The world of work has completely transformed in the past three years – and technology has been key to whether companies have thrived or merely survived.
Now, in the post-pandemic world of work, companies want to drive productivity and efficiency, and enable employees to do more with their precious time.
Technology is on the front line to deliver here – HR tech is booming, and the market is full of different vendors all delivering different products.
But how do CHROs figure out who is the right partner for them? And how do investors work out the best use of their capital, especially as a recession looms?
Acadian Ventures has been working in the background, analyzing articles, funding announcements and data from Crunchbase and Pitchbook, and now has compiled a list of venture-backed HR tech companies who are leading the way and have been delivering the most innovative technology for over a decade.
The Future of Work 100 list
The 100 companies on Acadian Ventures’ Future of Work 100 list have raised a $30 billion in venture capital financing, and have a total valuation of $200 billion.
The median valuation is $1.1 billion – there are 64 unicorns, 20 Rising Stars (valued at $500 million to $1 billion) and 16 Up and Comers (valued up to $500 million).
Jason Corsello, general partner and founder Acadian Ventures, tells UNLEASH that the most interesting finding of the list was that the world is flat; the playing field has been levelled.
Historically, startups have been based in Silicon Valley, but now you can start companies anywhere.
There’s 14 countries represented, and in this year’s list 45% are based in Silicon Valley. But Silicon Valley represents only 34% of the Rising Stars and Up & Comers.
Corsello adds that what the research found was that “companies outside of Silicon Silicon Valley, tend to be much more efficient; they’re much more capital efficient, and then they’re much more human efficient”.
UNLEASH was keen to find out why this list is essential to CHROs and HR leaders.
“Just to really understand where investment is going,” shares Corsello. He adds: “Investment is oftentimes an indicator of where those buyers are spending their money…to address the problems and the challenges within their organization.”
This list helps understand the maturity of the vendors themselves. Not every vendor is going to “be around in three or four years”, and that’s no good for CHROs.
So the aim of the list to “really trying to understand who was out there and how these companies are being built and trying to give just an additional layer of insight”.
Looking toward the future
Acadian is planning to do this Future of Work 100 list every year. UNLEASH was keen to find out Corsello’s predictions for next year’s list.
He shares: “A lot of these companies just got overvalued, and we’re entering what will continue to be a difficult fundraising environment. So, companies that were building efficiently may not be on the list next year.”
“We’re seeing a tremendous amount of innovation, [especially]…in AI. And that innovation is happening globally. There’s emerging markets that are starting to ramp up, and companies starting to distinguish themselves, in new areas like Africa, Latin America or Southeast Asia”, adds Corsello.
Corsello sees the market as being “very dynamic in the next two years”.
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