Knoetic, a startup that built a software analytics platform for HR managers, came out of stealth today with $ 18 million Series A funding.
For those unfamiliar with it, human resource managers are also referred to as heads of human resources or HR.
Accel led the fundraising, which also included the participation of over 100 angel investors, including a number of executives, VCs and former and current Chief People Officers (CPOs) of companies such as Mozilla, Pinterest, Gusto, Box, Twilio, Fitbit, Kickstarter, Looker, Hired, and GitHub.
For founder and CEO Joseph Quan, the fact that so many people who worked in the industry put money in the round as angels was a huge validation that Knoetic is on the right track.
Founded in March 2020, the New York-based startup has built a platform that combines a social network and a SaaS analytics tool for HR managers. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year, HR managers found themselves in a position they had never been before – hiring remote talent and having to work virtually to retain the workers who came in. previously in an office.
Quan himself has held various positions in the field of human resources technology, including String, the predecessor company of Knoetic.
“The reason we exist really arose out of the pandemic. We noticed in our ecosystem of HR managers that their role was put in the spotlight and that it was a very difficult time for them, and also a very lonely time, ”Quan told TechCrunch. “Everyone was looking for answers and we just realized that now was the time to build a network that allows all of these people to empathize and tackle some of their more difficult questions and then start from there, to form the basis of a larger vision. “
Over 1,000 human resources professionals are members of the Knoetic social community, which the company has integrated directly into its people analysis software. The result, Quan said, is an “analytics engine” designed to give CPOs both quantitative and qualitative information to help them make “smarter and more holistic” decisions about their workforce. The network is a go-to community solely aimed at providing a forum for HR professionals to discuss best practices and their “most pressing challenges,” such as navigating the COVID Delta variant and transitioning to and from work. remotely, Quan said.
HR managers can also use Knoetic to do things like build dashboards and present data to their CEOs. The company also says the platform can help sales managers improve employee retention, compensation and hiring.
In no time, Knoetic has built an impressive base of customers and communities, including people like Lyft, Squarespace, Amplitude, Discord, Dollar Shave Club, and Zapier.
Vas Natarajan from Accel thinks Knoetic resolves “a deep point of pain”.
“We see how busy teams try to compete for information to make organizational decisions,” he wrote via email. “In our best companies, there is a strong human function, supported by quality data, to help inform all kinds of decisions regarding compensation, performance, diversity and inclusion, among others. Knoetic solves this problem in a uniform way for everyone.
The startup will use its new capital to develop new products and hire. It currently has around 25 employees, and Quan expects that number to reach “north of 40” by the end of the year.
“We want to build the largest network for HR professionals and build a dedicated community team,” he said.
Ultimately, Quan also plans to create a ‘prescriptive and predictive’ analytics engine that can do things like tell HR managers what kind of revenue their companies are seeing, what they can do about it. and how to improve retention.
“And then that would be predictive because we are collecting more big data points as more and more people use the platform,” he added. “Then we could use that data to proactively predict who will be a growing or stumbling business over the next 12 months. We’re starting to build those kinds of downstream models.