Engaged employees are more productive. However, a huge chunk of employees in big corporations experience a lack of engagement. And the pandemic has only made things harder. With the entire workforce going remote, there has been a bigger disconnect between employees and the leadership. Employees should be able to get necessary information or get certain HR- and IT-related support without having to try to get a hold of a SPOC. Other than this, to increase engagement, there should also be provisions for employee recognition, surveys, and setting up goals and challenges, among many other features. This need for holistic solutions that can cover all the bases has led to a surge in the popularity of digital workforce solutions. Similar solutions have existed to get employee feedback and to take care of employee wellness, but they have always been limited in what features they offer and are not widely accepted by many organizations. However, now, there’s a huge market for these solutions. Various products are competing to rule the digital workforce solution space.
There’s a lot of potential in this relatively new market, leading to a wave of investments and acquisitions. Let’s take a look at some of the recent fundings and acquisitions.
1. Nexthink receives $180 million Series D funding
Nexthink is a late-stage startup that was founded in Switzerland, offering a complete digital workforce solution. The Nexthink Digital Employee Experience platform allows IT teams to get an insight into employee issues and grievances by removing a lot of blind-spots and improving transparency. Nexthink provides real-time insights into issues faced by employees across devices and operating systems irrespective of where they are located and can also identify unreported issues so that it can proactively deliver fixes rather than fixing issues when they are finally reported. Nexthink also lets workers communicate with big groups to find solutions to their problems quickly. Employees can also provide feedback, and IT teams can use these insights to help measure the overall employee experience. Other than this, Nexthink also provides features like prebuilt dashboards and AI-driven remediation of reported and unreported issues.
Nexthink’s Series D funding round was led by Permira and additional investors Index Ventures and Highland Europe. With the recent funding, the company is valued at $1.1 Billion. Nexthink CEO Pedro Bados plans on expanding the workforce from 700 to 900 by the end of 2021. With over 1,000 customers, Bados wants to grow even further and increase Nexthink’s global footprint.
2. Workday acquires Peakon
SaaS giant Workday has recently acquired the employee experience solution Peakon for $700 million in February. Peakon is a popular data-driven employee-experience platform used by various big players to collect employee feedback and provide actions to both the leaders and employees to promote engagement and increase employee satisfaction. Peakon captures real-time sentiments and feedback. Workday wants to leverage that to create a continuous listening platform that captures the ever-changing employee experience and helps employees and leaders connect. Workday expects to promote employees’ career growth and to provide a platform that helps employees throughout their employment at any particular organization. Workday plans to make use of Peakon’s insights to reinforce teams and increase productivity throughout the organization.
3. Citrix acquires Wrike
Digital work platform Citrix has completed its acquisition of the SaaS collaborative work management solution, Wrike. Citrix paid Wrike a hefty sum of $2.25 billion. Citrix wants to marry Wrike with its own platform and provide users the ability to securely collaborate on any channel and from any device or location. With Wrike, Citrix will provide a work management solution for portfolio management by eliminating the complexity of hybrid and distributed work infrastructure. Citrix aims to provide customers an experience-driven work platform that allows organizations to keep up with the changing business needs and newer ways to work. From this acquisition, Wrike expects to deliver better and faster to its customers that include big shots like Walmart, Fitbit, Nickelodeon, and Mars. Citrix and Wrike will be providing their services to over 400,000 customers in over 140 countries across the globe. Wrike has been quite successful recently as it closed the previous year with $140 million in unaudited annualized recurring revenue. This is more than 30 percent CAGR over the previous two years.
4. Eightfold.ai raises $125 million in Series D funding
Hiring and retaining talent is becoming a problem in almost every sector. Relying on resumes and job descriptions to find the right candidates for jobs is becoming a thing of the past. The general half-life of a skill is around four years now. This means that employees have to constantly upskill themselves to get better job opportunities and have a good career trajectory. However, this is still hard for employees to do as internal mobility can become really frustrating for employees with no prior experience with a new skill. Eightfold.ai uses deep learning to understand an employee’s potential by understanding what skills they are likely to be comfortable working on rather than the age-old method of relying on resumes. Eightfold.ai’s talent intelligence platform helps an employee throughout the employment lifecycle from sourcing to their exit from a company. Eightfold.ai aims to provide the right career for everyone no matter what sector they work in. With the help of Eightfold.ai, organizations can hire the right candidates and retain their workforce, saving considerable costs incurred while replacing talent in companies with high turnover.
Eightfold.ai’s talent management platform has been appealing to organizations looking to move to a single platform for all their talent acquisitions, retention, and upskilling needs. With a recent Series D funding of $125 million carried out in October 2020, Eightfold.ai has raised a total capital of $180 million. This has brought the value of the company to around $1 billion. This funding round was led by General Catalyst and included investors from previous rounds. Since the last round of funding in April 2019, Eightfold has quadrupled its sales and has become one of the fastest-growing talent intelligence platforms. Eightfold has a strong customer base from 110 countries and 17 different sectors. Notable customers include Nutanix, AirAsia, Hulu, NetApp, Postmates, and Booking.com.
Digital workforce solutions: Increasing employee engagement
The digital workforce solutions market is diverse, with various products tackling different HR and support-based needs, but the common denominator remains increased employee engagement and reduced turnover. With the pandemic still raging in parts of the world, it has become more important to hire the right people and engage employees more efficiently. Employee experience is an important metric, and organizations are beginning to realize that employee satisfaction is incredibly important to reinforce organizations. Many solutions, including Microsoft Viva, are landing on the scene to take advantage of the snowballing popularity of digital workforce solutions. Various new solutions in this space are rapidly getting funded and acquired, and going forward, we’ll be seeing more of that. It’s going to be exciting to see how quickly this market grows and which solutions emerge leaders in the next couple of years.
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