Knoetic Raises $18 Million for HR Technology

By Bruce Harpham | Sunday, September 5, 2021 | Startup, Business, Tech

Knoetic, a human resources (HR) startup company in New York, has raised $18 million in Series A funding. The Series A funding round was led by Accel, a venture capital company.

Human resources concept.

Investors in Knoetic

The Knoetic Series A funding round is notable for the variety of participating investors. More than 100 angel investors, including best-selling author Adam Grant and executives from LinkedIn, Box, and Johnson & Johnson, have invested in the human resources company. 

Accel, a global venture capital company, has a strong track record. Accel has invested in Atlassian, Bumble, Fiverr, Slack, Spotify, Squarespace, and UiPath. "The best companies have great people teams at their core. Knoetic delivers critical insights to CPOs and their teams so they can design for healthy, diverse, top-performing teams, " said Vas Natarajan, a partner at Accel.

Social Network and Analytics

The startup company is currently developing a two-part business model. On the one hand, Knoetic is an exclusive social network for HR executives (i.e., chief people officers). To maintain quality, the social network operates on a referral basis. On the other hand, the company also offers software-as-a-service analytics for HR. The company is betting that its combination of exclusive networking and analytics will help it to stand out.

“The 2020s are the decade of the Chief People Officer. Last year's challenges showed every CEO and Board the importance of having a strategic partnership with the people and human resources team. Chief People Officers were at the center of every existential decision a company faces,” said Joseph Quan, founder and CEO of Knoetic. To grow, the startup is currently hiring for engineering, customer success, and sales positions. As of August 2021, the company has over 160 employees.

Before starting Knoetic in May 2020, Quan was the founder of another HR technology startup company called Twine Labs. Quan also worked in the Nike innovation team in Portland. Quan earned his MBA at the Wharton School of business, where he studied with Adam Grant.

Growing Business User Base

The startup company has already developed a user base in the business community. Current business users include Amplitude, Dollar Shave Club (acquired by Unilever for $1 billion in 2016), Lyft, Squarespace, and Zapier. To support growth, the company has developed integrations with dozens of software products. The current list of integrations includes both large company HR software like ADP and Workday and startup HR software like 15five and BambooHR.

The People Analytics Market

The New York startup company faces considerable competition in the HR analytics business. According to Grand View Research, the HR analytics market was worth over $2.2 billion as of 2019. By 2027, the business category is expected to grow to almost $6.3 billion. Major companies in the field include IBM, Oracle, SAP, Sage, Zoho, and Workday. The Human resources analytics space covers several business needs, including recruiting, employee retention, and payroll.

North America currently accounts for 35% of the global human resources analytics market. However, Asia is rapidly becoming a key market. In 2017, SAP announced a partnership with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The partnership’s focus is on promoting data science skills in business functions such as human resources.

About the Author

Headshot for author Bruce Harpham

Bruce Harpham is an author and marketing consultant based in Canada. His first book "Project Managers At Work" shared real-world success lessons from NASA, Google, and other organizations. His articles have been published in, InfoWorld, Canadian Business, and other organizations. Visit for articles, interviews with tech leaders, and updates on future books.

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