Curated Intel from the Talent Tech Industry
October 11-17, 2021:
• European venture funding is still on a tear, with more unicorns and a bigger share of the VC pie;
• Pillar launches an AI-powered interview platform to assess a candidate’s fit for an opening;
• Online learning company CreativeLive acquired by Israel-based Fiverr, a marketplace for freelancers;
• Oyster(R) launches equity assessment tool to reduce the uncertainty associated with offering equity to global team members;
• HR platform Hibob raises $150M at a $1.65B valuation, “a mark of how hot the market is for HR right now.”
• A Shout Out to TA Though Leaders. We’re pleased to recognize once more some of this year’s TAtech Top 100 Most Influential Thought Leaders: @JohnSumser, @SheliaGray, @NickyGarcea, @ShaundaZilich, @FredGoff – thanks for your contributions to talent acquisition!
• The TAtech Learning & Certification Program in Talent Technology Implementation Management. The best way to ensure your customers onboard your products effectively, delivering the performance improvements they want and the quality reputation you deserve.
European Venture Funding Is Still On A Tear, With More Unicorns And A Bigger Share Of The VC Pie
There appears to be a new normal for venture funding in Europe. VC dollars flowing into the continent reached $28 billion last quarter, Crunchbase data shows, just two quarters after hitting the $20 billion mark for the very first time in Q1 2021. Europe has also increased its proportion of global funding to 19 percent in 2021, up from 13 percent in 2020. And more startup hotspots are emerging on the continent too: 17 European cities have received venture funding above $1 billion so far this year, compared with just five cities in 2020. All told, venture funding in Europe was up 138 percent year over year in the third quarter, though that represents a 24 percent dip compared to the Q2 2021 peak of $36.7 billion.
Pillar Launches Interview Intelligence Platform to Help Companies Grow Better With Every Hire
Pillar, an interview intelligence platform, announced its launch. The platform leverages AI and in-interview coaching to provide companies with a more reliable way to assess a candidate’s fit for a role during the interview process. Pillar enables teams to hire more equitably while saving time and money. With the launch, Pillar adopts and expands upon the initial vision and product built by Luma, an AI-based interview tool that launched out of High Alpha earlier this year. Pillar is led by CEO Mark Simpson, Founder and former CEO at Acoustic, a leading marketing cloud that Simpson formed out of IBM after founding Maxymiser, a customer experience optimization platform, which was acquired by Oracle. “People are the heart of every organization, but the hiring process is time-consuming, expensive, biased and deeply inefficient — and companies are suffering because of it,” said Simpson, CEO of Pillar. “We’re reimagining a process that’s been broken for decades by leveraging AI and automation to hire the best candidates with certainty, saving companies time and money from costly mishires and, ultimately, growing entire organizations in a way that’s efficient and equitable.”
Online learning company CreativeLive acquired by Israel-based Fiverr, a marketplace for freelancers
CreativeLive, the Seattle-based online learning company founded in 2010, has been acquired by Fiverr, a platform that connects businesses with freelancers offering a variety of digital services. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. CreativeLive will remain a standalone organization and founder and CEO Chase Jarvis will continue to lead the current team of 25 employees. CreativeLive boasts more than 10 million students worldwide, engaging online with live and pre-recorded classes in photography, video, design, music, craft and entrepreneurship taught by winners of Pulitzers, Grammys and Oscars along with best-selling authors and thought leaders. The acquisition positions CreativeLive to take advantage of Fiverr’s resources and experience in the space and better target freelancers looking to enhance their skills.
Oyster(R) Launches Equity Assessment Tool to Reduce the Uncertainty Associated With Offering Equity to Global Team Members
Oyster(R), the company that makes hiring people around the world compliant, human, and delightful, is making it easier for distributed companies to decide when to compensate remote team members with equity. Oyster's Equity Assessment Tool provides country-specific information about the cost, tax obligations, and compliance requirements associated with providing stock options, restricted stock units (RSUs), and cash plans to team members, reducing the uncertainty that often prevents companies from offering equity to remote workers. Providing equity to team members across a range of locations is complicated, often requiring in-depth knowledge of the specific laws and regulations of each country. As a result, many companies are faced with a choice to either become experts in equity regulation in multiple countries or to not offer any equity to team members in certain locations. Many companies opt for the second of these two unattractive options, leaving them at a disadvantage in the job market.
HR platform Hibob raises $150M at a $1.65B valuation
On the heels of Personio recently raising a big round, one of its competitors and another big startup in the area of HR has also picked up some funding. Hibob, a London-based company that targets the mid-market with an all-in-one platform that handles various human resources functions, closed a Series C of $150 million. The funding values the company at around $1.65 billion, the company has confirmed to us. This was also the figure that appeared in leaked rumors in the market earlier this week, ahead of the company confirming the news today. General Atlantic led the round, with past investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Battery Ventures, Eight Roads and Entrée Capital among the others investing. Hibob last raised money about 10 months ago, a $70 million round in December 2020 (a round led by SEEK and Israel Growth Partners). Its valuation since then has more than tripled, a mark of how hot the market is for HR right now.
The TAtech Learning & Certification Program in Talent Technology Implementation Management
Who gets blamed when a talent technology solution doesn’t live up to customer expectations? The solution provider, of course. Yet, research shows that the vast majority of such shortcomings are caused not by the product or its developer but by inadequate implementation by the buyer. To put it bluntly, most technology consumers lack the skills and knowledge to bring such products onboard, no matter how robust the provider’s own implementation support may be. What’s the solution? Educate your customer. Position your company as an implementation partner with its customers and enroll them in the TAtech Learning & Certification Program in Talent Technology Implementation Management. Your investment will be small and the ROI will be huge, both in customer success stories and your brand’s reputation.