Ahead of UNLEASH World 2022, we look at some of the Benelux startups making waves in the world of HR tech.
Belgium, The Netherlands, and Luxembourg (Benelux) might not be the first countries CHROs, CPOs and HR directors turn to when looking for the newest vendor solutions to integrate into their HR tech stack.
This is understandable. Of the €1.9 billion that venture capital (VC) poured into European HR tech startups in 2021, firms in the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, and France got the lion’s share of the investment. Yet, this doesn’t mean the best HR tech startups in Benelux are lagging behind.
The Netherlands is currently the most inter-connected economy in the world, the second best country in the world for online connectivity, and houses the world-leading Amsterdam Internet Exchange (AMS-IX), and, as a result, is one of the top five innovation leaders in Europe for startups.
Similarly, Belgium has been noted for the strength and increasing internationalization of its B2B technology providers, with 200 startups and scale-ups sharing over €2.7 billion in investment since 2018. For a country of only 11.5million inhabitants, it even has a few unicorns.
As for Luxembourg, it is the fifth most global economy and has a growing new business scene with over 700 startups. In this space, a third offer data and analytics services, and almost 10% operate in the health and wellbeing space. All top agenda items for forward-thinking HR functions.
Below is a run-through of some of the most exciting Benelux startups with a look at the services they provide and what use they might provide to HR.
Offering utility outside of core HR services, Collibra is an end-to-end data intelligence platform that promises to accelerate digital business transformation in every function. They’re also the most backed startup in Belgium, raising over €580million in funding meaning they’re a unicorn valued at circa €4.5billion.
What this means for HR is that all of this data and investment coming together creates an offering that expands data intelligence cloud services, integrations with other technologies and HR tech stack providers (such as Workday), and capabilities – Collibra also plan to double their workforce by 2023 – giving HR users access to data via an easy-to-use, all-in-one flexible platform.
Already used by companies such as Rolls Royce, AstraZeneca, and Legal & General, customers give excellent feedback and, as such, Collibra’s future looks bright.
The second most successful fund-raising tech firm in Belgium – after Collibra – Odoo has been backed to the tune of almost €0.5billion in order to grow their pan-business software firm, which includes dedicated apps for recruitment, performance management, expenses, and attendance.
Claiming to boost engagement and networking with gamification and social tools, the unicorn has seven million global users, offers 30 different applications, and can boast Danone, Toyota, and Hyundai as clients. It also claims that it is more business-focussed and user-friendly than other big-name competitors.
With the peaks of the Covid-19 in the past, business and staff travel is, once again, at the forefront of operational consideration. This is where the Brussells-headquartered firm MobileXpense claims to create value: offering both local and global compliance through automation and expense experts.
Integratable with major credit providers as well as benefits and payroll vendors, the app-based firm claims to boost employee happiness through speedy, accurate reimbursement. Already used by Heineken, Canon, ABInBev, Mars, and KLM, the fintech firm has already won awards for innovation and acquired almost € 20 million in funding.
Fresh from a summer 2022 €67million funding round – which brings overall venture capital backing to almost €80million – the Amsterdam-headquartered recruitment technology firm (they specialize in pre-employment screening tests and assessments) is on the rise.
Having only been formed during the first summer of the pandemic, TestGorilla focuses on remote aspects of recruitment as well as reducing the impact of hiring bias and replacing CVs with appropriate tests and skills rankings. They must be doing something right: within their customer ranks, they can already boast H&M, Oracle, and Bain & Company.
Putting the AI into Human Resources, the Amsterdam-headquartered business claim to be a world-leading HR insight provider which uses Natural Language Processing and AI to boost talent acquisition and team performance
They link the use of their technology to improved diversity, overwhelmingly better candidate experiences, time efficiency as well as boosts to performance. Furthermore, they boast of the integration ability of their technology with major HRIS providers. Used by Coca-Cola, L’Oreal, and Sephora, they have already got seven-figure fund backing.
The Rotterdam-based firm’s offering enables clients to automate repetitive tasks, freeing up HR and talent acquisition teams to do more value-adding and creative work. Their SaaS solution acts as a digital employee that does the tedious bits of HR, finance, and IT work with Freeday claiming it also improves the employee experience as a result.
Able to be integrated as a chatbot into major comms channels, such as Whatsapp, Microsoft Teams, and Slack, Freeday argues their product takes the administrative burden so HR and managers can focus on more complex issues. So far investors have backed Freeday.ai with almost € 4 million.
Designed to enable better and faster at-volume hiring, as well as an improved candidate experience, Harver uses candidate-matching data, automation during the hiring process, personalization, and analytics to give recruiters a chance to see the whole process and fight ingrained bias, too. With an Amsterdam HQ, Harver has attracted almost € 30 million in fund backing.
Its customer base already includes Booking.com, Lidl, McDonald’s, and Peleton and with a new CEO and a recent acquisition, it is looking to accelerate growth.
Enabling better recruitment of tech professionals by utilizing technology might not sound all that out there but is exactly what Luxembourg-based nexten.io are doing in order to create better transparency and efficiency for candidates and organizations, as well as save money for clients.
Founded by Eric Busch, they only charge clients when a candidate hire is successful and allow candidates to stay anonymous during the process. They also have seven-figure financing and have won more than 150 customers.
Founded in Luxembourg, the eight-year-old startup offers an all-in-one talent acquisition tool that has everything from the provision of application forms to assessment tools and collaborative hiring add-ons.
Already integrated with Indeed.com and a Netherlands-based data recruitment firm, Skeeled has seen rapid turnover and team growth since the start of the pandemic. Expect big things to continue, especially as they can count BDO, G4S, and NU SKIN amongst the customers they’ve won over already.
During the pandemic use of digital communication channels rocketed but this could leave employees confused as they bounced between platforms and their inboxes. Utrecht-based Trengo aims to fix this by bringing everything employees to use on one screen and platform.
Although Trengo has a customer-facing Saas service, it also integrates customer interactions with team communication whilst adding team performance analytics into the mix, giving managers the ability to properly plan breaks based using data on service use.
Founded in 2017, the firm acquired €36 million in Series A funding last year and has plans to become the global employee communications platform of choice.
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