Over the past decade, so-called chief people (CPOs) have seen their day-to-day responsibilities expand dramatically. The role has evolved from a managerial HR function to a more strategic position, especially as the pandemic has brought attention to the importance of retention, competence and recruitment during times of crisis. But despite growing interest — CPO is the third-fastest growing C-level position, according to LinkedIn — CPOs often lag behind sales, marketing and customer service executives in their approaches to data analysis.
Entrepreneur Joseph Kwan founded Knoetic with the goal of influencing change, a platform to provide insights into developments such as enlightenment, diversity and headcount. Knoetic integrates with HR systems to let CPOs run analytics and automatically generate reports, and if the platform identifies a turnover problem, it provides recommendations such as how to improve employee retention.
Knoetic today raised $36 million in Series B led by EQT Ventures with participation from Accel and Menlo Ventures. More than 200 angel investors contributed.
“We’re not building an analytics tool or another tired community — we’re building the second brain, a cybernetic augmentation that gives CPOs superpowers… Building ourselves out of Salesforce is like the first cloud-based customer relationship management system,” Quan said. TechCrunch via email, upping the ante on Knoetic’s mission. “[We’re] He continues to teach every CPO that they need data and analytics to gain respect as the next generation of public leaders.
Knoetic’s platform integrates with HR information systems, applicant tracking systems, and performance and learning management applications to reveal trends across the organization. At one point, Knoetic said it was researching machine learning models to identify drivers, successful or fast-growing employees, and their employees who will be central to their department’s success.
Knoetic’s clients also enjoy CPOHQ, a platform where they can discuss maker-specific topics like budget planning and immigration policies online and in person at dinners, workshops and meetings. CPOHQ hosts best practices and playbooks contributed by a community of over 2,000 CPOs.
Knotic counts Credit Karma, Calm, Checker, Mural and Sync among its clients, and while Quan wouldn’t disclose exact figures, it has grown 500% year over year, he said. The startup’s war chest stands at around $50 million.
“Knotic was founded precisely because of the pandemic that served as the main wind for the company’s growth. CPOs used Knoetic’s qualitative and quantitative tools to navigate the pandemic’s pressing human challenges. The broader technology slowdown has only intensified the need for solutions to support strategic HR functions, Quan said. We have several years of runway with our current burn.
Knoetic benefits from the understanding that HR technology is a safe bet even in downturns. Data from WorkTech shows that VC investment for H1 2022 puts the year at or on track to surpass the record $17.9 billion set in 2021, and Q2 was the fourth largest quarter for the HR sector with $4.6 billion invested.