock over the last few months, as buyers and investors realize so much of that content isn’t as useful as we thought.

Well thanks to innovators like 360Learning, this is all about to change. And that’s why the company is growing so fast.

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360Learning Raises $200M in Funding

People mingling in conversation

360Learning, a NYC- London, UK and Paris, France-based SaaS global collaborative learning company, raised $200m in growth funding.

The round, which brought total raised to over $240m, was led by Sumeru Equity Partners, SoftBank Vision Fund 2 and Silver Lake Waterman with participation from existing investors Bpifrance Large Venture, XAnge and Educapital.

The company will use the funding to:

  • grow the team to over 500 people by the end of next year driven by hires in innovation, engineering and product;
  • expand internationally across North America, Asia, Europe and South America; and
  • invest in strategic M&A.

Led by Nick Hernandez, founder, and CEO, 360Learning provides a platform that empowers learners to build their own skills, create courses in as few as 17 minutes and share knowledge throughout the business. The company also leverages AI to analyze data sets created from collaborative learning interactions and applies these insights to help learning communities identify what courses are missing or need to be improved, speed up course delivery, ensure learners find courses tailored to their immediate needs and keep growing through constant learning.

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Humanly.io Now Available On SAP Store

HUMANLYHR Inc., doing business as Humanly.io, today announced that its Recruiting Automation and Interview Intelligence solution is now available on SAP® Store, the online marketplace for SAP and partner offerings. The company’s conversational AI for recruiting platform integrates with the SAP® SuccessFactors® Recruiting solution and delivers more efficiency and equity to a company’s candidate screening and selection process.

“Humanly.io’s solution integrates with SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting to help mutual clients use conversational AI to measure unconscious bias and what is happening inside the interview,” says Prem Kumar, CEO and co-founder of Humanly.io.

“It’s exciting to see Humanly.io apply linguistic theory to real-world problems. As someone who researches language and social bias, it’s especially gratifying to advise them in their efforts to improve equity during the hiring process,” comments Dr. Katherine Hilton, Linguist and Lecturer at Stanford University and Humanly.io Strategic Advisor.

Humanly.io offers two editions of its solution on SAP Store: Interview Intelligence Edition and Recruitment Automation Edition. Integrated with existing video conferencing solutions like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Google Meet, the company’s Interview Intelligence transcribes and analyzes each virtual interview meeting. Talent acquisition leaders use the weekly, monthly, and quarterly interview analytics to apply prescriptive coaching to improve communication behavior and deliver a more consistent and fairer candidate experience.

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The Mom Project Secures $80M in Series C Funding

The Mom Project, the leading platform for moms to discover their economic potential, announced today an $80 million Series C funding round led by growth investment firm Leeds Illuminate. Additional participants include existing investors 7GC, Initialized Capital, OCA Ventures, Citi, High Alpha and Grotech Ventures alongside Silicon Valley Bank.

The Series C round represents the largest global investment ever made in female workforce technology.

“It’s long past time we stop underestimating and undervaluing mothers in the workforce,” said Stephanie Nieman, Managing Director at Leeds Illuminate. “We’re investing in The Mom Project because we believe the potential for continued growth within this business is extraordinary.”

The new funds will accelerate the company’s goal to connect moms on its platform with more than $1 billion in economic opportunity in the next two years through investments in product development, distribution and team growth.

“We’ve demonstrated to the market that betting on moms is good business,” said Allison Robinson, The Mom Project founder and CEO. “We’ve seen 20x growth over the last three years and are eager to leverage this momentum and the trust and equity we’ve earned with moms and our customers and partners to continue building and expanding the reach of category-defining solutions that reshape how work evolves to meet the needs of modern families.”

The investment comes at a crucial time for moms and their families, who were some of the hardest hit during the coronavirus pandemic. In 2020, 2.3 million women left the U.S. workforce—either through job loss or being forced to quit in order to care for their children—leading to the lowest levels of women in the labor force since the 1980s, prompting Vice President Kamala Harris to declare “a national emergency.”

The Mom Project has witnessed business leaders stepping up to the challenge, with companies identifying The Mom Project’s suite of hiring, upskilling and retention solutions as an effective way to solve pressing labor shortages while also addressing longer-term concerns around attrition, skill gaps and the need for greater diversity and empathy in the workplace.

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Culture Amp Acquires Values Recognition Platform Disco

Culture Amp, the world’s leading employee experience platform, announced that it has acquired cultural values recognition company, Disco. Disco helps companies recognize and celebrate values-driven work, foster team appreciation and improve company culture across distributed teams.

Together the two companies will accelerate their shared vision of creating a better world of work by helping people feel more connected, valued, and engaged at a critical time for organizations.

The acquisition continues to enhance Culture Amp’s end-to-end employee experience platform, as it empowers companies to transform employee engagement, develop high performing teams, and retain talent.

“Values are at the heart of powerful cultures. Disco has pioneered a wonderfully simple yet powerful way of recognizing them every day,” said Didier Elzinga, CEO and co-founder of Culture Amp. “Critical to creating a better world of work is improving how we work. This acquisition allows us to expand the tools available to our customers to recognize their values at work, to bolster our flow of work and integration expertise, and to drive meaningful change and deeper insights across organizations.”

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Anthill Deskless Workforce Software Solution Now Available on SAP Store

Anthill AI Inc. announced that its Anthill Deskless Workforce Software solution is now available on SAP Store, the online marketplace for SAP and partner offerings. Anthill’s solution integrates with SAP SuccessFactors solutions and delivers talent management communications for the deskless workforce to customers.

“Often, the most overlooked workers are deskless workers, found in manufacturing, retail, and supply chain related jobs, especially when it comes to talent management solutions,” said Muriel Clauson and Young-Jae Kim, Anthill’s co-founders. “By integrating our offering with SAP SuccessFactors solutions and offering it on SAP Store, Anthill looks forward to providing customers with the ability to better meet the needs of their deskless employees, by connecting with them and helping to develop their skills.”

Anthill Deskless Workforce Software is a machine-learning enabled, SMS-based solution built for the unique challenges and needs of the deskless workforce, those who never work at a desk or computer. Anthill helps deskless workers stay in the loop; feel valued and heard; and get the right opportunities for reskilling, training and advancement. With the Anthill solution, customers can reach their deskless workers with engagement, reskilling, and operational communications — employees can communicate and learn more about themselves via text, while employers gain actionable, data-driven insights about their employees. In 2021, Anthill participated in the SAP.iO Foundry New York program, during which it focused on building out its solution.

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Joanna Riley, CEO And Co-Founder At Censia, Wins Silver Stevie® Award In 2021 Stevie Awards For Women In Business

Censia has announced that CEO and Co-Founder, Joanna Riley, was named the winner of a Silver Stevie® Award in the Female Entrepreneur of the Year  – Business Services – 11 to 2,500 Employees category in the 18th annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business.

Gold, Silver, and Bronze Stevie Award winners were determined by the average scores of more than 160 business professionals  around the world, working on eight juries.

The Stevie Awards for Women in Business honor women executives, entrepreneurs, employees, and the companies they run- worldwide.  The Stevie Awards have been hailed as the world’s premier business awards.

Winners will be celebrated during a virtual awards ceremony on Thursday, January 13, 2022.

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The tech company that claims it can stop employees from quitting

The strongest thought that abides in me is that technology can solve everything.

The second strongest thought is that technology hasn’t solved everything… yet.

Which then leads me to worry that I’ll never see the glorious day when it has.

So I was uplifted to rafters unimagined to learn there’s a tech company that’s solved a fundamental problem of corporate life: the unhappy employee.

Laugh all you will — I did — but GrowthSpace‘s tease is a tantalizing one. It insists that 97% of the people who were subject to its technology said it was “an active incentive for them to stay at their company.”

How does it do this magical thing? Well, in the company’s own words: “Say goodbye to pouring budget into training programs with unknown results. Say hello to an algorithm-powered system backed by real-world skill mapping that ensures the perfect match between employees and experts. Every time.”

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Threats To Employee Wellbeing Intensify As Pandemic Wears On, MeQuilibrium Study Finds

Threats to employee wellbeing continue to intensify well over a year into the pandemic, as evidenced by a 21% rise in burnout and a 17% increase in somatic stress symptoms, a new meQuilibrium study found. The study examined changes in overall wellbeing among 5,474 meQuilibrium members from a broad range of industries representing managers and individual contributors.

“Employee wellbeing continues to be under threat 18 months into the pandemic,” says Brad Smith, Ph.D., Chief Science Officer, meQuilibrium. “Our data shows that workers continue to feel the cumulative mental health impacts of the crisis in the form of increased stress symptoms, burnout, and diminished motivation. We need to take action now to protect employee wellbeing before the clock runs out.”

The study also revealed a particularly large burnout risk increase among younger workers of 64%, which was nearly three times the increase for employees over 30 (22%). The increase in burnout symptoms is especially high among managers (+54%), hospitality (+48%), health care (+32%) and finance (30%) industry workers.

When it comes to gender differences, meQuilibrium found that although men and women are experiencing about the same rate of increase in burnout (+24% in women and +25% in men), men’s somatic stress levels are rising at a faster rate than women’s (+9% for men vs +3% for women).

No matter what job title, gender or industry, a key factor in wellbeing risk is employer support. Employees who felt strongly supported by their employers reported the highest levels of wellbeing and were less likely to report turnover intent.

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Battling the great resignation? Startup Crosschq wants to arm businesses with AI to find and retain workers

Whether you’re looking for a new job or trying to hire new talent, everyone is a bit frustrated these days. Workers are burnt out and companies need to fill roles that are critical for their operations. Finding the right candidates is a perennial issue that has become even more pressing as businesses try to recover from the pandemic.

Exacerbating the problem is the so-called Great Resignation. According to polling from Gallup, around half of all workers are at least contemplating looking for a new job, a trend that speaks to an underlying dissatisfaction with the status quo as people reevaluate their priorities and personal goals.

Amid these dynamics, San Francisco HR platform Crosschq is trying to help businesses find and retain their best workers with a suite of cloud-based tools that leverage machine learning and AI systems for everything from reference checks to recruitment. The 3-year-old startup also offers analytics to predict retention rates to get an overview of patterns and how to change them.

Its mission has been aided by a recent expanded $30 million Series A round led by Tiger Global that brought its total funding to more the $40 million. Other investors include GGV Capital, Bessemer, SAP.iO, Rocketship.vc, NBA star Klay Thompson and Lattice CEO Jack Altman.

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