Gloat raises $90 million to build AI-powered internal job markets – TechCrunch

Gloat, an internal marketplace for business talent, announced today that it has raised $90 million in a Series D round led by Generation Investment Management, bringing the startup’s total to $192 million. Generation is notably chaired by former US Vice President Al Gore. In an email Q&A with TechCrunch, CEO Ben Reuveni said the proceeds will be spent on expanding Gloat’s presence, expanding its team of more than 250 employees and “strengthening” its R&D initiatives.

The list of products for recruiting, acquisition, and job boards is virtually endless – see Workday, LinkedIn, and SAP SuccessFactors to get started. Reuveni doesn’t deny that Gloat faces stiff competition, but he summarizes what he believes are the company’s differentiators: “Gloat is unique because we started by providing an internal mobility solution. Across the market, there are a number of recruiting tools…to find external candidates, but internal mobility poses unique and nuanced challenges. It requires a real understanding of transferable skills and titles that may not be obvious without the deep, organization- and industry-specific insight Gloat’s technology is built to provide.”

Reuveni founded Gloat in 2015 with Amichai Schreiber and Danny Shteinberg. Reuveni was previously a solution architect at IBM, while Schreiber came from Intel, Mobileye (before the Intel acquisition) and HP.

“The traditional approach to work, jobs and careers, which has been central to business operations since the industrial revolution, is now holding companies and their people back. At a time when the speed of change requires more flexibility and adaptability than ever before and employee expectations have risen, enterprises need a more agile talent and career business model – one that puts each employee at the helm of their own career development and empowering businesses with the data intelligence they need to make smarter talent decisions,” said Reuveni.


Image Credits: Gloat

Like my colleague Ingrid Lunden reported last year, Gloat sells an AI-powered platform to organizations to power their job boards. Gloat integrates with existing software and collects information about employees to help them match vacancies at their employer – whether they are proactively looking or a manager is looking for them. In cases where an employee does not meet the requirements, the platform offers guidance on what they need to learn, as well as part-time and shadow opportunities.

Gloat uses an AI system to map the relationships between skills, roles, candidates and companies. The system is trained on resumes, professional profiles, job descriptions, academic content, economics data and compensation data and seeks to quantify the ways job titles, job requirements and skill needs change, Reuveni said. Given the same job title can mean different things depending on the company; Gloat is designed to understand those nuances and automatically infer differences in roles across companies, geographies, and industries.

“Using Gloat’s AI, each employee will receive personalized career opportunities based on their unique skills and interests. And as job-specific requirements evolve and new roles emerge in an organization, AI identifies these changes and adapts recommendations accordingly,” said Reuveni.

Gloat also reflects employees’ “aspirations,” Reuveni says, based on the skills they use most and their professional development plans. At best, assuming Gloat’s data is correct, it can help management decide how to deploy talent.

Of course, no algorithm is unbiased. And when hiring staff, the impact can be significant. LinkedIn discovered years ago that the recommendation algorithms it uses to match applicants to job openings referred more men than women to open positions. The algorithm ranked candidates based in part on how likely they were to apply for a position or respond to a recruiter, and — as MIT Technology Review notes in his report on the bug – men are often more aggressive in seeking new opportunities.

A blog after written by Gloat HR analyst Adam Etzion dated Feb 2021 discusses an “anti-biased dataset” used by Gloat’s data science team, adaptable to individual clients. And a white paperPublished last April, Gloat’s describes bias-detection tools that can pick up unwanted trends in AI-powered recommendations and introduce noise into the data to (in theory) reduce it.


Image Credits: Gloat

Reuveni didn’t immediately respond to a question about bias in Gloat’s algorithms, but he did express confidence in the system’s accuracy. “The resulting skills trends and recommendations delivered through our platform provide unparalleled workforce intelligence,” he said.

As hyperbolic as that may sound, Gloat’s customer list is extensive and includes brands such as Mastercard, Unilever, Schneider Electric, Nestlé, Novartis, Standard Chartered Bank and HSBC. More than 1.1 million users in more than 120 countries use the platform, Reuveni said, a number that has grown during the pandemic as companies’ hiring slowed and the focus shifted to upskilling their workforce.

“As third-party hiring appears to be drastically slowing again and companies are eager to avoid a repeat of mistakes caused by the pandemic, Gloat’s customers have become beacons for the future of work movements. This has positioned Gloat extremely well to weather economic headwinds and go with tailwinds,” said Reuveni.

Gloat is also benefiting from an overall surge in VC funding for HR tech startups. VCs funneled more than $1.4 billion into HR technology in January, according to PitchBook dataBuilding on a record year – 2021 – in which more than $12.3 of venture capital was invested in HR technology in more than 800 deals.

Accel, Eight Roads Ventures, Intel Capital and Lumir Ventures also participated in Gloat’s latest financing round in New York. Reuveni noted that it is Generation’s first investment from its new $1.7 billion Sustainable Solutions Fund IV, which aims to invest in companies and teams that drive “responsible innovation.”

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