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Anthill, A Text Messaging-Based Platform Supporting Deskless Workers, Announces Win at 2022 SXSW Pitch Event

Anthill, a text messaging-based platform supporting deskless workers, has been named the 2022 winner of the Future of Work category at the 14th annual South by Southwest (SXSW) conference in Austin, Texas. One of just 9 category winners, and 45 finalists to present the most innovative tech from around the world, Anthill made its pitch on March 12 to a live audience which included a panel of expert judges.

“It was an amazing experience to represent and win in our category at SXSW,” said Muriel Clauson, Co-founder and CEO of Anthill. “It was an honor to present our tech among the world’s best innovators. Hearing their pitches was inspiring and will only encourage us to continue to challenge how we develop tech for deskless workers.”

According to SXSW Pitch event producer Chris Valentine, Anthill represents one of the 50% of company startups in the tech sector this year with at least one female founder. The Anthill SXSW pitch team included Clauson, CTO Young-Jae Kim, and Marketing & People Ops Leader Jennifer Harris-Kroll.

“We started this company for the 2.5 billion workers who lack access to employer support because they don’t work at computers,” said Clauson. “It was exciting to see the judges and audience resonating with the importance of building for this population.”

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Three SAP.iO Startups Named to CB Insights’ Retail Tech 100

The Retail Tech 100 is CB Insights’ annual ranking of the 100 most promising B2B retail tech companies in the world. This year’s winning companies include vendors working on hyper-personalized shopping experiences, blockchain-powered commerce, autonomous delivery, virtual shopping, and more.

The following SAP.iO startups were ranked this year:

  • Supply Chain Visibility: Shippeo
  • E-Commerce Logistics & Fulfilment: parcelLab
  • E-Commerce Merchandising & Discovery: Constructor.io

They were chosen based on several factors, including data submitted by the companies, company business models and momentum in the market, and Mosaic scores, CB Insights’ proprietary algorithm that measures the overall health and growth potential of private companies.

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Empower – Digitizing the journey from linear to circular econo

Wilhelm Myrer of Empower.eco talks about his blockchain tech to digitize the journey from linear to circular economies on Vinnie Mirchandani’s Analyst Cam blog.

The US EPA defines a circular economy as one which “reduces material use, redesigns materials to be less resource intensive, and recaptures “waste” as a resource to manufacture new materials and products.”

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Immerse Raises $9M in Series B Funding

Immerse, an Irvine, CA-based provider of a virtual reality language teaching and learning platform, raised $9M in Series B funding.

The round, which brings total capital raised to $11.5m, was led by Eagle Venture Fund and Mustang Creek Capital.

The company intends to use the funds to grow its team, to invest in continued product innovation and to launch its VR app onto other major VR platforms. Immerse plans to grow its global team from 12 to 35 over the next four months and is already hiring for a variety of education, engineering and marketing roles.

Led by CEO Quinn Taber, Immerse is a virtual reality language teaching and learning platform in the metaverse used in partnership with the world’s top language schools to deliver VR English language learning experiences to students in the Asian, European and Latin American markets.

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Black is the New Green

Black is the New Green showcases amazing black entrepreneurs, investors, and more talented individuals who share how they overcame challenges on their success. Episodes occur on Wednesday with audience Q&A.

Kange Kaneene, VP, SAP.iO Foundries North and Latin America is interviewed by foundry and influencer Michelle Taylor Willis.

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Perceptyx Acquires AI-Powered Coaching Platform, Cultivate

Perceptyx, the leading employee listening and people analytics platform, has acquired Cultivate, a pioneer in AI-powered leadership development. The deal will pair Perceptyx’s leading active listening and feedback platform with Cultivate’s best-in-class passive listening and digital coaching product, creating a powerful solution that closes the gap between signal and action in the employee experience.

Cultivate is a digital leadership platform that leverages AI to scale coaching across the enterprise, enabling stronger workplace relationships and empowering people leaders. Operating strictly on an opt-in basis, Cultivate captures existing behavior data in a leader’s own digital communication channels and delivers hyper-personalized leadership insights and recommendations. For example, leaders can see how often they give recognition or provide feedback, whether they make too many ad-hoc meeting requests, or if they communicate or share opinions equally across their team. Leaders can also improve collaboration and reduce burnout by inviting team members to design their ideal team norms, including their preferred times for meetings, brainstorms, focused work, or wellness breaks, and then Cultivate can measure if the team’s behavior is aligning with their preferences. Cultivate’s privacy-by-design approach and focus on employee empowerment ensures no data is analyzed without consent, and no personally identifiable metrics or insights are shared with others in the organization.

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Meet 4 SAP.iO startups working to make the Future of Work more diverse

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.

HumanlyHR Inc

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.  

Mentor Spaces

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.

About SAP.iO
To learn more about how SAP.iO is helping innovators start up and scale with SAP, please visit https://sap.io/.

Verusen Raises $25M in Series B Funding

Verusen, an Atlanta, GA-based provider of tools to manage materials for global supply chains, raised $25m in Series B funding.

The round was led by Scale Venture Partners with participation from current investors Glasswing Ventures, Flyover Capital, Zetta Venture Partners, Forte Ventures, BMW i Ventures, and Kubera VC.

The company intends to use the funds to accelerate its global footprint, and further build out its AI-driven technology platform expanding its reach in both the Indirect MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Operations) and Direct Materials space.

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Crosschq Launches Unique Platform To Source Talent With Candidate Referral Network “Crosschq Recruit”

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.

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Crosschq Sweeps the Table and Named a Leader Overall in the G2 Reference Check Software Winter 2022 Report

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.”

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Travel startup snags an inside round to fuel product additions

With an industry upended by the Covid-19 pandemic, travel startup TripGrid has spent the last nearly two years working closely with its users and signing on big customers. Based on that work, the startup secured another $1.6 million from existing investors to capitalize on an even bigger opportunity.

TripGrid created workflow automation software designed for large group travel. Think project and production-based users like entertainment, sports and media companies that have internal travel coordinators and must move lots of people. These are projects and trips that are core to customers’ business and therefore are expected to recover. And they have to some degree as the pandemic has evolved.

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‘Paradox’ startup company becomes unicorn with ‘Olivia’ investment

Paradox, the startup that developed Olivia – a digital recruiter that communicates with job applicants, completed a $200 million round of funding at a value of $1.5 billion and has become a unicorn, due to the company’s investment in the digital recruiter.
Olivia, Paradox’s core product, is a virtual personal assistant that joins human recruitment teams and helps them automate all recruitment processes. For example, the software checks and screens the suitability of a resume for relevant jobs, carries out automatic interview scheduling, reminds the candidate to fill out forms and provides information that would be accessible to recruitment teams and other candidates. It can also send job offers automatically to possible candidates.
Over the past year, Olivia has conducted 30 million job interviews for hundreds of companies in some 50 countries and has independently scheduled 3.1 million interviews. Paradox began operating in Israel in early 2021 after acquiring the startup Spetz, whose workers integrated with the company.

This CEO’s speech impediment led him to rethink virtual recruiting

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.

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Olivia From Paradox Now Available on SAP Store

Paradox announced that its Olivia solution is now an SAP endorsed app, available for online purchase on SAP StoreSAP 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.”

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