In the last decade, the so-called Chief People Officers (CPO) have seen a dramatic expansion of their day-to-day responsibilities. The role has evolved from an administrative HR function to a more strategic position, especially as the pandemic has highlighted the importance of retention, upskilling and recruiting during a crisis. But despite the increased interest – the CPO is the third fastest growing C-level position according to LinkedIn – CPOs often lag behind sales, marketing and customer managers in their approach to analyzing data.
With the aim of bringing about change, entrepreneur Joseph Quan founded knotty, a platform designed to provide insights into metrics such as attrition, diversity, and workforce growth. Knoetic integrates with HR systems so that CPOs can perform analytics and automatically generate reports, and it also provides recommendations such as how to improve employee retention if the platform identifies a revenue problem.
Knoetic raised $36 million today in a Series B round led by EQT Ventures with the participation of Accel and Menlo Ventures. More than 200 angel investors contributed, including CPOs from Bill.com, Zapier, Box and Calm.
“We’re not building an analytics tool or some other tired community — we’re building a second brain, a cybernetic augmentation that gives CPOs superpowers… We see ourselves akin to Salesforce building the first, early cloud customer relationship management system,” Quan told australiabusinessblog.com via e-mail. mail, expressing Knoetic’s mission in clearly lofty terms. “[We’re] continue to educate each CPO that they need data and analytics to earn respect as a next-generation leader.
The Knoetic platform integrates with workforce information systems, applicant tracking, and performance and learning management apps, revealing trends across the organization. At one point, Knoetic claimed that he was exploring machine learning models to predict the drivers of attrition and attrition, successful or rapidly promoted employees, and employees who are central to the success of their departments.
Knoetic’s clients will also have access to a forum, CPOHQ, where they can discuss HR-specific topics such as budget planning and immigration policy online and during in-person dinners, workshops and summits. CPOHQ also hosts best practice documents and playbooks contributed by the community of more than 2,000 CPOs.
Knoetic counts Credit Karma, Calm, Checkr, Mural and Synk among its clients, and while Quan won’t reveal an exact figure, he said it grew 500% year over year. The startup’s war chest stands at about $50 million as Knoetic prepares to add about a dozen people to its 50-strong workforce.
“Knoetic actually grew out of the pandemic, which has been a big tailwind for the company’s growth. CPOs leveraged Knoetic’s qualitative and quantitative tools to address the difficult people challenges of the pandemic. The broader technology slowdown has also only increased the need for solutions to support a strategic HR function,” said Quan. “We have several years of runway with our current combustion.”
Knoetic also benefits from the perception that HR technology remains a safe bet even during a downturn. Facts of WorkTech shows VC investments for H1 2022 put the year on track to meet or surpass the record $17.9 billion in 2021, while Q2 was the HR industry’s fourth-largest quarter ever at $4, 6 billion invested.