Industry News

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Personio, the German HR platform for SMEs, Raises $75M Series C at $500M Valuation

Personio, the Germany-founded HR platform for SMEs, has raised $75 million in Series C funding in a round led by Accel. I understand the investment values the company at around $500 million.

Also joining is Lightspeed Venture Partners, alongside Lars Dalgaard (the founder and former CEO of SuccessFactors). Existing investors Index Ventures, Northzone, Rocket Internet’s Global Founders Capital, and Picus Capital followed on.

The Series C brings Personio’s total funding to $130 million since launching in 2015. The additional capital will help support the company’s expansion into the U.K. and Ireland, which is also being announced today. This will see Personio establish a new office in London to better serve clients in the U.K. and Ireland.

Combining human resources, recruiting and payroll into a single platform, Personio bills itself as a “HR operating system” for small and medium-sized companies (SMEs) ranging from 10 to 2,000 employees.

The cloud-based software is designed to power all of a company’s people processes via the product’s own growing functionality or through its ability to integrate with third-party software.

To that end, Personio says its customer base has tripled in the past twelve months, and says it now serves almost 2,000 customers in more than 40 countries. In the same period, the number of employees at Personio has more than doubled to over 350. That figure is set to reach 700 employees by the end of 2020.

Along with traditional SMEs, Personio has naturally found a home amongst startups. “The strong growth of the last four years in German-speaking countries has shown that there is a great demand for HR software in SMEs,” Personio co-founder and CEO Hanno Renner tells me.

“42% of their time is currently spent on administrative tasks, according to a recent, as yet unpublished study from Germany. Personio automates repetitive tasks and thus gives HR staff time for value-adding tasks. This is an invaluable advantage that has already convinced several U.K. customers such as Raisin and millimetric.”

Cornerstone OnDemand acquires Clustree

Cornerstone OnDemand, Inc. has acquired Clustree, a French technology company that developed an AI-powered skills engine.

Founded in 2014, Clustree developed a skills engines using machine learning and bias-free algorithms to help organisations match their employees’ skills with specific job roles. Clustree developed its skills ontology based on the consolidation of over 1 billion job skills across multiple languages into a library of 53,000 verified skills that accurately describe any employee profile from any industry.

Organisations use Clustree’s AI-driven skills engine and skills ontology to analyse their employee skill data to inform critical decisions regarding whom to hire, how to develop their employees, how to structure long-term workforce planning, and ultimately, how to close the pervasive skills gap that companies are experiencing worldwide.

“The future of work will require organisations and their people to continuously learn new skills to keep up with the pace of technology and fundamental industry shifts,” said Adam Miller, founder and CEO of Cornerstone. “In order to prepare for the future, organisations must have a grasp on the skills and capabilities their talent has today so they can identify skills gaps and start developing their talent for tomorrow.”

Over the next year, Cornerstone plans to integrate the Clustree skills engine and skills ontology into its portfolio of products that make up Cornerstone’s holistic People Development solution.

"We’ve dedicated the past five years to making skills the currency of work and helping organisations prepare for the future thanks to a very strong AI technology and product,” commented Bénédicte de Raphélis Soissan, founder and CEO of Clustree. “By joining Cornerstone, we can now expand our footprint even larger and integrate our value proposition into a leading people development solution that is used by thousands of organisations around the world.”

Phenom People Raise $30M for AI Recruitment Platform

Phenom People, a human resources (HR) platform that leverages artificial intelligence (AI) to help companies attract new talent, has raised $30 million in a series C round of funding led by WestBridge Capital, with participation from eBay founder Pierre Omidyar’s VC firm Omidyar Ventures, AXA Venture Partners, Sierra Ventures, Sigma Prime Ventures, Karlani Capital, and a fund belonging to AllianceBernstein.

Founded in 2010, Philadelphia-based Phenom People touts its “talent experience management” (TXM) platform as an all-in-one solution for companies looking to build career websites with personalized job and content recommendations, chatbots, and a content management system (CMS) for pushing fresh content to the site.

AI in recruitment

Numerous startups are leveraging AI and automation to streamline the recruitment process, including New York-based Fetcher, which crunches data to proactively headhunt new candidates; San Francisco’s Xor, which uses AI for recruitment and screening; and New York-based Pymetrics, which helps companies carry out candidate assessments through neuroscience games.

Phenom People claims some 300 clients around the world, including big-name customers such as Microsoft, which uses the Phenom People platform to power its career portal. “Microsoft is an excellent example of a leading technology organization working to revolutionize candidate experience through AI-driven experiences,” said Phenom People CEO and cofounder Mahe Bayireddi at the time. Other notable clients include Amazon-owned Audible and Whole Foods, Ford, General Motors, Hershey’s, and Philips.

Bullhorn Acquires Herefish

Today we’re pleased to announce that Herefish is joining forces with Bullhorn and has been acquired. Bullhorn has always been a great advocate of Herefish and we think of this as the next evolution in an already great partnership.

By joining the Bullhorn family our entire roadmap will accelerate, including the introduction of AI and machine learning on top of our automation foundation.

Of course, none of the success and growth Herefish has enjoyed would have been possible without our customers. We’ve been customer-centric from the beginning and loved every minute of learning and working to solve our client’s problems.

Over the years our customers have graciously offered their time and allowed us to share many of their ideas with the larger Herefish customer base.

This close attention to solving our customers’ challenges, has led to nearly 100 use-cases that firms can easily apply to their business through the Herefish platform.

Uber Expands its Uber Works Temp Labor Hire Service to Miami

Uber Technologies Inc. is expanding its Uber Works temporary labor hire service to Miami, Florida, after launching the service in Chicago in October.

The on-demand labor hiring app matches people looking for shift work with companies that need temporary employees. Designed to provide “more clarity” in the temp hiring market, Uber Works allows workers to see all relevant and available shifts in one place including detailed information about shifts workers may be interested in, including information about gross pay, work location, skills and required attire.

The service, while primarily focused on workers at traditional staffing agencies, is not only expanding into Miami but also for the first time recruiting for the service from the company’s existing pool of drivers.

New York Stock Exchange-listed TrueBlue Inc., the same company that supports Uber Works in Chicago, is on board for the Miami expansion, employing, paying and handling worker benefits. As with Chicago, Uber will also be providing support for worker training services that support “skill up-leveling and promote work re-entry.”

“Uber sees a great potential in driving more reliability for businesses that have a need to fill available shifts, which is why we have taken a partnership approach,” Uber Works Chief Executive Officer Andrey Liscovich said in a statement. “We will be working with local organizations, such as the YWCA Greater Miami-Dade, to help support access to work for people all across South Florida communities.”