Darwinbox nabs $72M for its all-in-one HR cloud software solution

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Companies are adopting cloud HR technology because of the increasing distribution of their employees during epidemics. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, about 44% of talent managers focus on cloud solutions to increase efficiency and productivity, while 35% see the cloud as a way to reduce costs. In a recent survey by tech research and advisory firm, ISG, 46% of companies reported using the HR Software-A-A-Service (SaaS) platform or hybrid solution (more than 20% two years ago), with 57%. Saying that they expect to adopt a subscription-based SaaS or hybrid solution by 2023.

The advantages of Cloud HR software include low paperwork and increased access to payroll and benefit information, among other daily improvements. The KPMG report notes that cloud HR solutions can lead to “smart decision making” through data analytics, AI and cognitive computing. Given the potential of the market, it is not surprising that HR software vendors continue to grow at a rapid clip. Pitchbook data shows that HR startups accumulated more than 9.2 billion in venture capital between January 2021 and October 2021, 130% more than in 2020.

One of the for-profit companies from Windfall is Hyderabad, India-based Darwinbox, which offers HR software designed to help enterprises automate employee lifecycles. Founded in 2015 by Chaitanya Paddy, Jayant Paleti and Rohit Chennamani, Darwin Box announced today that it has raised $ 72 million with over $ 1 billion in valuations in a funding round led by Technology Crossover Ventures.

Cloud-based HR

Chennamane, CEO of Darwinbox, was a search quality analyst at Google before joining McKinsey as an engagement manager. Paleti was a consultant at Deloitte and EY, while Peddi was previously a product analyst at Verizon Wireless and a senior consultant at EY.

Darwinbox’s platform features an enterprise social network similar to Microsoft’s Yamar, called Vibe, as well as surveys that capture employee feedback and data points for analytics. Through the software, managers can send advertisements, notifications and other broadcasts to everyone in the organization – even without corporate email.

“Darwinbox … enables HR stakeholders to create experiences for employees throughout their lifecycles,” Chennamaneni told VentureBeat via email. ,[The platform] Helps to visualize, monitor and control data flow. Integration is possible through open APIs and over 200 ready-made integrations in enterprise resource planning, finance and any other ancillary systems. ”

Darwinbox

Darwinbox also has ‘groups’ – which allow employees to find other people with similar interests in the company. The platform also has standard functionality such as time and attendance tracking, payroll and recruitment tools, travel and expense management, employee support desk, onboarding flow, performance management and people analysis. People Analytics, also known as Talent Analytics or HR Analytics, refers to the method of analytics that can help managers and executives make decisions about their employees or employees.

With features such as hands-free voice commands and prediction engines, Darwinbox is heavily involved in AI and automation aimed at “getting the right action at the right time in the employee’s life cycle.” The platform uses AI and Optical Character Recognition to evaluate resumes using “multi-format CV parsing” based on skill classification, to process HR documents, including bills, costs and employee ID, as well as to match job candidates with available roles.

“Darwinbox takes advantage of AI and machine learning across modules to power faster and more streamlined HR processes and functions across the entire employee lifecycle,” Chennamaneni added. “‘Darwin,’ ‘Darwinbox’s own voice and chatbot, built on AI and machine learning. The Time and Attendance module enables employees with facial recognition built on Amazon Web Services’ machine learning-based recognition framework. Other uses include safety traffic blockers, load balancers and more. “

Bright perspective

Darwinbox competes with a number of startups in the cloud HR software market, including Nemli, Remote, ChartHop, Vizier and Hibob. But the company’s focus on automation is on-trend – and somewhat different. According to Personal Today, 38% of enterprises are already using AI in their workplace, with 62% expecting to start using it earlier this year.

However, AI technology can suffer if it is not implemented thoughtfully. A recent study published in the Journal of Business Ethics found that algorithmic decision making in HR recruitment and development is “not a way to eliminate biases.” Algorithms, the co-authors reported in the conclusion, are susceptible to biases in terms of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation or other characteristics if the algorithm is based on inaccurate, biased or unrepresentative input and training data.

,[T]Transparency is needed here [in HR automation]Employees and candidates should be able to understand what happens in the process, “the co-authors wrote.[C]Companies should not rely solely on the information provided by algorithms or implement automated decision making by humans without any control or audit. While some biases may be more pronounced, implicit discrimination of less visible individual characteristics may be more problematic, as such implicit biases are more difficult to detect.

In December 2021, New York City passed a law requiring an audit of AI-type HR technology – including the technology used for recruitment, recruitment or promotion – where the technology is applied to New York City residents. Companies must conduct a third-party bias audit each year and provide a public summary of the results. Those who fail to comply face a fine of up to $ 1,500 per day.

Darwinbox

We’ve approached Darwinbox with questions about its AI ethics practices – including whether it has taken steps to address known flaws in resume-parsing technology – and will update this article as more information will be provided.

Cloud HR software comes with its own potential pros, including the need for a continuous internet connection, less security control, and fewer customization options. But Darwinbox claims it is not struggling to attract new customers. The more than 700-employee company – which it says has grown 200% in the last 12 months – counts more than 1.5 million users on its roster in more than 650 brands, including Starbucks, Dominos, Calvin Klein and Cigna.

Chennamaneni continued, “With epidemics and the world going to work remotely, companies really have little choice but to rethink their talent strategies and embrace digital transformation.” “The result is a three- to five-year shift in digital-first thinking to talent for all things. HR technology has now become the main driver for people’s strategy. Epidemics have given us tailwinds to gain passive markets. Over the past year, Darwinbox has seen growth of 200% and more (300%) in emerging markets such as Southeast Asia. ”

Darwinbox’s most recent funding round – a series D – was the participation of current investors, including Salesforce Ventures, Sequoia India, Lightspeed India, 3One4 Capital, JGDev and SCB10X. It raises the company’s total capital to more than 112 million after a round of $ 15 million in January 2021.

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